Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing Transcript from presentation as a part of 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Thank you and good afternoon everybody. It is a pleasure to be here today. I know you have all been on...
Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing
Transcript from presentation as a part of 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"Thank you and good afternoon everybody. It is a pleasure to be here today. I know you have all been on a whirlwind tour the past few days and I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you before you all head home.
What we would like to do is to share with you a few technical tidbits about our Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for 2006 that may be helpful as you cover the upcoming race season.
Before I do that, I would like to make a couple of introductions of some folks who are here today from GM Racing.
First is Pat Suhy. Pat is the Manager for NASCAR. He oversees Chevrolet's involvement in NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck. Also, Alba Colon. Alba is our NEXTEL Cup program manager watching over our Chevrolet program there. Pat, Alba and myself will be around after this presentation to answer all of your questions.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Richard Childress and RCR for the opportunity to share this even with them. Our relationship with RCR goes back well over 20 years and over those 20 years it has resulted in numerous race wins and numerous championships. So Richard is not only a valued business partner of ours but we also see him as great friend as well. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with the RCR group.
It is going to be very hard to top what General Motors did on the race track in 2005. Three of our divisions, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Cadillac, amassed 16 major manufacturer and driver championships. We won races all across the United States. We won races in Mexico, Canada and won in Europe at Le Mans at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Corvettes finishing one-two. It was a remarkable year that we are coming off of. In NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, we won five of the six key titles there. Chevrolet won the Manufacturer's Championship in NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck for the third time. No other manufacturer has ever done that.
Also, in the showroom in 2005, Chevrolet sold more cars and trucks than Ford for the first time in 19 years. No disrespect to Toyota or Dodge, but the rivalry between Chevrolet and Ford, both in the showroom and on the track, is a big part of the automotive culture since the early 1900s. This rivalry continues.
Last year, at the Brickyard we gave you an initial look at our 2006 Monte Carlo SS and we are very excited about bringing back the Monte Carlo SS to NASCAR. Here is the car as we showed it. SS has a great heritage with Chevrolet. We started out in 1957, our first use of it was with the Corvette prototype race car with Zora Arkus-Duntov was the first use of the SS name.
The first production use was 1961 with the Impala SS with the 409 engine, which became a performance legend. We used the SS with the Monte Carlo for the first time in 1970. The next year, 1971, Monte Carlo won its very first race right here at Charlotte. Since then has gone on to score 387 victories and has helped Chevrolet win 21 of its manufacturer's awards, again, more than any other nameplate in racing.
In the showroom, 2006 is another great year for Chevrolet in the SS name. We have nine different trucks, cars and SUVs bearing in the SS badging in this year's lineup.
The big news in 2006 for the SS Monte Carlo is the return of the small block V8 engine. This 5.3-liter propels the car from zero to 60 mph in under seven seconds and with its active fuel management system boasts 28 miles per gallon on the highway. This is a true example of Chevrolet technology where you can have your cake and eat it too.
Now lets take a look of the racing version of the 2006 Monte Carlo SS and what makes it so different from the 2005 Monte Carlo. For 2006, our team set out to create a Monte Carlo SS for the race track that did two things. Working within the 13 specific templates that NASCAR lets us work within, we wanted to create a car that was both aerodynamically efficient and capture the essence of the production Monte Carlo SS.
We also wanted to get the teams a solid starting platform on which to build a truly competitive race car and continue our winning ways in NASCAR. What we wanted to do is continue our dominance on superspeedways. We had to develop a body that did not compromise that, but also gave the teams the opportunity to add down force as required to help our performance on some of the shorter tracks like the mile and one half tracks that we go to.
These graphics will show you the difference between the 2005 and 2006 Monte Carlo SS race car. For those of you who are close to NASCAR and the template system, if you can see the difference here with the visuals, you can imagine the difference on the track.
We are very excited about this vehicle. Our team has left no stone unturned. In fact, this car is all new. There are 13 NASCAR templates that are manufacturer-specific we can use and all 13 of those are new for 2006. Again, there was not a stone left unturned and we are very excited about this car.
We have some of the templates available here today and would be happy to show those of you not familiar with the process how it works later.
In summary, if you look at it the Ford/Chevrolet rivalry continues. For 2006, Ford took their Taurus, changed 13 templates and came up with a new car, the Fusion. A new car with a new name.
Chevrolet took the Monte Carlo, again, changed every single template we could, and came up the 2006 Monte Carlo SS. Not only a new car, but also a new car with a winning heritage. We are confident we will continue our winning ways in NASCAR."