Chevy officials: No plans for Camaro in Nationwide Series Despite buzz around the Nationwide Series' addition of the Challenger and Mustang, Chevrolet officials said Sunday there are no plans to bring the Camaro into NASCAR's second-tier circuit. The new cars, which feature front ends more similar to their production counterparts, made their debuts at Daytona last month and returned Saturday at Michigan. The next-generation model will be used full time next year.
Ford (Mustang) and Dodge (Challenger) elected to introduce their muscle car brands, and both manufacturers are considering elevating them into the Sprint Cup Series in the future. NASCAR encouraged Chevrolet to bring the Camaro to Nationwide in tandem with the new car, but the company decided the racing version wouldn't be similar enough to the street model. Much like the next-generation Sprint Cup car, the new Nationwide car has many standardized features that are designed to streamline rule enforcement and enhance safety but also can preclude brand identity.
"The reason we stuck with the Impala is we have two cars within the Chevrolet lineup that have iconic lines: the Camaro and Corvette," GM Racing director Mark Kent said. "We didn't want to take away from forcing that car into a (stock) car that didn't meet our requirements.
"Dodge did a very good job from the front (of the Challenger). But once you get away from the front, it loses all its character. We didn't want to lose the character of the side of the Camaro. That's why we stuck with the Impala, and we continue to work with NASCAR on future models to try to figure out to get more manufacturer identity. They're a very good partner, but based on what we have this year with Nationwide, we're likely to stick with the Impala."
Kent said the company would consider using the Camaro if the Nationwide car were allowed more leeway with the proportions of its greenhouse and sides.
"What they did in Nationwide is a big step forward because it shows you can take different shapes and aero-match them and still be competitive," Kent said. "What NASCAR did in Nationwide is the first step, and now as we become more comfortable with that opportunity, you start changing the car to make it look more like a production car." USA Today
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