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GM stops writing checks in NASCAR? 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 company 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.
Childress said the possibility of a single, unified 'Team Chevrolet' NASCAR engine building program – joint with Rick Hendrick – has not been raised. MikeMulhern.net
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