Chevrolet Adds To Record Win Tally in 1999
DETROIT, Mich. (December. 21, 1999): Chevrolet, the winningest manufacturer in motorsports history, continued its North American dominance in 1999, adding to its tally of victories in more than 74 racing series. Conventional archives indicate some 11,000-plus victories since the 1955 introduction of Chevy's small-block engine, which include a total of 573 wins in 1999. If results from the hundreds of individual short tracks and dragstrips across the country were included, the Chevrolet victory count would soar even higher. Leading the way in the high-profile professional series in 1999 was the Monte Carlo, Chevrolet's flagship brand in the NASCAR Winston Cup series. The Chevy Monte Carlo won 12 of 34 races, with Jeff Gordon claiming seven of those, more than any other driver. In the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, the Monte Carlo captured 24 of 32 possible race wins to earn Chevrolet its seventh Bill France Performance (Manufacturer) Cup award and a second straight driver's title for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Monte Carlo also earned wins and manufacturer's championships in ASA, ARCA, Winston West and the Southwest Tour. The Chevy S-10 Pickup brand dominated the second season of the Pro Stock Truck category of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, winning each of the 14 events and the inaugural Manufacturer's Cup. Chevy S-10 drivers swept the top five in championship points, led by Bob Panella Jr. The Camaro Z28 scored a total of six title wins in the NHRA Funny Car and Pro Stock classes. Including wins in the Sportsman classes, Chevy NHRA victories since 1955 climbed to over 900 after the 1999 season. One new Chevy product and one classic Chevy model made racing news in 1999. The Chevy Silverado full-size pickup was introduced to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, then captured nine victories and a second driver's championship for Jack Sprague. The Silverado also won the Pro-4 title with Walker Evans, two manufacturer's awards, and the Governor's Cup for Jack Flannery in the CORR/EXXON Superflo Series. The Corvette C5-R returned to endurance racing in '99 in a GM factory-engineered program, finishing on the podium at the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona and twice more in a limited American Le Mans Series' season. Chevrolet products have demonstrated their reliability, dependability and performance in every form of motorsports and on every kind of race track in 1999. Here are the 1999 results:
NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES
* Chevrolet Monte Carlo wins 12 races and 13 poles * Jeff Gordon claims seven wins, more than any driver
Chevrolet NASCAR Winston Cup teams won 12 races and 13 poles in 1999 but failed to capture the driver's championship and manufacturer's title for only the second and fourth times, respectively, in the decade. Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon led the way for Team Monte Carlo with seven poles, seven victories and seven DNFs in '99. The 28-year-old California native finished sixth in the final driver standings. Crew chief Ray Evernham left the team with seven races left in the season and five members of the Rainbow Warriors, Gordon's over-the-wall pit crew, announced they would not return next year. Still, Gordon and his No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo led the circuit in victories, regular-season money winnings and finished in the top 10 in the standings for the sixth straight season. Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt finished seventh in the 1999 Winston Cup standings, his seventh straight season in the top 10. The driver of Richard Childress' infamous black No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo won three races in 1999 and now ranks sixth on NASCAR's all-time win list with 74 career victories. Mike Skinner drove his No. 31 Lowes Monte Carlo to 10th place in the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup standings. He won a pole, recorded five top-five finishes and won more than $2 million. Terry Labonte, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg's Monte Carlo, and Joe Nemechek, who drove the No. 42 BellSouth Monte Carlo, won the other two races for Team Monte Carlo in 1999. Nemechek also won three poles. Chevrolet will welcome the 2000 Monte Carlo to the Winston Cup circuit next season, along with the much anticipated arrival of two-time NASCAR Busch Grand National champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 25-year-old, third-generation driver will pilot the No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team Monte Carlo drivers will help Chevrolet build on its modern era record of 356 NASCAR Winston Cup victories in 842 starts (.423 winning percentage) since 1972 when the circuit was cut to 31 races per season. Ford is a distant second with 217 wins in 842 starts (.258 winning percentage). Earnhardt, Gordon and Labonte combined for eight drivers' championships in the '90s, and Chevrolet teams won the NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturer's championship six times in the decade.
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins 1999 driver's championship in Monte Carlo * Tony Raines named Rookie of the Year * Seventh Bill France Performance (Manufacturer) Cup for Chevrolet
In an encore performance, Team Monte Carlo's Dale Earnhardt Jr. collected his second straight Busch championship while giving Chevrolet its eighth consecutive driver's championship. At the wheel of the No. 3 ACDelco Monte Carlo owned by Theresa Earnhardt, the 25-year-old driver known as "Little E" claimed his championship on the strength of six wins, 18 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 32 races. Chevrolet captured 24 of 32 possible race wins in 1999 to earn its seventh Bill France Performance (Manufacturer) Cup award. The red bowtie dominance was further shown by the Tony Raines, who walked away with the 1999 Rookie of the Year title behind the wheel of the No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
* Silverado completes successful "rookie" season * Sprague takes second driver's championship * Silverado drivers lead 40.45% of all race laps * Silverado captures nine wins
The new Silverado full-sized pickup truck, an unqualified showroom success, proved to be just as successful on the track during the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Jack Sprague and his Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 GMAC Financial Silverado combined three wins, 16 top fives and bonus points from leading 15 races to claim his second championship in the five-year-old series. Solid performances by Jay Sauter, Ron Hornaday and Andy Houston gave Silverado four positions in the year-end top 10. Chevrolet has been an active participant in the truck series since Mike Skinner won the first points race at Phoenix in the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevy. In the 122 races held in the series' short history, Chevrolet C/Ks and Silverados have won 72 or 60.6 win percentage. All five NASCAR driver champions (Skinner '95 - Hornaday '96 and '98 - Sprague '97 and '99) have driven Chevrolets.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION (NHRA) WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES
* Chevy S-10 wins inaugural Pro Stock Truck Manufacturer's Cup * Bob Panella Jr. wins Pro Stock Truck driver's championship in Chevy S-10 * Chevy S-10s win all 14 events * All-New '99 Camaro Funny Car body huge success
The Chevy S-10 Pickup dominated the second year of NHRA's Pro Stock Truck category, with Bob Panella Jr. claiming his first professional driver's championship. Panella, of Stockton, Calif., captured three titles this season, inching out Brad Jeter, also in a Chevy S-10, for the crown. Jeter matched Panella's three event wins, but lost by 121 points. Chevy S-10 drivers ruled the series, claiming eight of the top 10 positions in the point standings. No one driver dominated the season, but Chevy S-10s won each of the 14 events, led by Panella (3), Jeter (3), Mark Osborne (2), Randy Daniels (2), Mike Coughlin (2), John Coughlin (1), Steve Johns (1). GM NHRA Program Manager Alba Colon accepted the inaugural Pro Stock Truck Manufacturer's Cup at the year-end awards ceremony. In Funny Car competition, the all-new 1999 Camaro Funny Car body was introduced by Etchells Racing and driver Whit Bazemore mid-season and proved to be a dominating force. Bazemore, of Indianapolis, immediately reached four final rounds in the Kendall Oil/Superwinch-sponsored entry, winning one title. He placed third in points at season's end. Don Prudhomme Racing and driver Ron Capps, of San Diego, introduced their new Copenhagen Camaro Z28 body one race later. Capps, who had been struggling for most of the season, claimed his second consecutive Big Bud Shootout title at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, and began a comeback, which resulted in a top-10 finish in the class. Camaro Z28s won five titles in the Pro Stock category, with Kurt Johnson leading the pack in his ACDelco Camaro by scoring three victories. Mike Edwards had a less than stellar season as he worked with a new chassis and Camaro body, but still impressed with his back-to-back wins in Topeka and Memphis in his Dewco Performance-sponsored car. He was the first driver in that category to win from No. 16 qualifying position, accomplished in Topeka. Kurt chased his dad Warren all season for the driver's championship, but once again settled for third in points. Edwards ended up in seventh.
PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
* Chevy S-10 takes second consecutive Super Stock Truck class victory
Off-Road racing veteran Larry Ragland posted a record-breaking divisional win behind the wheel of the GM Vortec Chevy S-10 Super Stock Truck at the 77th running of the "Race to the Clouds" held on Pikes Peak Highway near Colorado Springs. Ragland, of Phoenix, Ariz., charged up the challenging 156-turn groomed gravel road in his Herzog Motorsports Chevy S-10 with a fast time of 11:24.36 - beating the old Super Stock Truck class record of 11:36.63 set in 1994 by Leonard Vahsholtz in a Ford Bronco. In pre-race qualifications, Ragland also set a new course record time of 4:56.70, eclipsing the former record of 5:06.45 posted in 1997. It was his second consecutive divisional win, and third Pikes Peak career win in as many years.
CHAMPIONSHIP OFF ROAD RACING (CORR)
* Walker Evans and Silverado capture Pro-4 title * Two manufacturer's awards for Silverado * Jack Flannery collects Governor's Cup for Silverado
The legendary Walker Evans closed his 30-year off-road racing career by claiming the Pro-4 championship, the premier division of the 1999 CORR/EXXON Superflo Series, in his 4WD Chevy Silverado truck. In the annual showdown among professional off-road drivers in 4x4 and two-wheel-drive trucks, Jack Flannery outran the competition to collect the prestigious 1999 Governor's Cup, which is named in honor of the Governor of Wisconsin. Chevy Silverado trucks, teams, and drivers also scored the highest number of overall points in both the Pro-2 and Pro-4 divisions. This impressive performance netted Chevrolet the manufacturer's championship in both the two and four-wheel-drive classes.
SCORE INTERNATIONAL OFF-ROAD DESERT SERIES
* Chevrolet Silverado takes fifth overall Baja 1000 win * Class 8 title to Silverado
In an ultimate display of durable power and raw talent, Larry Ragland of Phoenix, Ariz., piloted his Vortec Chevy Silverado Trophy-Truck to triumph at the 32nd Annual Tecate/SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. It was Ragland's fifth overall win of the famed event and his fourth victory in five years' running ('91, '95, '96, '97, & '99). Four of the five wins were in the same Chevy truck. Ragland collected the ultimate off-road racing prize by completing the grueling 672.6-mile trek in 14 hours, 26 minutes, 36 seconds, with an average speed of 46.57 miles per hour. He edged out Team MacPherson's Larry Roeseler, of Hesperia, Calif., whose second-place time was 14:40:33 in a Chevy truck, and Ivan Stewart, Alpine, Calif., whose third-place time was 14:49:48 in a Toyota. The record books now show that Chevy trucks have more overall wins in the Baja 1000 than any other truck manufacturer. In addition, Brian Collins of Las Vegas, Nev., clinched the SCORE Class 8 (two-wheel-drive trucks), title in his full-sized Chevy truck.
ROLEX 24 OF DAYTONA/AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
* Factory Corvette team returns to competition * Corvette earns podium finish in 24-hour debut * Corvette C5-Rs start first and second in class at Sebring 12-hour * Corvette announces Le Mans assault for 2000
Chevrolet officially returned to sports-car racing in 1999 with the introduction of the GM Goodwrench Service Plus-sponsored C5-R Corvette, a GM-engineered GTS sports car based on the production C5. The C5-R made its racing debut in the grueling 24-Hour race and, driven by Ron Fellows, Chris Kneifel and John Paul Jr., started second in class. It garnered a third-place finish after leading more than half the race. The team also reached the podium twice more in 1999, at the Sears Point (Calif.) and Laguna Seca (Calif.) events. Using the 1999 season to cure early teething problems, the Corvette will expand its sports-car racing program internationally with participation in the historic 24 Hours of LeMans in 2000.
SPORTS CAR CLUB OF AMERICA
* Jeff Altenburg won the first ever National Championship for the Corvette C5 at the Valvoline Runoffs 1999.
* Scotty White and John Heinricy both won a race in their C5's in the World Challenge Series 1999
AMERICAN SPEED ASSOCIATION (ASA)
* Tim Sauter wins driver's championship in Monte Carlo * Rick Johnson earns rookie honors and finishes 99.02% of all racing laps (5743 out of 5800) * ASA introduces spec Vortec engine for 2000
Tim Sauter, the third Sauter to win in ASA, won the 1999 ASA Championship battle, the second closest point finish in 32 years with three wins. Rick Johnson, multiple champion on two wheels, took his Monte Carlo to "Rookie of the Year" honors and finished up an incredible 5743 of 5800 competition laps. Following extensive testing, ASA officials said that the fuel-injected GM Vortec engine would be the "spec" engine for the series in 2000 and beyond. The Vortec is expected to significantly lower team costs while improving competition.
AUTOMOBILE RACE CLUB OF AMERICA (ARCA)
* Monte Carlo wins 17 of 21 races * Monte Carlo claims manufacturer's title * Bill Baird is series champion with five wins * Ron Cox named "Rookie of the Year"
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo once again took top honors in the Automobile Racing Club of America racing series. Chevy drivers Bill Baird and Frank Kimmel finished one-two in points with five and three wins each respectively. Rookie of the Year and Chevy pilot Ron Cox finished eighth in points with four top-10 finishes. Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Champion Ron Hornaday drove Dale Earnhardt's Monte Carlo to a win in the final race of the year in Atlanta.
NASCAR WINSTON WEST
* Monte Carlo wins manufacturer's championship with eight wins * Consistency gives Sean Woodside driver's championship * Jason Small is named "Rookie of the Year"
After twice finishing in the runner-up position, Sean Woodside used two wins, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes to claim the 1999 Winston West title by 94 points in his Monte Carlo. It was the first NASCAR title decided outside the United States as Woodside's fifth place finish locked-up the title at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Japan. Jason Small was named "Rookie of the Year" in a Monte Carlo.
NASCAR SOUTHWEST TOUR
* Monte Carlo wins manufacturer's championship * Kurt Busch claims driver's championship * Scott Lynch named "Rookie of the Year"
Chevrolet teams and drivers continued to pile up wins in NASCAR's Southwest Tour, adding 14 wins to bring the brand's total to 153 in the 241-race series' history. Kurt Busch took the driver's title with six wins. Young Scott Lynch picked up the "Rookie of the Year" award driving a Chevy Monte Carlo. OTHER NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIPS
1999 SHORT TRACK SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPION Tim Clark: NASCAR Pacific Coast Region, 1975 Chevrolet Camaro, Street Stock
SHORT TRACK REGIONAL CHAMPIONS
Shane Hoffman: NASCAR Blue Ridge Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo Gary Webb: NASCAR Mid-America Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo Joe Kosiski: NASCAR Midwest Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo (dirt) Brandon Bendele: NASCAR Sunbelt Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo Richard Mitchell: NASCAR Northeast Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo Darren Shaw: NASCAR Great West Region, Chevrolet Monte Carlo