CHEVY TAKES THE CAMARO INTO CUP
Based on the trend of manufacturers
taking sensible family car names into
NASCAR battle, we could be introducing
you to the new Chevy Malibu that will race
in next year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup.
But we’re not. With Chevy’s incumbent
SS having been taken off the table for next
year (due to Australia’s Holden mothballing
the Commodore VF on which it’s based),
why badge a car that you don’t sell? So the
Bowtie looked further up the peformance
ladder and will contest the 2018 NASCAR
Cup season with the Camaro ZL1 name.
NASCAR has pulled out all stops in
recent years to ensure that it delivers
what its fans want, but not even the
greatest will of the France family could
help Dale Earnhardt Jr. to end his career
with a Monster Energy Cup Playoffs run.
The series’ most bankable star, who
announced back in April that the 2017
season will be his last, weathered a
disappointing string of results during the
middle of the year. That left him needing a
win from the final “regular season” race at
Richmond to secure passage into title
contention. He finished 13th, ensuring
that third place in 2003’s pre-Playoffs
era points will stand as his all-time best.
While the Playoffs format was not kind
to one of NASCAR’s departing stars, it
was equally cruel to one of its rising ones.
Penske hotshoe Joey Logano almost won
the Cup title last year; this time around,
he also failed to make the Playoffs cut.
Martin Truex Jr. won the regular
season trophy – yes, that exists – for
topping the pre-Playoffs points, and
carried that form into the post-season
with a win at the Chicagoland opener.
styling follows the
of Toyota’s 2018
debuted this year.
NASCAR’s strict Generation 6 regs
mean the Camaro ZL1 will have virtually
zero overlap with its road-going
counterpart beyond the visual styling
cues, which raises the unusual prospect
of watching a Camaro get beaten on
merit by a Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion.
But it looks the part, and its unveiling
prompted a Tweetstorm from Cup
regulars who’ll soon be competing with it.
“The 2018 Team Chevy Camaro looks
awesome,” enthused Kyle Larson. “Looking
forward to racing this thing next season.”
The final laps of Dale Jr.’s
farewell tour will not include
a run at a championship
Stewart-Haas Racing drops Danica Patrick
(LEFT) for 2018. The 2013 Daytona 500 pole
winner was a casualty of sponsor Smithfield
moving to SHR from Richard Petty Motorsports,
with Aric Almirola expected to follow.
Logano’s sole 2017 win, at
Richmond, was declared
“encumbered” after the
car failed tech, rendering
the victory ineligible for
Chevy’s new look brings the Camaro
name back to NASCAR’s top-tier
series for the first time since 1971.
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