Trio of Chevys to set the pace at Daytona this weekend

Ben Hsu
·2 min read

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There's something special about pace cars. Even though they're typically a marketing exercise by the automaker supplying them, it's still an occasion to see a notable model in a distinctive, often bespoke, livery leading the pack on a famed circuit. It's one of the cornerstone traditions of race day.

This weekend, Chevrolet is trotting out not one, but three matching pace cars for three big races at Daytona International Speedway. Each one will wear the C8 Corvette's fan favorite Rapid Blue paint color. As it happens, the trio have another commonality — all utilize a version of Chevrolet's 6.2-liter small block V8. Combined horsepower, 1,370.

First up is a Silverado 1500 RS. Its 420-horsepower EcoTec3 V8 will help keep the track safe at the Camping World Truck Series’ NextEra Energy 250 on Friday, February 12.

The following day, February 13, will see a 2021 Camaro SS 1LE setting the tempo in — and this is exactly how NASCAR writes the race's name — the Xfinity Series’ Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300. Say that three times fast.

Finally, on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday is the main event, the Daytona 500. While the previous two races (no, we're not going to write their names again) featured pace cars who have similar-bodied race cars in their respective grids, the new Corvette Stingray will show the way to a field of Camaro, Mustang, and Camry-bodied stock cars.

Sometimes, pace cars do become collectible when a manufacturer issues a special edition, as Chevy has done many times before. Who could forget the 1978 Indy Pace Car edition Corvette with its two-tone black-over-silver paint job, or the 1998 Corvette with its purple and yellow scheme? As a side note, our favorite is probably the 1969 Indy 500's Camaro, which featured iconic orange stripes over a white-on-white convertible.

While Chevy hasn't announced any plans to make any of this weekend's pace cars into special editions, the Rapid Blue seen on the Camaro is joining the model's palette in 2022.

Chevrolet has paced the Daytona 500 14 times since the race's inception in 1959, with the Corvette taking the honor in six of them. However, the bowtie brand has won the actual race 24 times.

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