DAYTONA, Fla. – Chevrolet kicked off Speedweeks with outstanding performances from Team Chevy race teams and the all-new Chevrolet SS race car. Seven of the top nine starters for the Daytona 500 will be Chevrolet SS race cars. On the track and behind the scenes, women passionate about cars and racing are key in driving this success.
Danica Patrick last Sunday made history behind the wheel of the No. 10 GODADDY Chevrolet SS by being the first female to win the pole for the 55th running of The Great American Race.
“We are so proud of Danica Patrick and her team for putting the No. 10 Chevrolet SS on the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Danica was focused and drove a great line to secure the pole. She gave tremendous credit to crew chief Tony Gibson and her entire No. 10 team for preparing such a fast and well-balanced car. Danica is an accomplished racer, determined, and a team player. We are very proud to have her on Team Chevy.
“Danica and her team have put in countless hours testing, evaluating and helping finalize the development of this new Chevrolet SS. Her determination both on and off the track helped put her on the pole for this weekend’s race.”
Patrick's accomplishment marks the first time in the 64-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that a woman will lead the field to the start of any race – let alone the Daytona 500. Patrick’s lap of 45.817 seconds – 196.434 mph – was the fastest among all 45 qualifiers.
Off the track, Alba Colon, Chevrolet Racing program manager, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been pushing the limits as well. For the past two and a half years, she’s helped develop what is seen on the track today.
“On the track, the SS is really showcasing its performance power. We are seeing the hard work we put in the lab and pre-track testing come to life with all of our Chevy race teams,” said Colon, Chevrolet motorsports engineer. “To see the car’s winning ability and the great reaction from our fans has been outstanding.”
“It takes perspectives like Alba Colon’s to push our engineering development of race cars to the next level. Her leadership abilities and her passion for motorsports and performance really shine through on the SS race car,” said Campbell.
Colon joined Chevrolet’s motorsports program in 2001, and has an engineering degree from the University of Puerto Rico. It was during her university days that she developed a love of mechanical engineering and racing.
“We are looking forward to this race weekend, where we can showcase all of the capabilities of the SS race car,” said Colon. “We can prove to the world and our NASCAR fans that we have a winner on and off the track.”
The new Chevrolet SS production car will pace the Daytona 500, leading an all-Chevrolet front row to the green flag. The 2014 Chevrolet SS production sedan will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with pricing to be set closer to the on-sale date. When it arrives in showrooms, the SS will join the Corvette and Camaro, whose combined sales have made Chevrolet America’s favorite performance brand for the past two years.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.