Back in February, Chevy announced they were retiring the SS sedan from racing, which has left many NASCAR fans wondering what the replacement will be moving forward. The next season of NASCAR will bring in a new car for Chevy race teams to drive, and that new car is the Camaro ZL1. Starting in 2018, the ZL1 will compete in the popular Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson even helped GM in showcasing the new ZL1 race car along Jefferson Avenue in from of the General Motors Renaissance Center World Headquarters in Detroit, MI as part of the unveiling. Johnson is the seven-time Monster Energy Series champion who pilots the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrix Motorsports. Other representatives from GM and Hendrick Motorsports were also in attendance.
It will be during the 2018 Daytona Speedweeks in February that the Camaro ZL1 will make its first appearance in the series; this is the event that starts the 2018 NASCAR race season. This will be the first Cup change up since the Chevrolet SS was put on the track in 2013. The SS walks away with 39 NASCAR manufacturing titles and 70 Cup series wins.
Obviously, the ZL1 race car shares very little in common with the Camaro ZL1 street car, besides the nameplate. Yes, it’ll look similar, but it will be a tube frame, sheet-metal NASCAR race car. Engineers at Chevy boosted the design to improve the aerodynamic performance of the ZL1 for the track. Powering it will be a fully-built race engine.
The Camaro ZL1 is one of the most interesting cars from Chevy, and it has earned a cult-following that may help NASCAR earn a new type of fan. A Chevy Camaro SS has been raced in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013, so the addition of the ZL1 also means the expansion of the Camaro within the sport.