CONCORD, N.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been waiting and waiting for this opportunity – the chance to drive the 2013 Chevrolet SS race car.
And finally, it’s here.
Starting Tuesday, Earnhardt will join fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors for a two-day open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt’s mission is to vet out the newly unveiled Chevrolet SS race car.
“I’m thrilled,” Earnhardt said. “I haven’t had a chance to drive it. I’m excited about the test coming up. I’m looking forward to test every week, every day. I’m ready to test, test, test. We’ve got to get an advantage on the rest of the guys out there so we need to put in the work or we won’t know as much as everybody else when we go to Daytona (Fla.).”
Chevrolet’s newest NASCAR Sprint Cup entry, the SS race car replaces the Impala, which scored 151 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12. Hendrick Motorsports acquired 60 of those victories during the last eight seasons. The SS closely resembles the all-new rear-wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year. That brand identity is another reason to get excited, Earnhardt said.
“It’s a good looking race car, and I think the fans can enjoy the identity and enjoy a connection to the car itself like we used to have back in the day when you could immediately notice or recognize a manufacturer one from the other,” Earnhardt said. “We’re going to get all that back, and the fans can get excited about that. The competitiveness of the manufacturers and the fan base of the manufacturers in the grandstands is going to go up, and that’s great for the sport.”
Fans can attend the test sessions, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, free of charge. Fans should enter through gate 5B, by the main ticket office.