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Chaos appears to reign in GM's NASCAR camps, with few solid answers -- one big question: has GM simply stopped paying its NASCAR bills?

Chevy team owner Richard Childress (R), with Kevin Harvick, will have to refigure all his racing budgets, because of GM's cuts (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   SONOMA, Calif.
   Richard Childress, a General Motors supported NASCAR team owner for 40 years now, says times are tough and his meeting with GM executives Wednesday showed it's time for his four Sprint Cup teams to tighten the belts.
   But Childress declined to offer any specifics about what cuts GM might have proposed or made, calling that "personal business."
   Childress said at the moment he expected to have four Cup teams again in 2010. "But who knows what will happen," Childress added. "There are a lot of things moving forward.
    "I look around the garage and other companies have made cutbacks too."
    Did Childress get his June 15th payment, apparently about $2.5 million, from General Motors? Childress declined to answer: "That's personal…I didn't ask you if you got your paycheck this week."
   Just what is really going on here? Nobody with GM or its teams really seems to know.
    "I don't really know what all is going to happen," Childress concedes.  "We're going to have make cuts. We don't really know what all we will have to do.
    "But we're not going to cut performance. We will cut a lot of other things before that.
   "Just looking at our budgets and seeing what we can do differently, and still have competitive race teams.
   "None of us knows what the economy will look like a year from now, or two years from now.
   "General Motors is going through the bankruptcy, and a lot of things are being handled by the bankruptcy court."
   With this bankruptcy, are all GM's NASCAR contracts immediately null and void, leaving GM racing men and these teams to basically 'wing it?'
   "I've talked with the GM executives…and I don't even think they have a clear direction yet through the bankruptcy," Childress replied.
   "But when they come out, they will be a stronger company.
   "We'll have more meetings; we're partners. We've been partners for 40 years and I expect to have another 40 years with them.
    "We will survive this. We're in the greatest country in the world."

   Childress said more meetings with GM are expected, and he indicated there was a bit of confusion perhaps at GM as to just how this whole thing may actually play out – for GM overall and for GM and its NASCAR teams.
   GM typically contracts with NASCAR teams for various projects – engine development, for example – and pays for those projects. What might happen to all that is unclear, but the general indication is GM will not be making any more payments to teams or drivers but will still provide technical support.
   "People are seeing times we never dreamed we'd see," Childress said. "General Motors and Chevrolet will be in racing. Sure, we'll have to make some adjustments.
   "We had a really great meeting them, and they have good plans moving forward. We'll adjust with them and we'll be okay.
   "We will be working with them on a lot of stuff just as in the past."
   How much is GM cutting Childress? "That's all business, and I don't ask what they're paying y'all," Childress said. "We've talked with GM about a number of things, and we're very supportive of them, and I see some great things for General Motors in the future.
  "We'll still be running Nationwide next year; we're planning on running two teams, but that depends on sponsorship.
  "The cuts that GM has made are necessary for the conditions they're in today. It will not affect the performance at RCR. It's not going to affect our technology.
   "We may have to do things a little differently….but it will not affect any of our sponsors."
   Childress also has an engine-building partnership with Teresa Earnhardt, with three Cup teams getting those engines. That program, sponsored in part by GM, will continue, Childress indicated. "And we should have plenty of business there next year, if everything works out."
    Childress said the possibility of a single, unified 'Team Chevrolet' NASCAR engine building program – joint with Rick Hendrick – has not been raised.

Chevrolet boss Ed Peper -- So has GM voided all its NASCAR contracts? No one from GM is offering any answers (Photo: GM)


GM is in serious trouble.

GM is in serious trouble. Also, NASCAR fans should warm to President Obama, who sets the rules for the Company. You might think about that because Obama not being welcome in NASCAR probably will hurt Chevys chances.
The management at NASCAR is doing a good job of keeping GM and Dodge teams at the front, hoping to show the benefits. But a Company (NASCAR) whose first attempt at diversity was to bring justice Clarance Thomas to the Daytona 500 and make him grand marshall shows it doesn't have a clue.
Get used to smaller backing from GM. Praise the car of tomorrow because if the unicar was not in existance, GM could not produce a car that would be competitive. Period.
It is apparent who got the money for GM -- Hendrick and through them, Stewart. You can tell from Childress' performance he's not getting as much money, though he toed the company line. Toyota is sound and Ford is in pretty good shape.
We'll see, but I'm sure by 2011, there are going to be serious changes.

You're right that NASCAR

You're right that NASCAR needs to get with the political flow. And I still can't believe NASCAR passed up Joe Biden at Dover....that's a major faux pas.

It looks like Hendrick will

It looks like Hendrick will be the only winner out of this - Chevy's budgets to his team don't appear to be affected.

I'm starting to think you may

I'm starting to think you may be right on this....but if GM dumps on Richard Childress, after all these years, shame on them.

I think they know what's

I think they know what's going to happen: Biden or Obama would be booed. That would NOT be good. If you read the comments sections in various media outlets, a LOT of Americans wanted Chrysler and GM to fail. They think ALL american cars are junk.
I think the next ten years are going to be very interesting in terms of NASCAR and how big it will be and where the races will be held. I will say that I think Andy Hillenburg is one of the smartest around because I think you will see a return to Rockingham in the not too distant future. Well, let me modify that to say "it wouldn't surprise me.

hey, here's a vote to put the

hey, here's a vote to put the rock back on the schedule. a one-day in-and-out. why not like a 'wednesday night thunder.'

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