Geoff’s Journal: What is Chevrolet up to?

By Geoff Bodine
June 7, 2017

Last month, Chevrolet announced they will roll out the vehicle to replace the SS in August.

Like many of you, I am excited to see what they will be coming out with.

When Chevrolet had the Monte Carlo in the 1980s, it featured the slope back window, and that’s when the car became a real race car. I was able to win many races, including the Daytona 500 with that style of car.

That model allowed us to close the gap with the Ford Thunderbird. When we swapped to the Lumina, that had high hopes, but we didn't see much success.

With the way the NASCAR rulebook is and all of the specs, it’s likely this car won’t be a dud; it’ll be pretty good. There is a lot more data to work with in terms of downforce and drag numbers.

Chevrolet is making a big deal of this announcement, with good reason.

They will be getting a lot of positive PR and media coverage. Unfortunately, I have no insight to what they may run. Because they haven’t said much, there could be big changes coming, maybe something small, who knows.

Back in the 1980s, you had a lot of different manufacturers competing in the sport. It was really exciting to see what they would come up with for us to drive. Back then, we used the chrome bumpers and whatever came on the car.

The fenders were slightly bigger for the tires. Today, the bodies are all plastic, fiberglass, composite; they are stamped out, made for tire clearance for NASCAR specs.

It takes some of the fun out of it, because we were more at liberty to twist some of those body parts, but now, the teams are stuck with what NASCAR gives them as far as the rules.

It would surprise me if Chevrolet rolls out a brand new street-legal sedan just to produce it for NASCAR.  

I’m not sure what the NASCAR rule is on that right now, but it used to be where a manufacturer had to make a few thousand of a certain model every year.

With today’s economics, it would be likely cost-prohibitive for a manufacturer to roll a special car the benefit of racing in NASCAR. What they’re likely doing is rolling out a new model and will use NASCAR to promote it.

The old adage is, you win on Sunday, you sell on Monday. My daily driver is a Corvette, but I may have to switch to whatever this new car may be.

Chevrolet has used a lot of models over the years in NASCAR including the Monte Carlo, Lumina and Impala. I’d like to be out there for the announcement if possible. I like new cars and new products.

Because I’ve driven for all of the current manufactures and NASCAR, and others, I don’t know if I will get a formal invite, because I wasn’t loyal to just one manufacturer.

But you never know. I did win my only Daytona 500 with Chevrolet.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts Daniel Courson/The Racing Experts Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts
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