Notebook: New Model Coming for Chevrolet

Chevy SS

Chevrolet will cease production of the SS at the end of the 2017 model run, which means a new Chevy will be on track for the 2018 season. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Chevrolet will have a new model ready for competition in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

On Monday Toyota rolled out its latest version of the Camry, which will begin competition at NASCAR’s top level this season. Chevy followed suit by making an announcement of its own.

The automaker will cease production of the Chevrolet SS at the end of the 2017 model run, which means a new Chevy will be on track for the 2018 season.

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet's US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said in a statement that there was no firm timetable for a 2018 replacement.

"It was already known that the Chevrolet SS was going to be discontinued in 2017," Campbell said in a statement provided by Team Chevy. "That information was originally announced last summer. As you know, we don't talk about future projects. We'll make any announcement regarding our next Cup entry at the appropriate time."

The SS made its major-league debut in the 2013 season, when NASCAR introduced the Gen-6 stock car to reinforce brand identity among its manufacturers. The SS succeeded the Impala, which Chevrolet used in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series from 2007-2012.

Goodyear Confident About Texas
Goodyear believes it will have the right tire to use after the Texas Motor Speedway repaving project is finished.

TMS announced last week the 1.5-mile speedway would undergo a complete resurfacing project that will also include a re-profiling of turns one and two. Those corners will see banking reduced from 24 to 20 degrees and also add an additional 20 feet of racing room.

The track plans to have the work completed by this April’s XFINITY Series-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup doubleheader. The tight turntable will not allow Goodyear to test at Texas before the annual spring weekend.

However the tire manufacturer is confident it will be equal to the task at hand.

“There is no question Goodyear will have to bring a new tire set-up for the NASCAR weekend scheduled there in April,” Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, said in a statement.

“Because of the tight schedule, we will not have time to do a tire test at Texas, so we will look at the details of the new configuration and understand the asphalt mix that will be used, which is planned to be similar to what was used most recently at Kentucky. That being said, this project will take on a similar feel to the one at Kentucky because that was also both a repave and reconfiguration.”

Once the April weekend schedule is finalized, expect NASCAR to allow teams extra practice time to dial in their cars on the new surface-tire combination.

NASCAR Talks Tech
Last week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was more than just an array of the latest and greatest tech advancements to come. A Sports Business Innovations panel discussion was held on Friday that included NASCAR CEO Brian France alongside NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun.

France touched on the several technological innovations introduced in the sport including last year’s debut of the digital dashboard.

"This is the new frontier," France said. "We have an enormous amount of telemetry at our races between the drivers, crew chiefs and their strategy, and we are in the early stages of looking to deliver that data to fans in their seat, at home or through streaming."

France also commented on how technology has change the way fans take in races via media.

"The ways in which fans consume their favorite sports has changed in an unprecedented way, and that is the great challenge and opportunity that all leagues face," France said. "We want to be smart about how we attract (the younger generation) and balance that with our core fans and connect with all of them in ways that we have never seen before."

Lucrative Start for K&N Pro Series West
This year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season will get underway with NAPA AUTO PARTS sponsoring the biggest kickoff in the history of the series – featuring four races in eight days and more than $400,000 in posted awards, plus giant bonuses that include $50,000 to any driver who can win all four events.

The NAPA 500 Challenge will feature 500 laps of competition, involving four races at three tracks.

The series will open its season with a NAPA 150 event at Tucson (Arizona) Speedway on Saturday, March 18. The circuit will then travel to Kern County Raceway Park near Bakersfield, California for a NAPA 150 race on Thursday, March 23. The four-race package concludes at Irwindale (California) Speedway with Twin NAPA 100s on Saturday, March 25.

A giant $50,000 award is at stake for any driver who wins all four events in the NAPA 500 Challenge. A $10,000 award is available to drivers who finish in the top three positions in all four races. Drivers who finish in the top five spots in all four events could take home a $5,000 award. Additionally, a $1,000 award is available to drivers who finish in the top 10 positions in all four races.

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