Gold Crown was originally conceived by USAC with urging for the creation coming from the late, Bill France, Jr., a man who had incredible vision and brilliant ideas. That in itself bestows great credibility." Mr. France, who steered NASCAR to enormous popularity after his Father turned the reigns over to him, assisted in the development and the origin of the "New Generation Silver Crown Series" which has now become Gold Crown. Key players from USAC and speedways across North America also assisted in the project. The idea for Gold Crown was to form a link between the traditional American race car and the premier race series in the US, while racing at the larger tracks and creating premier events.
Since Mr. France's passing the series has progressed due to a passionate group of owners who understood the overall vision. This dedicated group has moved forward by developing plans for a new look and have set a launch date for 2012.
The New Generation Silver Crown Car was introduced by USAC on December 8, 2003 and was launched to race in 2006. The car did not gain as strong a foothold with the car owners, the fans, or the press as planned. Nonetheless, based on the vision of the late Bill France, that USAC could bridge the gap between grassroots racing and the upper divisions of professional racing 17 owners eventually participated. The participating owners included IndyCar racers AJ Foyt, Ron Hemelgarn, Roger Penske, and Eliseo Salazar. By the end of the 2007 season USAC was able to field 24 cars for the last race at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2008 when USAC announced it was no longer using the New Generation Silver Crown Car, those 17 owners were left with millions of dollars invested in new, well designed cars and no where to race them. The Gold Crown Championship was born.
The Gold Crown Exploratory Group organized a very successful test on a road course during 2008. The car was tuned to a level of comfort that allowed the driver to put on a show that will be enjoyable for race fans, and proved that the car is suitable for any road course in the USA. Hemelgarn Racing prepared the car, owned by Roger Johnson and fitted with a Darryl Guiducci engine, to an excellent standard that allowed it to turn right as well as left which is obviously imperative when running on a road course.
Randy Wittine is the body stylist on the Gold Crown Project. He has been a Designer with Chevrolet for over 30 years and has added a level of experience in body styling that would have not been possible without Chevrolet's help. The exciting aspect is that Randy has managed to create a design that not only appeals to the traditional race fan but catches the eye of a potential new fan base.
The Gold Crown Chevrolet Version of the bodywork was displayed at the 2008 Performance Racing Industry Show in Orlando Florida