NASCAR Reveals the Modified Camaro Stock Car That Will Race at Le Mans

  • This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will run a modified NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stock car in the Garage 56 entry designated for experimental race cars.
  • Unveiled today ahead of the Daytona 500, the car still features a 5.8-liter V-8 engine but adds a large fuel cell, upgraded brakes and unique aerodynamics.
  • The decorated driver lineup includes Jimmie Johnson, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller, and the team has already racked up more than 3,600 miles of testing.

NASCAR heads to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Wait what?! Yep, you read that right—a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stock car is taking on the grueling and iconic day-long race at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France this year. The NASCAR racer will run in the Garage 56 slot, an entry reserved for experimental vehicles, and the car was unveiled today at Daytona International Speedway ahead of this weekend’s Daytona 500.

Since 2012, Garage 56 has included cars such as the unorthodox, triangle-shaped DeltaWing and a modified LMP2 car driven by two drivers who are paralyzed from the waist down. This year, however, the entry will be occupied by a muscular Cup Series-spec Camaro powered by a snarling 5.8-liter small-block V-8. The project is managed by Hendrick Motorsports, the most successful Cup Series team with 291 race wins to date.

nascar garage 56 chevrolet camaro zl1


The Garage 56 Camaro stays close to its roots, but several changes were necessary for 24-hour racing duty. Functional headlights and taillights replace the fake decals normally affixed to the stock bodywork, and the team also fitted a larger 32-liter fuel cell and carbon brake discs. The car will ride on unique Goodyear Eagle tires, and will carry unique aerodynamic elements with a revised front splitter, dents on the front bumper, a new rear diffuser, and a special rear spoiler that protrudes from the bodywork.

While a standard Cup car weighs 3200 pounds, the Garage 56 car shaved that down to 2960 pounds and an extra two inches of length. The Le Mans spec racer retains the front and rear double wishbone suspension with adjustable coilover shocks.

Behind the wheel will be three top managers. Jimmie Johnson brings his vast experience in stock cars as a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, while two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller knows the track like the back of his hand. While he’s never driven a stock car and has only one Le Mans start, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button isn’t at all either.

The team has been testing the Garage 56 Camaro since August of last year, racking up more than 3,600 miles at Road Atlanta, Virginia International Raceway (where we run our annual Lightning Lap competition), Goodyear Proving Grounds, Carolina Motorsports Park, Sebring International Raceway, and Daytona International Speedway. The team will return to Sebring this Monday for an endurance test, and the team hopes to have its entry approved by the race’s governing body within the next few weeks. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday, June 10, 2023.