IRL: GM Racing's Fishel announces retirement

GM Racing's Fishel to Retire after 40 Years with GM DETROIT - Herb Fishel, executive director of GM Racing, will retire Sept. 1, leaving a legacy in racing spanning 40 years. Fishel will be on special assignment to GM Service and Parts...

GM Racing's Fishel to Retire after 40 Years with GM

DETROIT - Herb Fishel, executive director of GM Racing, will retire Sept. 1, leaving a legacy in racing spanning 40 years. Fishel will be on special assignment to GM Service and Parts Operations from June 1, until his retirement.

One of Fishel's final duties with GM Racing will be to drive the Chevrolet SSR official pace vehicle to start the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

Doug Duchardt, Group Manager for GM Racing's oval track group, will assume Fishel's responsibilities at GM Racing effective June 1. Pat Suhy, Jr., an engineer at GM Powertrain, will replace Duchardt.

Fishel, 61, worked with late Zora Arkus-Duntov and Vince Piggins, who initiated GM's rebirth into racing and performance parts with the Corvette and small-block Chevy V8 engine in the 1950s. Fishel has influenced GM's performance programs throughout the second half of the 20th century. On Oct. 8, 1991, all of GM's racing programs were combined under his supervision.

"The name Herb Fishel has been synonymous with championship racing programs at GM for decades," said John Middlebrook, GM vice president of marketing and advertising. "Herb is leaving a legacy of success that is both remarkable and inspiring: nine consecutive Winston Cup Manufacturers' titles at one point, and 21 of 24 driver's titles through last year. In 2001, Herb's team did something no one else had done in nearly 30 years, by winning the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans."

In 1997, Fishel was named by Hot Rod magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the first 50 years of hot rodding. He also has been recognized by Racer magazine as one of the dozen most influential people in racing.

Duchardt, 39, has been responsible since 1999 for all program management and technical development in the areas of engine, chassis and aerodynamics for the Chevrolet and Pontiac racing efforts in the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series. Duchardt has been with GM since 1983 and holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla and a master's degree in engineering from Purdue University.

Suhy, 39, is the fuel system design engineer for Gen 3 and 4 V8 and high feature V6 engines. He joined GM Powertrain in 1990 as dynamometer engine development project engineer after earning bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from Michigan Technological University. Suhy also has been active in the American Sedan class of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) national road racing series, where he has simultaneously served as owner, crew chief, engine builder and driver of his own racing team.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs 342,000 people globally in its core automotive business and subsidiaries. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in more than 190 countries. In 2002, GM sold more than 8.6 million cars and trucks, nearly 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters is at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's consumer website at www.gm.com.

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Series ALMS , IndyCar , General , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NHRA