For the first time in its history, Chevrolet introduced a race car before its street version equivalent. But now that the 2014 Chevrolet SS production car is here, Rick Hendrick is mighty excited.
Chevrolet took the wraps off its production 2014 SS Saturday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. It also unveiled its pace vehicles for the three Daytona International Speedway races next weekend: the 2014 Silverado SS (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) ZL1 Camaro (NASCAR Nationwide Series) and SS (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series).
Hendrick, who is one of the nation’s largest automobile dealers as well as a NASCAR team owner, said Saturday that the anticipated success of the Generation-6 Sprint SS on NASCAR tracks will be a huge shot in the arm on showroom floors.
The SS will have four doors, rear-wheel drive and a 450-horsepower Corvette engine, making it more family-friendly than the Camaro sports coupe
“The interest we see from the fans, it’s really unbelievable,” said Hendrick. “I’m excited as a dealer. The production car is back out on the track. I think that’s what the die-hard Chevrolet fans want.”
Asked if he believed in the old racing maxim of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” Hendrick was emphatic.
“I know that works,” Hendrick said. “I know that because I used to sell the SS Monte Carlos, and I know what the fans buy and what they want. And this is kind of a Corvette with four doors on it — basically the same engine — so people who maybe need a little bit more room than a Camaro or a Corvette can get this car.
“But I’ve seen it when the Corvettes got into racing. We saw (sales) pick up in the showrooms … it kind of puts the enthusiasts back in the sport. So I know it works.”
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.