Nearly 20 5th Gen COPO Camaro race cars will vie for coveted Wally trophies and national NHRA records when the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals kicks off this week at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis. It represents the largest gathering of the factory-engineered race cars since their 2012 introduction.
The COPO Camaro was developed by Chevrolet as a dedicated drag racer for NHRA Super Stock and Stock Eliminator classes.
“Chevrolet Performance is proud to be the title sponsor for the historic U.S. Nationals,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The largest, most prestigious race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule includes countless Chevrolet Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock Eliminator racers, including a large number of COPO Camaros.”
COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was originally used by dealers in the 1960s to generate special orders, mostly for fleet vehicles. Some racing-minded dealers used the system to create higher performance models that weren’t otherwise available, including the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1, which featured an all-aluminum 427-cubic-inch engine developed for racing. Sixty-nine ZL1s were built and they’ve since become valuable collector cars.
“There’s no bigger event in sportsman racing than the U.S. Nationals and we’re going to do everything we can to bring home a national event win with our COPO Camaro,” said Connolly. “The COPO Camaro has reinvigorated the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes with the thrilling, heads-up racing that made the original muscle car era so exciting – and we’re competing in one of the most competitive classes with one of the most competitive cars. It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Indianapolis.”
The roster of COPO Camaro racers at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals also includes: Paul Cambria – 2012 COPO #3; Eric Reyes – 2012 COPO #4; Daren Poole-Adams – 2012 COPO #6; Jim Boburka – 2012 COPO #7; J.C. Beattie – 2012 COPO #8; Rhett Fulton – 2012 COPO #13; Todd Patterson – 2012 COPO #18; Robbie Massey – 2012 COPO #21; Stephen Bell – 2012 COPO #21; Brian Massingill – 2012 COPO #29; Bob Letellier – 2012 COPO #34; Jeff Myers – 2012 COPO #46; Jack Matyas – 2012 COPO #62; Clay Arnett – 2012 COPO #65; Paula Cambria – 2013 COPO #3; Bob Hochrun – 2013 COPO #4; Steve Novosel – 2013 COPO #45; and Mike Letellier – 2013 COPO #48.
Additional Camaro sportsman racers will also compete, including Mike Pustelny.