Sunday, June 14, 2009

Perfect Timing for a Chevrolet Victory

Mark Martin may have taken the checkered flag, but Chevrolet was the biggest winner at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

On the heels of GM's announcement that it plans to cut support for all levels of NASCAR, a win by Chevrolet couldn't have been better timed--or better placed. MIS is about an hour's drive from the headquarters of the Big Three, and the victory by Martin and his #5 Chevy Impala was a sorely needed bright spot on the dim landscape of American auto manufacturing.

Nobody knows how badly the General Motors re-organization will affect Sprint Cup racing, at least not yet. All we know for certain is that GM is eliminating funding for NASCAR's Camping World Trucks and Nationwide series completely. More details about GM's plans for Cup racing will likely be released this week.

Before Sunday's race, NASCAR Chairman Brian France made an unscheduled appearance in the MIS media center, saying that he's confident GM will be involved in NASCAR for many years to come, but he also intimated that NASCAR would consider opening its arms to more foreign makers.

The sport we love is changing, along with our nation and the once-great face of American manufacturing. It's too early to tell what the garage will look like in 2010 and what it will take for NASCAR to weather this storm.

But thanks to Martin, there's at least one headline in which the folks at Chevrolet can take some pride. Their engine beat out the rest of the pack ... and all in their own backyard.

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