After a 40 year hiatus the Chevrolet Camaro is set to return to the ‘Great American Race’, starring as the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500. The annual event, now in its 51st year, is regarded by many as the most important race on the NASCAR calendar and a Camaro has paced the field just twice in Dayton 500 history. Those were in 1968 and then in 1969, and this 2010 model is scheduled to hit showroom floors in the second half of the year.

The particular car that will be used on the February 15 race will be a high-performance Camaro SS decked out in a PPG Cyber Grey paint scheme. Under its hood sits a 6.2L LS3 V8 rated at 426hp (314kW) and 420lb-ft (573Nm) of torque.

Unique elements of the pace car include a fully integrated strobe system with GM-designed custom light bars utilizing Whelen 500 series linear strobes and a fuel-saving Tremec six-speed manual transmission.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Official Pace Car Daytona Speedway president Robin Braig said: “This 2010 model will set the tone for a 21st century sports car, and that's a perfect fit to lead the pack at the Great American Race.''