At Sunday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway, it will be NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing as usual but a closer look at some of the competitors' cars may reveal some special details that haven't been seen at a NASCAR track in as many as 50 years.
Eleven Team Chevy drivers will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the '57 Chevy by sporting cues from the iconic 1957 design on their race cars. To commemorate this special event, Motorsports Authentics is offering die-cast models, apparel and novelty items at MIS and the Woodward Dream Cruise north of Detroit, both of which take place this weekend.
"NASCAR is a part of Chevy's heritage and bringing the '57 Chevy back to the track - in spirit - is a unique way to celebrate 50 years of this legendary car," said Jeff Chew, marketing manager for Chevy Racing. "With a history of successful NASCAR competition, the '57 Chevy is no stranger to racing so it simply made sense to commemorate it in this way. And with the classic car's design cues combined with the aggressive form of the Monte Carlo SS, heritage and performance - both key characteristics of the Chevrolet brand - are highlighted."
The paint scheme, unveiled at MIS by Team Chevy driver Jimmie Johnson in June, will also appear on the cars of Ward Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Tony Raines, Martin Truex, Jr., Scott Wimmer and J.J. Yeley. The design features the trademark '57 Chevy grill and tailfins, which each race car will wear, and several will also sport white roofs mimicking the signature white hardtops often found on '57 Chevys. The No. 18 Monte Carlo SS of J.J. Yeley will add an extra touch of nostalgia with a vintage Interstate Batteries sponsor logo.
Twelve restored 1957 Chevrolets will accompany Chevy drivers running the special paint schemes during their driver introduction laps prior to Sunday's event. The race car drivers will ride in a new Chevrolet Silverado led by a '57 Chevy, each driven by a member of the Woodward Tri-Five Cruisers, a club dedicated to the restoration, preservation and enjoyment of '55, '56 and '57 classic Chevrolets. Created in August 2002, the club takes its name from Detroit's famed Woodward Avenue, a cruising location over many decades.
Nine driver merchandise trailers at MIS will offer '57 Chevy-related memorabilia throughout the weekend. A special Dream Cruise trailer will sell die-casts and other items at Woodward and 13 Mile Road (in the middle of the Dream Cruise) from Wednesday through Saturday and will move to MIS on Sunday. On Saturday, free collector's posters will be given to those people to buy '57 Chevy merchandise from these trailers, while supplies last.
"We are pleased to partner with NASCAR, Chevrolet, the drivers, teams and sponsors to commemorate this impressive automotive milestone in Detroit's backyard," said Mark Dyer, president and CEO of Motorsports Authentics. "The '57 Chevy is truly an American icon with a rich history in both motorsports and NASCAR specifically and through our die-cast and other memorabilia, NASCAR's 75 million fans will be able celebrate this event by making the '57 Chevy merchandise a part of their ever-growing collections."
For additional information on die-cast collectibles, apparel and novelty items from Motorsports Authentics commemorating the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the '57 Chevy, please visit www.goracing.com.
Motorsports Authentics, Inc. is the leader in the design, promotion, marketing and distribution of licensed motorsports merchandise. The company's products include a broad range of motorsports-related die-cast replica collectibles, apparel, souvenirs and other sports-inspired memorabilia. Motorsports Authentics markets and distributes product through a variety of channels including their Authorized Dealer network, the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA), QVC, GoRacing.com, Trackside at racing events, direct
corporate promotions, mass retail and department stores, specialty dealers and select online retailers. For more information about Motorsports Authentics, please visit the Web site at www.motorsports-authentics.com.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 284,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.