Chevrolet ended 2020 with a dozen manufacturer, team and driver championships across four of North America’s racing series.
“The 2020 racing season is one that no one will forget,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “The pandemic changed the way we all operate. We are proud of how our Chevrolet teams and drivers persevered and focused on ways to improve performance every time they showed up at the track.”
Chevrolet, highlighted by Chase Elliott’s late-season dash to his first NASCAR Cup Driver’s Championship, won manufacturer and driver titles in NASCAR, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and NHRA.
The Cup Series and IMSA titles were noteworthy as Chevrolet debuted new racecars in each: The Camaro ZL1 1LE in the NASCAR Cup Series and the much anticipated mid-engine Corvette C8.R in the WeatherTech Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. Additionally, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Silverado both won Best in the Desert (BITD) class championships.
During a season in which on-track testing was severely restricted, teams and drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA spent increased time at Chevrolet’s Driver-in-the-Loop (DiL) simulator in Huntersville, N.C., to prepare for competition.
“Winning championships is a goal we set every season, no matter the adversity,” Campbell said. “Our Chevrolet teams overcame obstacles through teamwork, preparation and execution. The technical learnings from the race track help us build better vehicles and powertrains for the showroom.
“Winning races and championships also help elevate Chevy’s brand opinion and image, which means consumers are more likely to place our vehicles on their shopping list.”
A quick look at Chevrolet’s successes:• NASCAR Cup Series: Elliott won the last two races of the season: First at Martinsville to qualify for NASCAR’s Championship 4, and then at Phoenix to clinch the title. Elliott’s championship was his first in the series and Chevrolet’s 32nd. In addition, Elliott was named Most Popular Driver in the series.
• NASCAR Xfinity Series: Chevrolet won 10 times in 33 races to take its 22nd Manufacturer title. Justin Allgaier claimed Most Popular Driver honors.
• NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Sheldon Creed won five of Chevrolet’s 10 races for the brand’s 14th Driver Championship and 10th Manufacturer crown. Zane Smith, part of Chevrolet’s Driver’s EDGE development program, won Most Popular Driver.
• IMSA: Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor dominated the WeatherTech Championship’s GTLM category, winning a class-high five races in the No. 3 Corvette C8.R en route to winning the Drivers and Team championships, and helping Chevrolet to its 13th Manufacturers title in GT competition. It is the third time since 2014 that Corvette Racing and Chevy swept the three full-season crowns in the same year.
• NHRA: Pro Stock driver Erica Enders, in her Chevrolet Camaro SS, made history by becoming the first female driver in series history to win four championships, Aaron Stanfield won Factory Stock Showdown in his COPO Camaro, and Chevrolet won the Manufacturer’s Cup for the 25th time, more than any other manufacturer.
• IndyCar: Rinus VeeKay won Rookie of the Year honors in Chevrolet V6-powered IndyCar. He is Chevrolet’s third ROY in open-wheel and first since 1992.
• BITD: Colorado ZR2 (mid-size production truck) and Silverado (full-size production truck) won class championships as the ZR2 completed every mile of every race in 2020. Chevrolet competes in Best in the Desert to develop and validate Chevy Performance Parts on production ZR2s for further tech transfer.
“While we’re proud of our successes and accomplishments this year, in racing there is always room for improvement,” Campbell said. “We are not resting. We are looking forward to the 2021 season. We continue to prepare to pursue wins and championships.”
Chevrolet’s first races of 2021 is BITD’s Bluewater Resort Parker 425 in Parker, Ariz., on Jan. 13-16, followed by IMSA’s Rolex 24 At Daytona (Fla.) on Jan. 30-31.
Team Chevy PR