After a successful run in the nation's most popular spectator sport, the NASCAR Chevrolet SS was decommissioned after the 2017 season. With the road car's production run ended, the American manufacturer then introduced an all-new body and model design for the looming race calendar. Now, the Camaro ZL1 will act as a full-time replacement, and Hendrick Motorsports ace Chase Elliott was able to put the car through its first shakedown of the 2018 season at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Goodyear tire testing event on Tuesday gave Elliott an opportunity to drive the new-for-this-year racer ahead of February's opener at Daytona.
Elliott commented on the limited run he had with the Camaro ZL1, one that won't be expanded upon until racing action starts next month.
"As far as the feel goes, it's so hard to tell. I have a hard time feeling much of anything, I'm going so fast," Elliott claimed to the media. "I think until we get into situations where we are racing and we get some more general analysis of 'Hey, the Chevrolet's are better,' or the 'Chevy's are qualifying better,' or the 'Chevy's are racing better,'—I think until we get off those generalizations of exactly how we stack up, it's going to be hard to just make a 'guesstimation' of how the thing drives and say it's better or worse. It's hard for me to tell out there by myself."
The young driver did note on the ZL1's looks, though, which Chevrolet hopes to be a big draw for fans this season.
"But, the car looks great. I don't know from a manufacturer standpoint, from the public eye standpoint, I don't know how you could not identify the Camaro with the Camaro on the street. It looks the same. I think that is something to be very proud of from Chevrolet. The work they did on that and the thought process behind it. It is the same car, it looks just like it. I think job well done from that standpoint."