Chevrolet teams to lose GM backing
General Motors is cutting its factory support for NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series teams, with further cuts expected to follow at Sprint Cup level.
A number of Chevrolet teams competing in both series have been notified about a reduction of financial and technical support, less than a month after General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection, following months of huge losses. Although the cuts have not reached teams competing in NASCAR's top series yet, it is likely that they will also be affected by the restructuring of GM.
Chevrolet has the highest number of cars in all three NASCAR series, including almost half the field in the Nationwide Series.
"We'll try to do the best we can to cover the void that will create," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of Nationwide team JR Motorsports. "Chevrolet is going through some very challenging times. I had a true understanding that this would be coming down the pipe and they would have to make some adjustments.
"Every company, not only in this sport, but particularly having a company of my own, I've had to make adjustments due to how the economy has turned so it wouldn't be any different for anybody else. I've been a loyal supporter of Chevrolet for a very long time and will continue to be."
Earnhardt Jr. believes that even without factory support, teams in NASCAR's second-tier series can still survive and continue to race. He is optimistic that the budget cuts won't put the Nationwide or Truck series' future in jeopardy.
"Obviously, the support that Chevy was able to provide us was in a lot of ways a privilege only to a few teams," Earnhardt Jr added. "Not everybody has had that support. You see a lot of the guys that are getting to the race track without that kind of manufacturer support and to me it was always a feather in your cap and never taken for granted.
"We'll be able to try to do some unique programs with our sponsors and future partners to try to cover that expense."
Earlier this year, Ford announced it was stopping its factory support for teams competing in the Truck series. Although Chrysler has not made any official announcement on removing its factory support, its teams in the Sprint Cup are expecting similar cuts.