Louis Chevrolet behind the wheel of a Darracq racer, 1906. Image: GM Corp.Enlarge Photo
It’s fitting that Chevrolet, founded by aspiring racer Louis Chevrolet, would choose to recognize its competition history to mark its 100th birthday. In case you’re not a fan of motorsports, Chevy wants you to know that it’s been active in every major U.S. racing series for the past 100 years.
Perhaps the longest-running affiliation is between Chevrolet and the Indy 500. Chevy-powered cars have won the event seven times over the past 100 years, and Chevrolets have paced the field 22 times in 63 years.
In fact, Chevrolet founder Louis Chevrolet, along with his brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early Indy 500 races before going on to design race-winning cars for the 1920 and 1921 events. In 2012, Chevy power will again return to the Indy 500 in the form of a 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V-6 under development for the IndyCar series.
If it’s quantity you’re after, look no further than Chevrolet’s record in NASCAR. Since the mid-1950s, Chevrolet has racked up over 680 victories in NASCAR competition, winning 35 manufacturer’s titles and 27 driver’s championships in the process.
Chevy’s winning streak doesn’t stop there, since the brand has achieved class victories in the 24 Hours of LeMans and has taken countless NHRA drag racing wins, too.
Although the sport continues to evolve, this much is clear: as long as there is such a thing as motor racing, chances are good you’ll see a car with a bow tie on its grille in the field.