Chevrolet is usually fairly dominant in NASCAR’s top-tier Monster Energy Cup Series, but 2018 was a struggle for the Bowtie brand.
As Autosport reports, Chevy started off the season strong after Austin Dillion won the Daytona 500, but a one of its drivers didn’t make it to the winner’s circle until 20 races later, when Chase Elliott won on the road course at Watkins Glen. By the end of the season, the Bowtie brand had managed to win just four races, while Toyota won 13 and Ford locked down a competition-trouncing 19.
The automaker introduced an all-new body at the beginning of the 2018 racing season, ditching the Chevrolet SS body for the new Camaro ZL1. This is part of the reason the Chevy teams struggled this year, Jim Campbell, the company’s director for motorsports, explained to Autosport.
“Obviously [we] didn’t have anybody in the Championship for the Cup [title], so that’s disappointing,” he told the publication. “But I would say that as I take a look at a year in which we introduced a new car, the Camaro ZL1, and we have begun this transition that we all go through at different points.”
The Ford Fusion is quite far along in its development, having been introduced back in 2013, but Ford will introduce an all-new Mustang Cup Series body next year. The Camry body was in its second full season of competition this past year.
Chevy also had a relatively inexperienced roster of drivers in 2018. This, compounded with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement and and Jimmie Johnson’s on-track struggles, made winning a tall task, Campbell explained.
Campbell said that there is obviously “more work to do,” in order for Chevrolet to begin beating Toyota and Ford week in and week out again, he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m really excited about what that means for us for next year,” he said.
The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series driver’s championship was won by Team Penske-Ford driverJoey Logano. Ford won the manufacturer’s championship.