Teams/tracks sue GM: Two teams and three tracks have filed claims against the former General Motors, which was restructured this summer during bankruptcy. Dale Earnhardt Inc. has filed a claim for $3.2 million based on a written contract DEI had with General Motors. JR Motorsports has filed a claim for $198,000 based on a sponsorship contract. Three tracks also have filed claims based on hospitality agreements. Daytona International Speedway seeks $651,018.75; Richmond International Raceway seeks $65,700 and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., seeks $45,500 [all are owned by ISC](Roanoke Times)(11-26-2009)
Dodge and Chevy leaving NASCAR? not yet: The three major car racing circuits -- Formula One, NASCAR, and Indy Car -- have built a multibillion dollar business. Formula One revenue, including sponsorships and broadcast fees, is estimated at $3.9 billion a year, which is more per event than either the NFL or The Premier League of soccer clubs. Toyota has elected to pull out of Formula One because of cost considerations. The world’s largest car company has lost money for more than a year. Reuters estimates that Toyota has spent $300 million per year on its Formula One campaign. Honda (HMC) pulled its cars from the circuit earlier this year.
The Toyota retreat can be added to news that the Obama Administration has pressured Chevy and Dodge to pull out of the NASCAR racing series to save $250 million a year [the only thing ever reported on Obama pressuring Chevy/Dodge ended up being an April Fools joke]. The two companies have been pillars of NASCAR and there are no other auto firms with large enough budgets to replace them.(MSN's Money Central blog by Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre, an editor at 24/7 Wall St, who from reading his stuff is not a big fan of the manuafactures in racing or much of a fact checker using an April Fools hoax in his post)
HOWEVER both GM/Chevy and Dodge reps have said over and over, that both Chevy and Dodge are committed to the sport, for at least 2010 anyway.(11-5-2009)
Chevy dropping SS version of Impala: Chevy is transitioning to Impala in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series beginning in 2010 as a result of the SS version being phased out of production in mid-2009.(Chevy PR)(11-1-2009)
Childress Honoring Chevy's Manufacturer's Championship: A decal honoring Chevy's 2009 Manufacturer's Championship in NASCAR's premier division will be affixed to all four Richard Childress Racing entries [#07, #29, #31, #33] for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Chevy earned its 33rd Manufacturer's crown when Tony Stewart won last weekend's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway, and continues to lead all other manufacturers in the sport with the most championships. The congratulatory decals are prominently displayed on all RCR-prepared Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet's above the B post, directly behind the driver's name.(RCR PR)(10-10-2009)
Chevy Boss Promises Continued Support: Chevrolet is in NASCAR to stay, according to Brent Dewar, the new head of General Motors’ Chevrolet division, who was at AMS on Saturday to assure his teams and drivers that he was solidly behind them. Although spending cuts have been made because of the automaker’s poor financial condition, Dewar said he hoped to maintain the current level of participation at least through 2010 and planned to keep his stable of teams and drivers at the current level. And he said he hoped to be able to spend more in 2011 and beyond when car sales and profits are expected to increase. “We’ve been in [racing] from the beginning, and we’re in it for the long haul,” Dewar said. He said that although dealer inventories are at all-time lows and potential buyers are dealing with credit challenges, he still believes in “race on Sunday, sell on Monday.” He also said his company still gets a return on its NASCAR investment, and that the Cup series returns far more for the dollars than the Nationwide and truck series.(Racin' Today)(9-6-2009)
GM selling Saab: General Motors signed an agreement Tuesday to sell its Saab division to Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by the small Swedish builder of million-dollar Koenigsegg supercars. The sale will conclude by the end of the year, when the group takes over 100 percent of the Saab company, which has been a perennial money loser for GM. The Detroit automaker purchased the Swedish company about two decades ago. Saab is one of the brands that GM is shedding as it emerges from bankruptcy. Deals are pending to sell Saturn to the Penske group and Hummer to a Chinese machinery company. Pontiac will be discontinued next year.(SPEEDtv:)(8-19-2009)
- General Motors Cuts Sports Spending: In order to emerge from bankruptcy protection, General Motors had the legal right to reject contracts that it had previously signed. GM has now emerged from bankruptcy, but 54 sponsorship agreements it terminated as part of the bankruptcy were filed with the courts yesterday. Some NASCAR related cuts mentioned in the article:
California Speedway Corp. (Fontana) -– 70 suite passes w/ pit row access, 35 VIP parking passes
Daytona International Speedway –- 65 seats w/ 77 tickets, 11 parking passes
Dover International Speedway –- 50 seats w/65 suite passes, 30 VIP
Lowe's Motor Speedway –- 66 suite tickets, 16 pit passes, 10 parking passes
Richmond International Speedway –- 60 person suite, 30 pit passes, 15 parking passes
Racing Team Sponsorship Agreements
Jeff Burton, personal service agreement (RCR)
Ryan Newman Motorsports
Other Sponsorships Agreements
IMG Worldwide (official car)(CNBC)(7-14-2009)
- General Motors exits bankruptcy: The swift exit of General Motors from bankruptcy protection was good news for NASCAR's industry leaders, who count on the automaker's financial support to fund their pricey race teams. GM emerged Friday after only 40 days under court protection. Hendrick vice president of development Doug Duchardt said Friday that Hendrick Motorsports never wavered in its support. "We've raced Chevys for 25 years,'' Duchardt said at Chicagoland Speedway. "This is just one situation. We've worked through it and we'll move on down the road.'' Duchardt, the former head of GM Racing, was surprised at how quickly the car company escaped bankruptcy. GM notified teams last month that it would cut back spending after filing for Chapter 11 protection. Duchardt said there changes made to their agreement after meeting with GM officials, but expected no further adjustments to their contract. "We're happy that they committed to us in the middle of all that,'' Duchardt said. "Now that the bankruptcy is over, it doesn't really change anything after we had that meeting.'' GM left bankruptcy protection leaner, cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-11-2009)
- How much does GM pay to teams? While no one is saying how much General Motors is cutting its financial support from teams, at least one court document puts a price tag on it. Try $2,538,750. And that's to one Cup team. A court document [click to view pdf] shows that GM was to have paid RCR Enterprises, LLC (i.e. Richard Childress Racing) that amount on June 15. Childress spoke Friday at Infineon Raceway about the GM situation. Asked if he received his June 15 payment from GM, Childress said: "That's kind of personal. I didn't ask you if you got your paycheck this week.'' If nothing else, that gives you a sense of some of the money that's out there and involved in this sport. Childress would not reveal what kind of cutbacks GM is making with his team. Asked if he would have to lay anyone off, Childress said: "I don't know really what all is going to happen. We're going to have to make cuts like everybody in the sport or in business. We don't want to cut performance. For sure, we're not going to cut performance. We'll cut a lot of other things before that.''(Virginian-Pilot)(6-20-2009)
- GM to cut back on Sprint Cup: General Motors will reduce its financial support in the Sprint Cup series, officials from several Chevrolet teams confirmed on Wednesday. Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart Haas Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing officials said they have been asked to participate in cutbacks by the U.S. auto manufacturer that recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Officials did not say how large the cuts would be. "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," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports in a statement. "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."
Tony Stewart, the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and Sprint Cup point leader, echoed Hendrick's sentiments. "We have been, and will continue to be, strong supporters of GM and its Chevrolet brand," he said. "These are tough times for our auto industry, and in light of what's happening to them and how it affects all the people who make a living building and selling cars and trucks, the sacrifices we'll have to make as a race team are pretty weak in comparison. We believe in the products GM has now and in the products they're building for the future. We're proud to carry the Chevy bowtie on the hoods of our racecars, and we support GM in this time of uncertainty because we know they'll be an even stronger company in the years to come." Stewart said the cutbacks will force teams to review their budgets, but "it will not impact our preparation for the track or the return on investment we provide for our partners." The cutbacks come a week after GM cut all support from its Nationwide Series and Truck Series teams.(ESPN)(6-18-2009)
- GM cutting support in Nationwide & Truck Series: UPDATE: General Motors is cutting factory support for Chevy 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 organizations, 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. 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 organizations, while smaller teams receive little assistance, if any. "Chevy'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."(Sporting News)(6-12-2009)
UPDATE: General Motors is planning to cut back on its support of NASCAR teams in all of the sanctioning body's professional series. Chevy spokesman Terry Rhadigan says GM, which is reorganizing through bankruptcy, is discussing what he described as incremental cutbacks in support. He says cuts will be made soon and that the discussions are "indeed NASCAR-wide." 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 Chevy brand, provides cash and other support to teams including engines and parts.(Associated Press)(6-12-2009)
- Penske may make bid for Saturn UPDATE 2 no move to NASCAR: Roger Penske says he is contemplating a bid for the Saturn automotive brand that General Motors Corp. plans to sell or shut down. While Penske has not yet made an offer, he said Friday a decision would have to come soon and that a number of unidentified details need to be worked out. Penske has a vested interest in the automotive industry. He owns the second-largest U.S. automobile retail chain in terms of sales, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Penske Automotive Group Inc. He also owns heavy-duty engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel and has race teams in the IndyCar, NASCAR and Grand-Am series. But Penske denied that he has made a deal and said published reports are ahead of the process.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-8-2009)
UPDATE: General Motors Corp. has struck a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and auto dealer Roger Penske. Penske, who owns the Penske Automotive Group dealership chain, told reporters on Friday that he plans to offer all 350 Saturn dealerships new franchise agreements. He says Saturn's 13,000 employees will stay on with the company for at least the immediate future. He declined to name the price for the deal. Penske says GM will continue to produce Saturn vehicles, though he is in discussions with manufacturers worldwide about building the vehicles going forward.(AP/ESPN)(6-5-2009)
UPDATE 2: Team owner Roger Penske has no plans to move Saturn into the Sprint Cup series, saying Sunday he plans to stick with Dodge for at least the remaining three years of his contract with the manufacturer. General Motors Corp. announced on Friday an agreement for Penske to purchase the Saturn brand. Penske said he would like to get Saturn involved in motorsports, perhaps at the Grand-Am level, but not NASCAR's top series. "We have three more years with Dodge, they have not let us down," the owner of Penske Motorsports said before the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. "We see that continuing. They are current with all the obligations they have. I don't expect anything different." Richard Petty, the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, said last weekend at Dover that RMP's cash flow from Dodge has ceased since Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. "I don't know what he means by cash [flow]," Penske said. "They paid the bills we submitted to them and they're on time. I don't know what he's talking about." As for Saturn, Penske said the key was saving 13,000 jobs and keeping 350 retailers in business. He said the plan is to provide them with products that will make them stronger going forward. "We'll be sourcing products from General Motors for at least two years," he said. "We will not be a manufacturer. We'll be a distributor." Penske did say the Saturn Aura is "tailor-made for NASCAR," but that any such plans would be 200 miles down the road.(ESPN)(6-7-2009)
- General Motors to stay in auto racing: For now, bankruptcy won't park General Motor Corp.'s long and successful involvement in auto racing. As the Detroit carmaker began retooling after filing for bankruptcy protection, a company spokesman said Monday he did not expect further cuts to GM Racing's budget, which supports NASCAR, NHRA, ALMS and short-track racing activities around the country and adheres to the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" mantra. "Racing equals good ROI (return on investment)," said Steve Janisse, group manager for Chevrolet Communications. "There are no expected budget cuts right now."(Detroit Free Press)(6-2-2009)
- General Motors files for bankruptcy: General Motors has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the country's second automaker after Chrysler to go under in just over a month. GM president and CEO Fritz Henderson said in a statement issued by the company this morning that the nation's largest automaker now has an opportunity to "reinvent" its business. "Today marks a defining moment in the reinvention of GM as a leaner, more customer-focused, and more cost-competitive company that, above all, can quickly generate winning bottom line results," he said. The Obama administration has agreed to provide GM an additional $30.1 billion in federal assistance to support the company's restructuring. The administration announced the funding on Sunday night, on the eve of a 60-day period that the Obama administration gave GM to come up with a successful viability plan. The administration said yesterday that it had accepted GM's viability plan, which includes entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. GM is expected to emerge as a new company in 60 to 90 days. Under GM's restructuring plan, the U.S. government will receive $8.8 billion in debt and preferred stock in the new company and nearly 60% equity in return for its $30 billion in funding. In addition, the government will have the right to appoint initial directors to GM's board except for two members, one to be appointed by the Canadian government and the other selected by the trustees of the United Auto Workers union retiree health care fund.(more at ABC News)(6-1-2009)
- Hendrick responds to GM Announcement: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, today 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. Since I was a kid, Chevy has represented the highest level of performance. I've never wanted to race anything else, and I have every confidence that we will continue to celebrate victories together for many more seasons to come. Speaking for the more than 6,000 teammates at Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports, it has been a great privilege to be a small part of GM's rich history, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future together."(HMS PR)(6-1-2009)
- Hendrick doesn't expect GM Bankruptcy to effect racing: Rick Hendrick met with members of the media at the conclusion of the race at Dover, on item discussed:
CAN YOU DISCUSS GENERAL MOTORS AND WHAT IS EXPECTED TO COME DOWN TOMORROW, JUNE 1ST, AS YOU UNDERSTAND IT?
“From what I’ve heard, and I don’t know a lot more than what you read in the media, but if they do file for Bankruptcy tomorrow, which all indications are that they will, it’s kind of a planned get-in, get-out situation. I’ve got a lot of faith in GM and especially Chevrolet. I’ve been with them for a long, long time. Our business is good; the products are good. And this economic downturn we’ve had has hurt everybody. It’s hurt every manufacturer; Toyota and everybody else. But I think some people, maybe their pockets were deeper than others. But I feel like we’re going to be good and we’re going to be okay. They’ve got great products right now so I’m hoping that if it happens, that they’ll get in and get out in a hurry and we’ll just take it a day at a time.”
DO YOU EXPECT IT TO AFFECT THEIR RACING? “I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so because you see Ford and Toyota and everybody; Chrysler is here. But you just never know. We just have to do the best we can. They’ve been a big asset to this sport and when you look at their competition, the people they’re heads-up with, are here, so I’ve had no indication that they’re going to cut back or do anything.”
IF THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD SAY YOU’VE GOT TO STOP PROMOTING THROUGH RACING IF WE GIVE YOU MONEY. IF CHEVROLET WERE TO SAY THEY CAN’T GIVE YOU ANOTHER CENT FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, WOULD YOU CONTINUE TO RACE CHEVROLETS ON YOUR OWN? OR DO YOU HAVE A PLAN “B”? “My Plan A is Chevrolet and my Plan B is Chevrolet and my Plan C is Chevrolet (laughter).”(GM Racing)(6-1-2009)
- GM Prepares for Bankruptcy Protection Announcement: With the clock ticking on a June 1 government deadline to restructure, General Motors Corp. worked feverishly Sunday to shore up its global businesses to clear the way for a speedy reorganization in bankruptcy court. GM, part of American life for more than 100 years and once the country's largest employer, is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at 8 a.m. EDT Monday, according to people familiar with the company's plans. They declined to be identified because the plans haven't been officially announced.(ABC News), no word how or if this will the effect support of many NASCAR teams.(5-31-2009)
- NASCAR: New evidence that Dodge, Chevy maybe forced to cut back: Much has been made of the extent to which Chrysler and General Motors' financial problems might impact their NASCAR participation. With Chrysler filing for bankruptcy, and General Motors expected to follow suit within the next 10 days, there is cause for concern. Dodge executives have said all the right things regarding the company’s participation in NASCAR -- that, despite the bankruptcy, no changes were planned. Now, there is evidence that it may be beyond their control. According to Automotive News, Chrysler wanted to spend $134 million in advertising over the nine weeks it is expected to be in bankruptcy, but the U.S. Treasury's auto industry task force gave it half that. “So if General Motors, which is wrestling with the possibility of a Chapter 11 filing itself, is wondering how much influence the task force will have over marketing, the answer is plenty,” the publication said. “Transcripts from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is hearing the Chrysler case, showed that the task force at least understands that advertising is a necessary expense -- even if it doesn't think Chrysler needs $134 million for nine weeks of car ads.” Meaning what? Meaning that, under bankruptcy -- and remaining in business primarily using government money -- the government is not hesitating to tell the manufacturers how much money they can spend on marketing, which is where the lion's share of motorsports funding comes from. Very little -- less than ever -- comes from research and development.
In the government is willing to cut Chrysler's marketing allocation in half -- and that's half of what Chrysler was asking for, not half of what it is used to spending -- then it may be a tough sell to convince the feds that taxpayer dollars should go towards supporting Dodge, which has won just one race this year, Kurt Busch's victory at Atlanta.(Orlando Sentinel)
- Latest on Manufacturers troubles: Heavy storm clouds are hanging over some NASCAR teams at Talladega Superspeedway this week: Chrysler appears headed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy within the next week, and then Italian car maker Fiat will likely pick and chose the parts of the American automaker that it wants to buy and take a major stake in the Detroit company – and what that means for NASCAR's Dodge teams, like the ones owned by Roger Penske, Richard Petty and George Gillett is anybody's guess. The Obama administration has given Chrysler until April 30th to make a deal with Fiat before giving the car maker enough money to survive. Such a bankruptcy would apparently force the U.S. government to take over some key parts of Chrysler's business, perhaps some of the health care and pension plan aspects. Bankruptcy would apparently also leave all those Cerberus investors without much, if anything, to show for the billions they invested in the car maker a few years ago when buying it and taking it private. Fiat would gradually buy enough of Chrysler, or its parts, to eventually have controlling interest. One interesting angle – Fiat owns Ferrari, the Formula One powerhouse, though Ferrari is operated independently.
On the General Motors' side of the picture, GM officials say they plan to shut down virtually the entire company for about two months beginning in about two weeks….though that may be just a bluff, because such a shutdown could add tens of thousands more to the unemployment roles, through a major trickle-down effect. GM is under an Obama deadline of May 31st to get its financial affairs in better order. Like the Chrysler situation, the potential impact on GM's NASCAR operations are unclear.(Mikemulhern.net)(4-24-2009)
- GM Head Steps Down, could it effect NASCAR? George Richard "Rick" Wagoner Jr. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors resigned as Chairman and CEO at General Motors on March 29, 2009, at the request of the White House. During Wagoner's tenure as CEO of General Motors, the market capitalization of GM has gone down by more than 90%. In 2008 Wagoner came under renewed pressure as GM sought financial support from the U.S. government in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. Under Wagoner's leadership, GM suffered more than $73 billion in losses.(AP)
AND: Despite just ousting General Motors' chief executive, President Barack Obama Monday insisted "The United States government has no interest in running GM." However the abrupt dismissal of Rick Wagoner, the well-respected executive (Duke, class of '75) who has run GM for the past eight years, has shocked not only Detroit but the rest of the car market, including NASCAR's North Carolina base. Yet during Wagoner's run, GM stock fell from $60 a share to $1.27 a few weeks ago, and Obama says new leadership at GM is needed. During a 20-minute statement Monday in Washington, Obama laid out his game plan for reviving the American car industry. And it is very clear that Obama has agendas for both GM and Chrysler, the two car makers on the hotseat (Ford and Toyota have avoided the government's spotlight), and Monday he pushed repeated for "cleaner" cars out of Detroit. That could well make NASCAR men squirm, because these race cars are certainly not visibly cutting edge at all – 358 cubic inch engines with carburetors, five or six mpg. It took NASCAR nearly 30 years even to make the switch to unleaded gasoline. Obama himself raised the word "bankruptcy," and appeared to be bracing the American people for a GM bankruptcy – by trying to explain what he envisioned it would be: "A tool we can use, even as workers stay on the job building cars."(much more at mikemulhern.net and more info at the Detroit Free Press), No word how any of this could effect NASCAR, there are rumors that Chevy/General Motors could leave NASCAR.(3-31-2009)
- Drivers fret about automakers in tough economy: As General Motors continues to be battered by grim economic news, those who drive for the struggling manufacturer can't help but wonder what impact it will have on their NASCAR programs. On Thursday, GM said in its annual report that auditors raised serious doubt about the automaker's ability to continue operating. The company has received $13.4 billion in federal loans and is seeking an additional $16.6 billion from the government. Tony Stewart, who has a long relationship with GM, said he believes the company is doing what it can to recover. "The biggest thing is we've got to get people to not be afraid to spend money again," he said. "GM is doing their part. The Chevy brand is building cars that are affordable and economic and efficient. From a manufacturer's side, that's all you can ask for. I think they've really responded and done a good job in that respect." Stewart said the fallout would be "tremendous" if any of the major American automakers went out of business. "I think it's at the stage now where we can't rely on the government to do it all for us," he said. "We have to take an active role ourselves. I'm not saying as drivers or NASCAR. I'm saying our country together. We've got to get off our wallets and go back being Americans again and living life the way we used to."
Atlanta Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith called on the federal government to do whatever it takes to keep the Big Three from going under. "It's an abomination," he said. "This country owes them." He pointed to the role Detroit played during World War II, when the car companies quickly shifted their focus from automobiles to producing the machinery of battle. "They saved this country during World War II," Smith said. "What if we get in another major, major war? Who's going to build things? We need to do whatever we can to save those companies."(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-8-2009)
- Chevy still has NASCAR plan: Chevrolet is looking at new ways to connect with NASCAR fans in the wake of substantial cutbacks and a re-evaluation of all spending in the wake of federal assistance given to struggling parent company General Motors, the manufacturer’s racing representative says. To try to compensate for having fewer displays at tracks, for instance, Chevrolet is trying to do more online, especially with advertising for those who might watch or gather NASCAR information online rather than watching on television, says Terry Dolan, manager of Chevy Racing. Dolan says that all fans – whether they can afford a new car or not – remain a key target audience. “We have to appeal to a large base of consumers and their needs,” Dolan said. “Some of that is price. … Additionally, we have to work to keep our dealers viable in some of these difficult times. If in fact, you’re not in position to buy a new car today, we’d sure like you to go to your local Chevrolet dealer to buy a used vehicle.” Among the noticeable areas that Chevrolet has cut back are its deal with the tracks. It still has a display area at Daytona, but it is smaller than in the past. Chevrolet also used to pay for exclusivity at the track, but it’s no longer that way as both Chevrolet and Ford will pace races, and they both have displays, as does Toyota, on track property. Chevrolet has let contracts expire at New Hampshire and Bristol, among others.(SceneDaily)(2-11-2009)
- 2010 Camaro to pace Daytona 500? UPDATE: The 2010 Camaro will be the 2009 Daytona 500 race’s official pace car per an advertisement found by many readers. See the image and more at camaro5.com.(2-2-2009)
UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway officials announced the return of the Chevy Camaro as the Official Pace Car of the 51st running of the Daytona 500—the first Camaro to pace the field since 1969. “Chevy has been a great partner of the Daytona 500 for more than 30 years, and the Camaro is an automotive icon,’” said Speedway President Robin Braig. “This 2010 model will set the tone for a 21st century sports car, and that’s a perfect fit to lead the pack at the ‘Great American Race.’’ The 426-horsepower vehicle, powered by the 6.2-liter all-aluminum Chevy V-8, carries a PPG Cyber Grey paint scheme with a bold accent design befitting “The World Center of Racing.” A Camaro has paced the field just twice in Dayton 500 history, in 1968 and ’69, and this 2010 model is scheduled to hit showroom floors this spring. Built on GM’s new global rear-wheel drive architecture, the Camaro also will be offered in V-6-powered LS and LT models. Additional specs of the 2010 model pace car include:
· All-aluminum 6.2-liter V-8
· 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque
· Fully integrated strobe system, including a GM-designed custom light bar utilizing Whelen 500 series linear strobes
· 27-mpg estimated highway fuel economy
· Fuel-saving Tremec 6-speed manual transmission
Tickets remain available for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. For tickets, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access packages and more information for the 51st annual Daytona 500, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(2-7-2009
- GM renews sponsorship of Daytona: General Motors Corp. has renewed its decades-long sponsorship of the Daytona International Speedway and its signature stock car race, the Daytona 500, but at a cheaper price. And instead of a multi-year deal, the cash-strapped automaker will sponsor NASCAR's most prestigious event on a year-to-year basis. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The renewal ends speculation that GM's money woes, which have triggered a scaling back of corporate sponsorships, would force the automaker to terminate sponsorship of an event that was the top-rated motorsports telecast in North America last year. The multi-year deal expired Dec. 31. GM finalized the new deal Dec. 19, the same day President George W. Bush announced the Detroit automaker and Chrysler LLC would receive up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans. GM has sponsored Daytona for more than 40 years, and motorsports in general provide a prime marketing opportunity for automakers to reach customers who buy domestic vehicles at a rate higher than the national average. The race, which last year drew 33.5 million television viewers, is Feb. 15. GM provides fire and safety vehicles, pace cars and other vehicles for the race, as well as a July race at the track. GM did not disclose how much it spends on the Daytona deal or NASCAR sponsorships. Last year, GM had sponsorships at 12 tracks that host NASCAR events, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but three of those sponsorships have not been renewed. Chevrolet also is the official vehicle sponsor of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 held in September at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. That sponsorship expires this year.(Detroit News)(1-8-2009)