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Teams react to loss of Chevrolet support

Talk about a sensitive subject.

General Motors' decision to cut its support for Chevrolet teams competing in NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series rippled through the garage at Michigan International Speedway, but only Dale Earnhardt Jr., who shares ownership in his JR Motorsports team with Rick Hendrick, seemed willing to talk about the funding cuts in depth.

Kevin Harvick, who faces a double whammy as the owner of both Nationwide and truck teams under the Kevin Harvick Inc. banner, released a terse statement and refused further comment.

"Kevin Harvick Inc. has lost its manufacturer support," Harvick said. "Although this will require some internal restructuring, our commitment to our sponsors to provide the best possible product on the racetrack will not change."

Most Chevrolet teams will not be affected by the loss of support, because the smaller teams didn't receive factory assistance in the first place. Only substantial organisations such as KHI, JR Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Rusty Wallace Inc. are among the fortunate few who, up until this week, have benefitted from GM's largesse.

Earnhardt says JR Motorsports will have to compensate for the loss of Chevy's contribution, which is a small part of the operating budget. (Chrysler and Ford cut their support to teams competing in the two series before the 2009 season began.)

"The sponsorships obviously are the biggest part of our budget," Earnhardt said Friday after Sprint Cup practice. "Our relationship with Chevrolet was more about brand loyalty. I've been with them for so long (that) I don't really think we even negotiated with them on the manufacturing support.

"It was a good assistance to our programme, albeit it was not a very large portion of our entire funding for the season. Obviously, I would assume for some programmes it would be a lot more. For example, maybe (Kevin) Harvick was really dependent on the manufacturer support. We were dependent upon it, but we will find other ways to make that up, and I think it will be pretty feasible to be able to do that."

Childress said Friday that he hasn't been notified of the loss of support, but he is likely to get the bad news at a meeting with Chevrolet representatives next week.

"The technical support is huge, but the key thing I think everybody has to remember is they're not in this sport just to have a hobby," Childress said. "They sell cars, and this is a great tool for General Motors to sell cars. I think, once they get through this bump in the road, you're going to see 'em back here, because it's a great platform to sell American cars."



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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Bill Visconti - Unregistered

June 13, 2009 6:10 PM

Is ANYONE surprised that obama's socialized Government Motors is taking money from NASCAR?? How many fans do you think voted for that Marxist? This is a shot right at NASCAR Nation.



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