The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Was The Perfect Daytona 500 Pace Car

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The mid-engined Chevy led the field at the season-opening race yesterday.

The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has served as the pace car at the Daytona 500, the first race in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series where Frankie Muniz made his debut as a NASCAR driver.

Finished in a Elkhart Lake Blue paint, the mid-engined Chevy cut a stylish figure with black-painted wheels and a black stripe flowing across the sleek bodywork. Look closely and you'll notice this particular model sports the Z07 performance package, which introduces a prominent carbon fiber rear spoiler, carbon ceramic brakes, grippier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, and more.

With a 5.5-liter LT6 V8, the range-topping 'Vette produces 670 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. That's impressive, but even the Z06 is outmuscled by the NASCAR racers, which boast outputs in excess of 750 horses.


Chevrolet has a strong connection to NASCAR and, according to the manufacturer, has more than 800 wins in the illustrious series. The bow-tie brand can add another notch to its belt as a Chevrolet piloted by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took first place honors yesterday, giving Chevy fans across the country a reason to celebrate.

The Corvette Z06 wasn't the only road-going Chevrolet to strut its stuff at NASCAR events. The Camaro SS 1LE led the field at the Bluegreen Vacations Duels, the Xfinity Series 300, as well as the ARCA Menard Series event. And it's not just sports cars that had the honor of leading the grid, as the Silverado 1500 RST also had the privilege of being the pace truck at the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series NextEra Energy 250.


"We felt that it was important to highlight the crown jewel of our performance vehicle lineup for the 65th running of the Daytona 500 with the Corvette Z06," said Chevrolet's Todd Christensen. "As the winningest manufacturer in NASCAR Cup Series history, we are honored to pace the season-opening race weekend and help celebrate the start of NASCAR's 75th anniversary."

The Corvette has a long history of serving as a pace car. In 2022, a white Z06 led the Indy 500 field, and overall, the American sports car has paced the race more than 30 times. Last year, a large assortment of Corvette pace cars went up for auction, although some were replicas. At the time, auction house Mecum estimated the collection to be worth millions of dollars. This year's example will likely follow suit in a few years time, but with high demand already driving Z06 prices sky high, don't expect this one to come cheap when it does eventually cross the block.


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