(from GM Press Release, June 7 2001) When
the NASCAR Winston Cup series arrives at Richmond International Raceway
on September 8 for the "Chevy Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes",
one of the highlights will certainly be the unique pace car that brings
the starting field around for the green flag.
Chevrolet, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, announced an
integrated marketing and licensing partnership that teams seven Winston
Cup Monte Carlo race drivers with their respective Looney Tunes alter
All ten of the Looney Tunes characters represented on the seven cars
entered in the race are dramatically positioned together as a team on
the official Monte Carlo pace car.
"Monte Carlo is the most successful nameplate on the NASCAR circuit,"
said Don Parkinson, Monte Carlo brand manager. "As a recognized leader
on the track, it only makes good sense that we put it out in front of
the pack as a pace car. We're pleased to have our Looney Tunes friends
on board to support of efforts."
General Motors' Special Vehicles department developed the new Monte
Carlo pace car from a 2001 model-year production car. According to
Parkinson, the pace car is a stock Monte Carlo SS with few modifications
(e.g., increased engine cooling, air induction and horsepower, and a
lowered suspension) that enables it to perform its pace car duties in
the harsh environment of professional racing.
"We're very proud of this unique 'Chevy Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney
Tunes' pace car," Parkinson said. "On race day, it will represent Monte
Carlo at its best, cruising around the track at the head of the pack.
With its unique exterior paint it really gives it that
classy-with-a-wild-streak look like no other road-ready vehicle."
Finished in a specially-formulated "Pure Fire ChromaLusion" paint by
DuPont, the pace car seems to magically change from eight to ten
different colors depending on the angle in which it is viewed. "Running
under the lights at night at Richmond, the fans will certainly be in for
a treat," according to Parkinson.
The pace car, however, will not be the only car on the track that will
be turning heads, as the #24 DuPont-sponsored Monte Carlo of defending
race champion Jeff Gordon (with Bugs Bunny aboard) and the #5
Kellogg's-sponsored Monte Carlo of Terry Labonte (with Wiley E. Coyote
and Roadrunner along side) will also wear "ChromaLusion" paint.
The other Looney Tunes cartoon pals prominently displayed on the pace
car include Sylvester & Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Marvin the
Martian with K9.
Also among the brightly colored cast members on the pace car is Taz -
another of the Warner Bros. characters recognized around the world. "Taz
has been our official mascot for Team Monte Carlo since 1998," according
to Parkinson. "He represents how much more fun driving can be in a Monte
Eleven of the most prestigious NASCAR Winston Cup races this season will
be paced by similar 2001 Monte Carlo pace cars. Other than using a
production black-and-silver paint scheme (except for a one-of-a-kind
DuPont "Smoooth Yellow" color for the Brickyard 400 event) and specific
race event logos, they are mechanically identical to the "Chevy Monte
Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes" pace car.