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GM to cut backing NASCAR support series teams


General Motors is cutting factory support for Chevrolet teams competing in NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series as the automaker restructures under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to a story that will appear in Friday's edition of SportsBusiness Journal.

According to SBJ's Michael Smith, who wrote the story, the cost-cutting measures are likely to have the greatest affect on larger organisations, such as Kevin Harvick Inc, which fields teams in both series, and Rusty Wallace Inc and JR Motorsports, which field teams in the Nationwide Series.

KHI has four victories in 232 starts in the Nationwide Series and 19 wins in 205 starts in the truck series. Driving one of Harvick's trucks in 2007, Ron Hornaday Jr won four races and the series championship. Representatives of KHI could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

JR Motorsports, co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr and Rick Hendrick, has posted five victories in 165 Nationwide Series starts. Brad Keselowski collected JRM's only win of the 2009 season on 30 May at Dover.

As Smith points out, support from manufacturers typically comes in the forms of engines, parts and cash. In most cases, factory support goes to larger, more substantial organisations, while smaller teams receive little assistance, if any.

"Chevrolet's [and GM's] involvement in racing is a sound business decision that translates directly into the sale of cars and trucks," an unidentified GM spokesperson said in a statement provided to SBJ. "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."

by Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


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