Photo: HHP/Harold Hinson

Chevrolet to Use Camaro ZL1 for Cup Series Entry in 2018

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

With Chevrolet ceasing production of their current car model, the Chevrolet SS, at the end of the year, the manufacturer set about choosing a new car model for their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry for 2018 and beyond. After months of speculation, Chevrolet officially unveiled the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as their new car model that will debut on track next season.

The new ZL1 model will look to build on the success that its predecessor has had in its run in the Cup Series, which included 70 Cup Series wins. Chevrolet as a whole has won 39 NASCAR manufacturer titles, including 13 straight from 2003-2015. Chevrolet drivers have won 30 Cup Series championships.

Chevrolet has used the Camaro SS in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013 and next season will see both Camaro models on track in NASCAR’s top-two series.

“Chevrolet, Camaro and ZL1 are all synonymous with winning, both on and off the track,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM Global Product Development. “We are thrilled to run Camaro in the NASCAR Cup Series next year, with the time-honored and track-tested ZL1 badge, and we’re just as excited for our drivers, teams, fans and customers.”

“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.”

Along with the GM and NASCAR executives present, all of the current Chevrolet drivers were in attendance for the unveiling. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson had the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of the car and drive it in the unveiling, which took place at General Motors Headquarters in Detroit on Thursday.

“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.”

With Chevrolet’s unveiling, the three manufacturers in the sport have now unveiled new car models within the last two seasons, as Toyota rolled out their new car model prior to the start of the 2017 season and Ford last updated their model back in 2016.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.