GM meets with Sprint Cup teams about cutbacks
Published 3:58 am Thursday, June 18, 2009
General Motors met with teams in NASCAR’s top-tier Sprint Cup series this week about its plans to cut back financial support.
Teams in the lower-tier Nationwide and Camping World Truck series already had been notified of cuts. GM, reorganizing through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, had said last week it planned to make cuts across all of NASCAR’s series.
Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports confirmed on Wednesday that they had discussions with GM.
“We believe in the products GM has now and in the products they’re building for the future,” driver and Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart said in a statement. “While this cutback will force us to review our budget at SHR, it will not impact our preparation for the track or the return on investment we provide to our partners.”
Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan confirmed the discussions but declined to provide details of the cuts.
“We’re still partners with them,” he said of the teams.
The GM cutbacks are the latest in a series of economic blows to the sport.
The global economic crisis led to more than 1,000 team members being laid off at the end of last season, and Chrysler, which just came out of bankruptcy, has cut its funding of Dodge teams this year.
Ford, also facing financial problems, cut back its support in the truck series heading into this season.
“We had very productive conversations this week with the folks at General Motors, and it’s clear they are committed to racing and committed to our organization,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said. “They’ve asked us for some help, and we’re going to give it to them. We’re proud to be a Chevy team, and we will do our part to support the new GM both on and off the racetrack.”
AP Auto Writer Kimberly S. Johnson in Detroit contributed to this report.