Friday, June 12, 2009

NASCAR and the Fate of General Motors

The picture above is of a man named Cotton Owens, working on a car, circa 1964. There was a time when a man with a haircut like that kept calm in our society and kept our economy running at full throttle, as it were. Now? Now a man like that is mocked and told to register with AARP, whatever that is.

With that in mind, I think it is absolutely crucial that General Motors remain in cahoots with NASCAR:

General Motors has told NASCAR teams it is cutting back on its support in all of the sanctioning body's professional series.

Among the teams already notified that they will lose funding are JR Motorsports, owned by Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kevin Harvick Inc., co-owned by Cup star Harvick and his wife, DeLana. JRM races in the second-tier Nationwide Series, while KHI has entries in Nationwide and the third-tier Camping World Truck Series.

Cuts are also expected in the top-tier Sprint Cup series.

Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan said Friday that GM, reorganizing through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said cuts would be made soon.

"Our discussions are indeed NASCAR-wide," he said.

Rhadigan would not say if one series would be affected more than others, nor would he say the size of the cuts or how much GM spends on NASCAR. The automaker, through its Chevrolet brand, provides cash and other support to teams, including engines and parts.

Rhadigan, however, said GM has no plans to withdraw Chevrolet from the stock car sport.

"Racing is still in Chevrolet's DNA, and I don't think that's going to change," he said.

Auto racing is truly the American sport of innovation. If you want to build a world where there is no auto racing, brother, do not expect me to live in that world. I am here to talk smack against stopping such a thing from happening. Is is a liberal, urban, coastal mentality that ignores the importance of auto racing in America? This is not something that can be dismissed or ignored. Auto racing is everywhere in America.

Here's what Rick Hendrick had to say:

Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, Monday responded to the announcement by General Motors that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“The products General Motors offers are the highest quality and most fuel efficient in its history, and I have an unwavering faith in the company’s leadership team and our government’s commitment to support this reorganization. After all of the efforts of the past several months, it’s unfortunate that bankruptcy has become the only option, but we at Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports are certain that GM will emerge from this stronger and better equipped to compete than ever before.

Hendrick Automotive Group can say with confidence that the customers of our 27 General Motors franchises can expect the same high level of care and service that our dealerships have always provided, and that the full range of warranties and parts will be available. From a racing perspective, our heritage is with General Motors. In 25 years together, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight Sprint Cup Series titles with Chevrolet, which has more NASCAR championships and wins than any other auto manufacturer.

Let's hope General Motors can make it. If some government Poindexter decides to sever the relationship between GM and auto racing, America will truly be a poorer nation.

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