Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet, located in Napa, California, announced Friday that the dealership 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, Aug. 29 – Sept. 3.
Vasser, the 1996 IndyCar World Series champion and co-owner of KV Racing Technology, which competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Chevrolet power, along with his father, Jim Vasser Sr., a long time drag racing aficionado former racer and General Manager of Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet, 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.”
"Chevrolet Performance is excited that motorsports professionals such as Jimmy Vasser have selected the COPO Camaro as their vehicle of choice for NHRA sportsman drag racing" said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "COPO builds off the strengths that have made the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America and brings the heritage of Chevrolet Performance to the drag strip. Fans have a great new reason to cheer on the Bowtie.”
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 added, “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.“