7 September 2009
Chevy reluctant to add new teams to roster
Brent Dewar, vice president of Chevrolet Global, was on a mission at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but that mission didn't include adding new Sprint Cup partners for the 2010 season.
“I think the main thing is - much like in the status we're currently at with our company - that a lot of people have made sacrifices and cut back, so the right thing is not to expand at this point in time until we get ourselves in a healthier footprint,” Dewar said Saturday, “We like the direction we're going.”
Dewar attended the races to meet with Chevrolet teams and outline levels of support for 2010. As Chevrolet went through bankruptcy this summer, funding to NASCAR teams was cut, out of necessity.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, known to be shopping manufacturers, met with Dewar in what team president Steve Lauletta characterised as a productive get-together. EGR, however, is still weighing its options for 2010, though driver Juan Pablo Montoya has expressed repeatedly his satisfaction with the power of the Earnhardt-Childress engines the team uses.
Dewar also used the opportunity to meet and greet in the garage after a stint as Chevrolet's sales chief in Europe.
“I am meeting a few people just as part of the nature of the business - just to get to know them,” he said, “I've been away for the better part of 20 months, and there's some new players in the garage. As part of this sport, I am going to try to see them, but nothing formal.”
Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields four Dodge teams, also is considering manufacturer options. Driver Kasey Kahne - who went on to win at Atlanta on Sunday - recently participated in a photoshoot in front of a Toyota, and Ford also reportedly is in the mix.
Brian Wolfe, director of North American Motorsports for Ford, told Sporting News in late July at Indianapolis that the company would not be averse to adding teams to a roster that currently includes five teams at Roush Fenway Racing, two at Yates Racing and one at Wood Brothers Racing.
“Of course, you'd always like to see more,” Wolfe admitted, “And, again, there are a lot of folks out there that are more what I'd call the independents, where they're not getting finances from the company, but they're running the company's product. We'd love a couple more of those guys over at Ford, because I think that we do have some very good engineering tools, and they have access to Roush-Yates engines.”
by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
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