Chevy changes championship package for 1999 HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 15, 1999) After winning 65 of 97 races, four drivers' championships and four manufacturers' titles in the four seasons on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Chevrolet will...
Chevy changes championship package for 1999
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 15, 1999) After winning 65 of 97 races, four drivers' championships and four manufacturers' titles in the four seasons on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Chevrolet will replace the victorious C/K "war horse" with the sleek, new Silverado model, beginning with the season-opening Florida Dodge Dealers 400 this weekend at the Miami-Homestead Speedway.
The Silverado, already making truck sales history in Chevrolet dealerships across the country, will make its racing debut on the 1.5-mile oval on Saturday before ABC television cameras. The Silverado retains the "Chevy look" of the retired C/K model while incorporating a new front end design and a more rounded appearance overall. Early track test reports that the Silverado seems to be more stable in corners and responds predictably to changes.
Most Chevrolet teams have converted or built and tested new trucks for the-25 race 1999 season although the C/K is still eligible to compete for two more years under NASCAR rules.
"We are very pleased that our race teams have supported the change to Silverado so enthusiastically, said Chevrolet Program Manager Sam Cline. "The change to Silverado has pushed many teams to extra nights and weekends to prepare for the 1999 season. It is an expensive and consuming process."
"We have eight race trucks so I guess we're typical of many of the front running teams," said Rick Carelli, driver of the No. 6 RE/MAX International Chevrolet. "We completely strip the truck down to the tube frame, remove engine and drive train, all the suspension, wiring and plumbing. We bead blast and powder coat the frame and build it up just like it was a brand new truck."
"Chevrolet has done an awesome job with this new Silverado and I'm looking forward to running for another championship here in 1999," said defending and two-time series champ Ron Hornaday following early track testing. Hornaday will again drive the No. 16 NAPA truck for owners Dale and Teresa Earnhardt.
"I like the new truck," Andy Houston said. "You're always apprehensive when you gotta change a body style -- especially if it is a proven winner like the C/K was. I think we've got something here. I mean it's hard to improve on winning the manufacturers' championship every year but I still think they've made it better."
Houston, runner-up for 1998 Rookie of the Year honors, will drive the No. 60 The Cat Rental Stores Silverado for Addington Racing in 1999.
Past races at Homestead have proven to be spectacular crowd-pleasers with slam-bang action that is the hallmark of NASCAR's "Tough Trucks." In previous races at Miami-Homestead Speedway, fans have been treated to as many as 17 lead changes among nine drivers, last lap last turn crashes between first and second place trucks and two- and three-wide, side by side racing at average speeds of 110-plus mph.
With the new race format that includes live pit stop action, spectators and viewers are assured of plenty of action.
The 300-kilometer, 167-lap race will be carried via same-day delay (4 p.m. ET) by ABC and broadcast on more than 200 stations of MRN Radio, at 3 p.m. ET.
"This will be the fourth time we've taken the trucks to Miami-Homestead," Cline said, "and we hope the new Silverado will come away with its first win and break the jinx we seem to have on this one track."
Source: NASCAR Online