User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Chevy may have pulled out without new car

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Chevrolet may have pulled out of NASCAR had the sanctioning body not agreed to redesign race cars and make them more relevant to consumers.

NASCAR President Mike Helton and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Saturday that they had talks with the American automaker that made it clear things needed to change to keep Chevrolet happy.

But Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, said the auto giant never threatened to walk.

``We're not going to walk in and threaten we're going to leave anything,'' Ruess said. ``We're going to have great conversations about what we're going to do, so that's the way we'll approach it.''

Helton and Hendrick, though, believe it could have happened had NASCAR not developed the new ``Generation 6'' car that resembles those on showroom floors.

Speaking at the unveiling of the 2014 Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway, Helton said Chevrolet ``backed us in a corner and said, `Here's what you guys need to think about doing' and causing us maybe to react a little bit ahead of our own schedules. But it worked, and it worked well.''

Hendrick echoed those sentiments.

``I think Mark Reuss said that if we can't be relevant, we don't race,'' Hendrick recalled. ``So we had a lot riding on that. I think that's when everybody started talking, and Ford and Toyota. But Mark pushed the button with NASCAR, and I'm glad he did. It's sure paid off.''

Drivers, owners, NASCAR, fans and manufacturers have raved about the retooled cars, which have better styling and more unique front ends that offer brand identity. It remains to be seen how they will alter racing.

The real payoff could come down the road, with the new race cars possibly improving showroom sales and creating more interest in racing.

And if not for the changes, Chevy may have pull out.

``I think there would have been a good chance,'' Hendrick said. ``Matter of fact, I'm fairly sure they might have. I think once they made their point that if they were going to be in the sport, it had to be relevant to what we sell. You look at what they spend at the tracks and they want to showcase their products.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Roberts: Pure Michigan 400
Sportsbook: Drivers to Watch - Michigan
McDowell wins Xfinity at Road America
Time running low as Chase draws near
Magnussen takes IMSA pole at VIR
Rosberg takes pole for Belgian GP
Raikkonen edges Ricciardo in practice
Hamilton penalty up to 55 places
Joey Logano wins another Sprint pole
MORE HEADLINES Gold Membership
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership