NAPA, CA. (August 10, 2012) – Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet will enter a Chevrolet COPO Camaro in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown at the 2012 Mac Tools U. S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, August 29 – September 3.
The dealership, located in Napa, California, will field the entry with American Racing as one of its key backers. American Racing is also a supporter of Vasser's IndyCar efforts.
Vasser is the 1996 IndyCar World Series champion and co-owner of KV Racing Technology, which competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series. His his father, Jim Vasser Sr., is a longtime drag racing aficionado former racer and General Manager of Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet. He will operate the team. The car, The Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet King Kong COPO Camaro, will be driven by Bay Area drag racing star, Eric Reyes.
“We are very pleased to be able to compete in the Factory Stock Showdown at the U. S. Nationals,” said Vasser the elder. “NHRA is a passion of mine and this is a tremendous marketing opportunity for the dealership.”
Vasser the younger said, “I am very excited that Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet is entering a car in one of the most prestigious racing events in the world. Given my long history with Chevrolet, both on the track and with the dealership, to be able to represent them at the U. S. Nationals in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown is both an honor and a privilege.”
Reyes, 46, was born and raised in Oakland and only recently relocated to Petaluma. He owns and operates Eric Reyes Designs, which does motorsport graphic work. Reyes has been involved in drag racing almost all his life starting out by attending his father’s races at Fremont Drag Strip. During his career, Reyes has earned 11 “Wallys” NHRA Drag Racing’s most prestigious and highest award, with the most recent coming last year at Sonoma Raceway in the FRAM Autolite Nationals. He has Wallys for three national event wins, two division championships and six division races.
“A few months ago Jim Vasser Sr. came to see me about designing the graphics for his COPO Camaro,” Reyes said. “Before I started to work on the design, he came by my shop again, When he stopped by the first time, he noticed the shelf above my computer had a row of Wallys. He asked me about NHRA racing and how much it cost to hire a driver. I bit my tongue, and I thought, ‘I hope he considers me to drive his COPO’. I explained the process and he said, ‘People tell me that I would be making a good decision if I got you to drive the car.’ I was shocked and so honored.”
Reyes went on to say, “Meeting Jimmy Vasser Jr. was like meeting motorsports royalty. The best part is that he is from the Bay Area, something that I am very proud of. To say that I am excited about driving the COPO Camaro at the NHRA U.S. Nationals under the Vasser colors is a huge understatement. It is a big deal “
About Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet, Jimmy Vasser Sr. and Jimmy Vasser Jr.:
Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet is located in Napa, California. The dealership was formed in 1998 to provide customers with the highest level of quality and service.
Jimmy Vasser Jr., a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, has been involved in the automotive industry for most of his life. In addition to his experience in the wholesale and retail aspects of the automotive business, Jimmy has a keen interest in vehicle restoration. However, it is as a race driver where Jimmy has made his greatest impact. Starting at an early age Jimmy achieved great success at every level of motorsports. After making his way up through the various levels of racing including Quarter Midget, Corvette Challenge and Formula Atlantics, Jimmy became a full-time CART/IndyCar driver in 1992. After three successful IndyCar seasons, Jimmy reach the pinnacle of American motorsports when he became the CART/PPG Indy Car World Series champion in 1996. In addition he was runner-up in 1998 and placed third in the standings in 1997. Vasser, whose last IndyCar start was on April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, his 238th career start, still competes in sports car events. Jimmy brings the determination and work ethic he has exhibited throughout his racing career to Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet with the intention of making the dealership a model for others to emulate.
Jim Vasser, Sr. has a lifetime background in the auto industry. In addition to over twenty years experience in automotive wholesale and retail. His love of cars, from racecars to hot rods, has resulted in Jim restoring a number of award winning show cars including winning the 1974 World’s Most Beautiful Roadster award at the Oakland Grand National Roadster show. Jim Sr., who was also instrumental in developing the racing career of his youngest son, brings a wealth of experience in a number of areas to Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet. His philosophy to building long-term customer relationships and loyalty is creating business that is fair to the customer and to the dealership;
About Chevrolet COPO Camaro:
The Chevrolet COPO Camaro is the quickest Camaro ever built by Chevrolet. The COPO Camaro is specifically offered for competitive NHRA use only and is designed to NHRA racing specifications.. It cannot be registered, titled, licensed, or driver on public roads or highways. The COPO concept was first shown at the 2011 SEMA Show and the response inspired a limited, special-edition 69-car production run which was selected to commemorate the original number of ZL-1 COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO – which stands for Central Office Production Order – was Chevrolet’s special-order system, notoriously used by dealers in the 1960’s to build high performance models that couldn’t be found anywhere else. The second coming of the COPO name is an extension of the legacy started in 1969, when the first purpose-built Camaro drag-racing specialty car was designed to compete with the quickest in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. National records for quarter-mile times in these contests are in the 9-second range. The three engines offered in the COPO Camaro program were developed to align with the top classes in NHRA’s various Stock Eliminator and Super Stock ranks. To ensure fair access, an independent third party was used to identify the individuals, who would be offered the opportunity to buy one of the new COPO Camaros.
About the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown:
The NHRA Factory Stock Showdown is a competition designed to showcase Detroit muscle cars including the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, and Chevrolet COPO Camaro. The program will feature '08 and newer models. Competition will be run heads-up as a class within NHRA Stock eliminations. Early rounds of eliminations in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown will take place Thursday, August 30. The final four cars in competition will run Friday, August 31, in conjunction with the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series qualifying sessions. The NHRA Wally will be awarded to the winner of the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. All participants in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown will still be able to run in the national event eliminator.