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GM cuts off teams in Nationwide and Truck series - Cup could follow

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Remember when this was all just an April Fools joke? I'm sure most of us saw this coming, but its still pretty



BROOKLYN, Mich. - General Motors has discontinued its funding of NASCAR teams in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, several teams affected confirmed Friday. More cuts -- at NASCAR's Cup level -- could be next.

"Kevin Harvick Inc. has lost its manufacturer support," KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick said in a statement released on Friday.

"Although this will require some internal restructuring, our commitment to our sponsors to provide the best possible product on the race track will not change."

GM last week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has started the process of evaluating the cost effectiveness of several of its programs, including its manufacturer support in motorsports, and specifically NASCAR.

On Wednesday, GM officials are expected to meet with several teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series to detail what -- if any -- cuts may occur at that level, multiple sources told

GM released a statement confirming its evaluation of its motorsports support.

"Chevrolet's involvement in racing is a sound business decision that translates directly into the sale of cars and trucks," the statement said. "It is essential, however, that we continue to look at every penny we spend as General Motors takes the necessary steps to become a leaner company with a significantly stronger balance sheet.

"While Chevy Racing is talking to its business partners about ways to reduce cost and maximize the return on investment, it is our policy to not talk about the details of business relationships with our partners."

Cup teams at Michigan International Speedway still await word on any potential cutbacks in that series.

"We, along with all the other Chevy teams, are in conversations with GM about what effects there may be as a result of their filing for bankruptcy," said Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing spokesman John Olguin.

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It all boils down to marketing and public exposure. A couple of pretty girls holding the race trophy near a Chevrolet badge leaves a lasting impression. smile

It's about the brand.

That's all it's about for manufacturers. Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet are in NASCAR for the same thing, and that's to leverage victories on Sunday into sales on Monday. That's an old axiom, dating back to the 1950s and NASCAR's early days, but it's still true today.

Ford and Chevrolet have been battling each other ever since Henry Ford and Carl Fisher, et al, started the companies back in the early days of the 20th Century, and each company, through the vision of its founders, saw the same thing: racing is a way to prove to the average Joe Six-pack that our product is superior.

To sum it all up, manufacturers use motorsports for a variety of reasons, nearly all of them having to do with brand identity, marketing, engineering and market share.

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I was a manager at a K Mart when it filed for bankruptcy, they had 2 Nascar Winston Cup cars at the time. The judge yanked them and told them if they can't pay their creditors, they shouldn't be spending money on Nascar. Maybe sometime soon it will only be Ford and Toyota in the Sprint Series, since Dodge and GM are under bankruptcy.

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Maybe these guys can all run toyota engines but affix the bowtie or dodge emblem to the front of the car. After all with all the specs these cars have to conform to with regards to the engines, chasis ect they are basically generic to begin with. This would be the ultimate field leveling by the nascar higherups to make the races more competitive.(This was written with tongue firmly in cheek) whistle


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Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.

I think that was especially true back when you could tell the difference between the Chevy and Ford race cars, and they actually resembled the showroom cars you went to buy. Now with these supersized glorified IROC cup cars that are used in the cup series, I am guessing not so much. They all look the exact same, just a different manufacturer sticker on the front end, and absolutely no resemblance to any showroom car you can buy. Plus, when the racing sucks with this new car and people are losing interest...and the economy in the tank...this is what we get.

I did read that NASCAR is going to start making the cars sleeker and have more resemblence to the showroom models next year in the Nationwide Series, with the hopes of adding it to the cup series. We'll see.

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Here is the tid-bit from jayski's site:

"Sportier" COT on the way? Manufacturers reportedly poured more than a half-billion dollars into the sport last year through factory and technical support to the teams, track support, vehicle programs and advertising. Yet NASCAR turned its back on Detroit with each generation of its race car as it morphed further away from what was on the showroom floor. Yes, the new Sprint Cup car has proved to be safer. After the initial blow of scrapping entire fleets of the old car, the new model will be more cost efficient. The level of competition with the new car — at tracks other than intermediate and two-mile venues — has picked up considerably. But the majority of core NASCAR fans have never embraced this car. The evidence of their displeasure can be measured in the dramatic drop in attendance, souvenir sales and television ratings, all of which started long before the economy tanked. Now NASCAR is feeling a similar pain in its pocketbook. And the sanctioning body is responding by offering an olive branch in the form of a sleeker, sexy race car to entice the fans back to the stands. A car, which will hopefully revive the "Win on Sunday, buy on Monday" mentality with fans so automakers and sponsors can continue to enjoy a return on investment in the sport. Rather than admitting their mistake in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR will begin filtering elements of the Nationwide cars back to the Cup model. The cockpit is expected to remain the same to maintain the integrity of the safer vehicle but the car will take on a sportier appearance."

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NASCAR says it's open to more foreign automakers

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — NASCAR says it would be open to other foreign manufacturers joining Toyota in stock car racing.

Chief executive Brian France says nothing is imminent but talks with several companies have been ongoing for a long time.

France spoke at Michigan International Speedway ahead of Sunday's Sprint Cup race. He was asked about the likelihood of companies like Japanese manufacturer Honda and some German automakers eventually competing in NASCAR.

He says foreign companies are interested in developing the North American market and NASCAR is the "pre-eminent place to consider."

"I'm not going to name names, but we have companies that are interested in particular in developing the North American market as robust as they can, and you are well aware as we are of the foreign manufacturers now producing cars here in America," France said. "That was part of the rationale that Toyota used, that (being in NASCAR) helps them associate more with this market."

France's comments come on the heels of an announcement earlier this week by GM, which is reorganizing through bankruptcy, that it is making deep cuts in its support of NASCAR teams in Cup, Nationwide and trucks, the latest in a series of harsh economic news for the sport.

"Well, obviously ... every (GM) program is affected and we're no different," he said. "We were hoping to have the most minimal of the impact with their decision to restructure their business. The details aren't all out yet and exactly what that will mean to us, but, obviously, we are affected.

"I think our job now is to figure out how to be good partners with them. They're trying to restructure their entire company to be a different company on the other side (of bankruptcy) and for us to be a part of that. And I think we will. I'm very confident that they'll be in the sport for many, many years because it works well."

GM's Chevrolet brand competes in NASCAR, along with Dodge, Ford and Japanese automaker Toyota. All of them have been hit hard by the crumbling international economy and France left the door open for other manufacturers to become part of the sport.

"We have been talking to people for off and on for a long time," he said. "These are decisions in terms of the new manufacturers joining the sport that would take a long time to evaluate and actually enter. So those aren't something that we turn the light switch on tomorrow morning and it would happen.

"Of course, we're the pre-eminent place in North America for car manufacturers to build their business with an auto racing group. We remain that and clearly there's some companies that are going to look at opportunities that may not have even been there in the past that could be presented in the future.

Under NASCAR rules, only cars manufactured in the U.S. are eligible to compete. Toyota joined the truck series in 2004 and, in 2007, became the first foreign manufacturers to compete NASCAR's the elite Cup series in 50 years.

"We'll have our philosophical approach to that in terms of welcoming new companies in as we did with Toyota," France added. "It is under a very clear set of circumstances that the manufacturers come to NASCAR to compete. And that will not change."

France said NASCAR will do whatever it can to help its teams, tracks and sponsors get through the tough economic times.

"The question is, with falling revenues in every sports league, what are you going to do to help to figure out the way forward?" France said. "For us, we have a huge interest in the sponsorship model. We're more dependent on it than anyone else. So we're affected."

He said NASCAR will look to new companies, new technologies and, particularly, to the growing green industry to help build the sport.

"So we'll be looking at figuring out, like anyone in our position, how to create new opportunities for new companies building brands and services here in NASCAR," he said. "Because existing companies, that our teams have in particular relied on, are changing. And that's just the reality."

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You mean GM and Dodge lost the integrity to build quality products and run a business.

Nascar has no other choice but to allow manufacturers in the sport that can survive.

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ya i think for the most part...THE GOOD OLE BOY.... is pretty

much gone for the most part in nascar

Its certainly about money but i think fans really just want to see side by side racin who cares what kinda of car it is as long as the rules are the same for all

I think to me its more about drivers and crew chiefs

the people that make racin who care bout the tin and metal

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