Feb. 10, 1999
Chevy hopes to debut Monte Carlo at Brickyard
By JIM UTTER, Staff Writer - That's Racin
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Chevrolet officials still hope to debut the 1999
Monte Carlo during the 1999 Winston Cup season and are altering their plans on the car's
Winston Cup director Gary Nelson said Monday
NASCAR had not approved the
1999 Monte Carlo and would do no further testing until after Sunday's
The delay -- Chevrolet was hoping the car would be approved in January --
ruled out a planned debut of the model in May in time for the Coca-Cola 600
Sources said Tuesday Chevrolet has targeted a new debut date -- the Aug. 7
Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis -- for the car's debut in Winston Cup. The
Brickyard 400 is quickly rivaling the Daytona 500 as the largest race on the
Winston Cup circuit.
A debut in August would allow NASCAR several more weeks to test the car and
approve the templates teams need to build the new model. But it would also
mean Chevrolet teams would begin operating with a new body style with more
than half the season complete.
There are risks debuting the car late in the season.
If problems develop with the new model and NASCAR must issue rule changes
after its debut -- such as what transpired in 1998 with the Ford Taurus --
the results may affect a close championship race.
The 1999 Monte Carlo has been in development for more than six months and
has undergone more than a dozen wind tunnel tests. Nelson said the model had
no one specific problem, but NASCAR was not yet comfortable of its ability
to race side-by-side with the other car makes when its debut on the track.
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