Detroit Big 3 tell NASCAR to deep-six truck series UPDATE #3 Is NASCAR listening yet? Well they had better. With this announcement Ford has withdrawn from the truck series ala Dodge. That leaves GM and Toyota. When GM leaves (And they will - who is buying gas guzzling trucks these days? Not many) NASCAR will be forced to shut down the truck series, which given the attendance it attracts should have been shuttered years ago. What a waste for manufacturers to compete in all three NASCAR divisions?
09/16/08 Rumors continue to circulate that the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks could be in trouble. Reports tell of Ford, Dodge and Chevy telling NASCAR that they should nix the series because they are not selling trucks. That’s a fact and due to the spiking gas and diesel prices. If NASCAR did scratch the CTS, it would devastate the NASCAR ladder system and take out a lot of drivers and teams on the way up and those on the way down. Let’s hope that this rumor doesn’t ever become fact. Winston Salem Journal
09/09/08 Ford team owner Jack Roush, who once ran one of the country's top road racing operations, said: "I think there's a NASCAR road-racing series coming, regardless of whether the Truck series goes away. And for us to be able to road race again would be a great thing.
"It would be cool, and I would enjoy having a Daytona Prototype car for the 24 Hours in 2009, and for a handful of other races, too, but I think it may be too late to get that going for next year. But maybe 2010."
The Truck series currently is under some pressure, with Chrysler's abrupt decision to withdraw Dodge factory support. Dodge was once NASCAR's Truck series powerhouse, but it has only backed one team this season.
What will Dodge's withdrawal mean?
"I think there is a distinct possibility that in the foreseeable future, based on the economy and what the manufacturers have done, there is a reasonable chance that the Truck series will go away," Roush says. "Not in 2009, but maybe in 2010 or 2011.
"I hope that doesn't happen. You look at it, and 40 percent of the people who drive into these racetracks are coming in either SUVs or pickup trucks. So trucks are still relevant to what we're trying to do here. But there's a lot of pressure, and the Truck series may well be a casualty of that…."
J.D. Gibbs, a Toyota team owner, said: "Dodge pulling out of Trucks, that's not good. We had a Truck team for a while, and lost our shirts. Trucks have always been a hard sell."
"When Dodge first came into NASCAR Trucks, they came in with money and accepted half of what the going rate was for a sponsorship then. Dodge really set up the Truck series to be a ‘manufacturers' series, because of their money -- support which was unprecedented.
"And when Toyota came in, it took another turn.
"So right now, the Truck series, because NASCAR has been unable to manage it, is dependent on manufacturers to support it … because of what Dodge originally did and what Toyota has done." - journalnow.com08/06/08 The implosion of the casual-use pickup truck market in the U.S. does not bode well for NASCAR's truck series. And the fact that NASCAR hasn't been able to land a sponsor to replace Craftsman doesn't bode well for the truck series either. To reduce costs the Detroit manufacturers wouldn't mind if NASCAR's truck series went bye-bye. As a matter of fact, one of the manufacturers has already let it be known that they're as good as through with the truck series. Autoextremist