Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (left) and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) are greeted by General Motors Executive Vice President Global Product Development Mark Reuss at the world debut of the Chevrolet 2018 Camaro ZL1 NASCAR Cup Race Car (left). The Pure Michigan 500 Camaro ZL1 Pace Car is at right.
The Camaro ZL1 will make its competition debut next February during Daytona Speedweeks, which kicks off the 2018 NASCAR season. It will join the Camaro SS, which has been Chevrolet’s entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series since 2013.
“The new Camaro ZL1 is a great-looking race car with a lot of heritage behind it, which will make it a big hit with fans,” said Johnson. “And as someone who’s enjoyed the ZL1 on the street, I’m really looking forward to getting this new race car on the track.”
“Racers have long relied on Camaro to win races and championships in amateur and professional sports car and drag racing, as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We look forward to racing the Camaro ZL1 in the premier Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.”
Joining Chevrolet for the Camaro ZL1 race car’s debut were representatives from Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. The Camaro ZL1 brings a unique, track-focused legacy to NASCAR. The ZL1 name was originally used in the 1960s on a Chevrolet-developed all-aluminum racing engine that became a dominating force in road racing. In 1969, a few enterprising dealers used Chevrolet’s special-order system to get the ZL1 engine installed in 69 regular-production Camaros. The cars became instant legends on the street and dragstrip.
The new Camaro ZL1 race car builds on a winning legacy carried by the previous Chevrolet SS, which has scored 70 Cup Series wins to date and contributed to Chevrolet earning a record 39 NASCAR manufacturer titles — including 13 consecutive titles from 2003-2015. Chevrolet drivers have also achieved a record 30 Cup championships, including Jimmie Johnson in 2016.
FAST FACT: The Camaro ZL1 race car was shown with the No. 8, which was Louis Chevrolet’s racing number. Louis-Joseph “Louis” Chevrolet (December 25, 1878–June 6, 1941) was a race car driver and co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911.