Wednesday, April 1, 2009

GM, Dodge out of NASCAR?

At first blush that's what it looks like, especially when you see the headline at this link below:

President orders GM, Dodge out of NASCAR

Read the sub-headline, and you see that Car and Driver was having some fun on April 1st, a.k.a. April Fool's Day.

Thinking about the current economy, one has to wonder if such a statement could come down the road. The US automakers are in a world of hurt, and with so much in government aid being sent their way, could the day come that the manufacturers involvement in racing come to an end?

It's a frightening thought for race fans, especially NASCAR fans. NASCAR fans are loyal to a fault. How so? I have friends that stopped drinking a certain brand of beer once Kurt Busch took over the ride previously occupied by Rusty Wallace.

If you don't know what I mean, you aren't a race fan.

I have friends that would not shop at a certain home improvement store while Tony Stewart drove their car.

If you don't know what I mean, you aren't a race fan.

The fact remains, there are NASCAR fans (read consumers) who purchase goods and services from companies that sponsor race teams, especially the race teams they pull for. Same applies for the make of car those teams use, whether it is Toyota, Ford, Chevy or Dodge.

Those race teams that depend on the US automakers for tech support and such would be impacted in such a way that, if the manufacturers were, one day, told to leave the scene, NASCAR would truly be in a pickle. Let's hope (for all of us race fans out there), we never see that day come to pass.

Had the chance to catch up with Charlie Coley, III from the Charlotte 49ers men's hoop team on Tuesday. He is heading to Detroit to take part in the ESPN Slam Dunk Contest on Thursday night. Coley, III is a guy you pull for. He loves playing the game, plays hard, and plays to win, but remembers it's supposed to be fun. He is overcoming his shyness in front of the camera, which is good, because if he can dazzle the crowd the way he dazzled the cameras on Tuesday, he'll be doing plenty of interviews. What an athlete. Wow.

Check out to see the story we ran on him last night, for a sampling of his "practice" dunks.

Mike Solarte

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