Chevrolet’s new Camaro ZL1 car design for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has been a bit of a dud in its inaugural year. So far, it’s only won a single race – the 2018 season opener at Daytona International Speedway – and that didn’t change with the weekend’s Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono, although Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman got within shouting distance with a third-place finish. Ford and Toyota have each racked up numerous wins, while Chevrolet has consistently struggled to break into the upper ranks.
Richard Childress Racing believes it might have the answer: an alliance between it and the other the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR teams. The only problem is that it doesn’t look as though Chip Ganassi Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are very keen on collaborating.
Working together is “something I was pushing hard for at the beginning of the year – to get all our Chevrolet teams to band together and try to accelerate our development on the car,” Richard Childress Racing’s Director of Competition, Andy Petree, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last week. “The fact is the teams are racing each other as hard as they race the other makes, and it’s been hard to get a coalition together to do this.”
So far, though, CGR and Hendrick have been unwilling to share sensitive information with rival teams, even if it might mean stronger on-track performance for themselves.
“You work hard for everything you learn and develop; you don’t want to give it away to anyone,” Petree says. “That’s where it gets tough. To be able to put together a really good coalition, you have to give something to get. It’s been hard to get people to realize the value there. They don’t want to learn or share, but I’d rather be racing each other for the top-five or 10 spot.”
Just a single Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson – finds himself in the top ten in the driver standings in this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, with six top-five finishes out of 21 starts. Only one driver – Austin Dillon – is guaranteed a spot in the Playoffs, due to his win at the 2018 Daytona 500.