New Chevy debuts as drivers participate in first test of 2018 at Texas

RELATED: See photos of the new Chevrolet | Texas test preview

Everything is brand new as Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars hit the track for the first time in 2018.

Four drivers are participating in the first of a two-day closed Goodyear tire test at Texas Motor Speedway, including defending Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola.

Elliott not only debuted the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the new model Chevrolet that will replace the Chevy SS in the 2018 Monster Energy Series, but he also turned his first laps in the new No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports entry — the number his father, 1988 champion Bill Elliott, made famous.

During Tuesday’s session, Elliott noted the test won’t give them a true indication of just how much different the new Camaro is compared to last year.

“Behind the wheel it’s really hard to tell what changes are when you are out there by yourself,” Elliott said during a lunch break at the track. “I think the changes will probably become more apparent, hopefully, when we get to say Atlanta or get to some of the tracks that the changes are going to become important at. I think until we get into those situations and kind of get some races under our belt as not only an organization, but as a manufacturer as a whole to see exactly how we stack up, I think it will be tough to say until then.”

RELATED: Elliott’s pit board proves duct tape doesn’t fix everything

As far as the wildly popular new look, Elliott applauded Chevrolet for its flashy characteristics and similarity to the Camaro you can pick up at your local dealership.

“The car looks great,” Elliott said. “I don’t know from a manufacturer standpoint, from the public eyes standpoint, I don’t know how you could not identify the Camaro with the Camaro on the street. It looks the same. I think that is something to be very proud of from Chevrolet. The work they did on that and the thought process behind it. It is the same car, it looks just like it. I think job well done from that standpoint.”

The test session also featured Blaney with a chance to shake down the brand new No. 12 Team Penske Ford, while Almirola gets his first opportunity to climb into his new ride for the upcoming season, the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Defending Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team were also at the test. Testing continues at the 1.5-mile track on Wednesday.

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