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Chevrolet Monte Carlo Paces Texas Motor Speedway's First Race

27 March 1997

Chevrolet Monte Carlo Paces Texas Motor Speedway's First Race

     Winningest Car in NASCAR History Paces 1997 Interstate Batteries 500

    WARREN, Mich., March 26 -- The first Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Z34 pace car ever produced with a 3.8L engine will pace the Texas Motor
Speedway's inaugural race, the 1997 Interstate Batteries 500, April 6, in Ft.
    The choice is fitting because Monte Carlo is the winningest car in NASCAR
Winston Cup history.
    The paint scheme on the Monte Carlo that will pace the Texas race
distinguishes it from the Monte Carlo Z34 that will pace the 1997 Brickyard
400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 2, however, mechanically the
cars are the same.
    "The inclusion of a 3800 Series II V6 engine is the most significant
modification made to the stock Monte Carlo Z34 that will pace both races,"
said Don Parkinson, Chevrolet's Monte Carlo brand manager.  "Although new to
the Monte Carlo, the 3800 has a long and distinguished history, powering some
of GM's luxury and sporty models.  The 3800 V6 is ideal for pace car duty
because it significantly upgrades piston displacement from Monte Carlo's
standard 3100 OHV and optional 3.4L DOHC V6 engines."
    Additionally, the pushrod design is the same design as the engines that
power all of NASCAR's race-modified stock cars and race trucks.  The 3800 V6
generates 235 hp at 5200 rpm, horsepower that is well beyond the standard
output because the 3800 has a low restriction exhaust and modified cold-air
plumbing.  (The standard 3800 Series II V6 engine for the 1998 production
model Monte Carlo Z34 produces 200 hp at 5200 rpm.)
    More importantly, the 3800 demonstrates a broad, flat torque curve so a
driver can accelerate from the pits to near-racing speeds.  Tap the gas in a
3800-powered Monte Carlo and there's no waiting for the tach needle to jump.
The engine also has plenty of low-end punch, due to larger pistons and the
two-piece ram-tuned intake manifold.
    Pacing a race is also demanding in other ways.  Pace cars need the cooling
capacity to handle track temperatures of more than 135 degrees.  A suspension
must grab the road and not let go on the speedway's high banking.  Chevrolet's
Monte Carlo has all of these attributes.
    A special paint scheme further distinguishes the Winston Cup Monte Carlo
pace car.  Covered in white paint gradating to a chrome yellow glow in the
rear, the pace car is complemented by special event logos.  Strobe-light
systems are built into a special roof-mounted rear spoiler and in-the-decklid
applique.  The front fenders and rear quarter panels have been enhanced to
accommodate polished aluminum five-spoke production wheels, modified to accept
the larger stance of the Goodyear GSC P245/50 ZR16 tires in front and GSC
P255/50 ZR16's in the rear.  The decklid is finished with a three-quarter
perimeter wraparound spoiler.
    The standard Monte Carlo chassis requires only minor modifications for the
track.  The changes include larger Goodyear GSC tires and minor suspension and
brake adjustments better suited to track conditions.  Additional air coolers
have been added for the engine, transmission and power steering to keep
critical operating systems within proper temperature range.
    Chevrolet will build only a limited quantity of Monte Carlo Z34 pace cars,
which will be used trackside.
    Chevrolet's NASCAR Winston Cup participation is part of a comprehensive
motorsports program which also includes Chevrolet's new-for-1997 commitment to
NHRA drag racing and participation in NASCAR Busch Grand National Division
stock cars, NASCAR Craftsman Truck TM, and SODA off-road racing.
    Participation in motorsports often translates into enhancements made to
the Chevrolet cars and trucks that Americans drive on the roads every day.
Many materials used in the manufacturing of today's automobiles were often
first tested on the race track.  Lightweight, chrome-silicon steel valve
springs, roller rocker arms and iron cylinder heads are all components that
were designed for, and first tested in motorsports vehicles.
    The Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34 pace car, powered by the 3800 Series II V6
engine, will also pace several NASCAR Winston Cup Series races throughout the

        Date                         Track                   City, State
    April 6, 1997          Texas International Speedway     Fort Worth, Tex.
    May 17, 1997           Charlotte Motor Speedway         Charlotte, N.C.
    May 25, 1997           Charlotte Motor Speedway         Charlotte, N.C.
    July 13, 1997          New Hampshire Int'l. Speedway    Loudon, N.H.
    August 2, 1997         Indianapolis Motor Speedway      Indianapolis, Ind.
    September 14, 1997     New Hampshire Int'l. Speedway    Loudon, N.H.
    October 5, 1997        Charlotte Motor Speedway         Charlotte, N.C.
    November 2, 1997       Phoenix International Speedway   Phoenix, Ariz.

SOURCE  Chevrolet Motor Division

CONTACT: Chevrolet/Geo Communications, 800-CHEVY-MI, 810-492-8841, or Fax: