Chevrolet postpones NASCAR debut of 2000 Monte Carlo race car - Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet Marketing General Manager "We at Chevrolet are disappointed that NASCAR has not yet approved the all-new 2000 Monte Carlo for use in Winston Cup competition.
Chevrolet postpones NASCAR debut of 2000 Monte Carlo race car - Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet Marketing General Manager
"We at Chevrolet are disappointed that NASCAR has not yet approved the all-new 2000 Monte Carlo for use in Winston Cup competition. Following recent discussions with the sanctioning body and our teams, we have made the decision to delay the motorsports debut of this new Monte Carlo race car until next season.
"This postponement in no way affects the launch timing of our production car which remains on schedule for retail deliveries later this summer. Race fans will see the all-new Monte Carlo in pace car trim beginning Memorial Day weekend when it starts the field at both the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 events.
"We started working closely with NASCAR about 12 months ago when we first showed them our intended version of the race car. From that time forward, we consistently used NASCAR's input to develop the car before formally submitting it in January for approval. We thought the vehicle, as presented then, was in line with their expectations. Unfortunately, they did not agree and approval was not granted.
"Further changes were requested by NASCAR and, as before, we complied with their requests. As it stands today, NASCAR is asking us to make changes that, when compared to the current '99 Monte Carlo and to other brands, would make the new car uncompetitive on the race track.
"This extraordinarily and lengthy approval process has been a major distraction to everyone. It has now reached the point where time has run out for us and our Chevrolet teams. Even if NASCAR was to approve the car today, the teams believe that, given the latest change, they could not develop a competitive new car by this fall without potentially jeopardizing their quest for the '99 Winston Cup crown. We cannot ask them to take such a risk.
"We have applied much of what we learned from racing to the design of the new 2000 Monte Carlo production car. One of our primary objectives with the new race car was to make it look similar to the Chevy Monte Carlo production car. For example, the decklid was designed with harder edges, and the shapes of the windshield and rear fascia are the same for both production and race versions. Just as these help improve fuel economy and road stability of the production car, they enhance downforce on the race car.
"The race car, as originally submitted to NASCAR, utilizes production sheet metal in the hood, roof and decklid; that's more "stock" content than any non-GM car on the circuit. Simply put, it's been our intent to help NASCAR keep the word "stock" in "stock car" racing.
"Monte Carlo has always been an important brand for Chevrolet. On the road, it's the best mid-size coupe in America. When the new model debuts in dealer showrooms this summer, it will carry on that great tradition. On the track, the history of Chevrolet and of Monte Carlo speaks for itself. Chevrolets have captured 13 of the last 16 NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturer's titles, and have propelled Dale Earnhardt to seven drivers titles and Jeff Gordon to three titles including the 1998 championship.
"When the all-new Monte Carlo does make its NASCAR debut, hopefully at next February's season-opening Daytona 500, we're sure the excitement -- both on the race track and in the showroom -- will reach an even higher level."