Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1999. Winston Teleconference. Comments from Chevrolet Motorsports Manager Gary Claudio. Chevrolet notes and quotes. GARY CLAUDIO (Chevrolet Motorsports Manager) "I think as NASCAR becomes more familiar with the ...
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1999. Winston Teleconference. Comments from Chevrolet Motorsports Manager Gary Claudio. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
GARY CLAUDIO (Chevrolet Motorsports Manager)
"I think as NASCAR becomes more familiar with the introduction of the new models, their rules become better defined. They're working well with us as they articulate the guidelines to all of the manufacturers, I think Dodge should really be the recipients of this and their approval process should go quite smoothly because NASCAR has been through it with Chevrolet with the new 2000 Monte Carlo and of course the reintroduction of the Taurus this year, coming in 2000 also, I think it should go very smoothly.
"I think NASCAR was perhaps reluctant to become as involved as they were this time. I don't think they were as knowledgeable as they are now, having gone through the introduction of the Taurus, having gone through the introduction of the most recent Monte Carlo and now the 2000 Monte Carlo. I think they're more up with aero numbers, with performance and obviously they want, as Mr. Helton has said more than once to me, their goal is to have all three brands right down to the finish line, almost a photo finish if you will, and I think the parity amongst the three brands is real close right now and the racing has been very good, so they've achieved what they set out to do.
"Traditionally with the involvement of Chevrolet in motorsports, going back to when the V-8 was introduced in the '50s, it has been a part of our heritage, it has been a core part of our business, even though at some periods during our history we had to kind of race out of the back door if you will, but the Monte Carlo brand has made motorsports, particular NASCAR, an integral part of their business plan for the year 2000. The introduction of the new race car next year coincides with more and more availability into the showrooms with the production car. It makes good business sense for us to, I guess, go on the coattails of NASCAR. You look what they're doing, the way the fans respond to NASCAR, the 70 odd percent loyalty value of the fans that they say support the products that support their favorite sport. The demographics match ours. The expansion of NASCAR into various markets, the new ones coming of course, Kansas City and Chicago. I think they're still looking at Denver and New York. It's just good business sense for us to be involved, and it translates into not only people buying the cars that we race but also other brands that are within the Chevrolet family and trucks as well.
"I think it's great for the sport, great for the fans, great for NASCAR because that's going to help us raise the bar here at General Motors to become more involved, to take a look at really what motorsports is and to say hey, this is going to force us, and I think there's going to be some statements to validate this at the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas, that GM is going to look at motorsports with a unified global approach. It's not going to be limited to NASCAR but to other racing venues that we're participating in. We're competing head to head with the Dodge fellows and Viper certainly has humbled me with what they've done to us in the American LeMans Series with the Corvette, but we're certainly going to be prepared. We learned wonderful lessons there. There will be some announcements made as I said at SEMA about our future in international motorsports. Racing is big business, and it's good business for General Motors.
"I have not spoken with anybody realtime. I've received voice mails, and everyone is very real pleased with the testing issue. It's going on today as Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1999. Winston Teleconference. Comments from Chevrolet well. I think we'll have a very good race car to debut at the Daytona race."
"The first thing Bill has got to go through is what teams he's going to go after and what teams are going to transfer over. I believe their numbers would go with them. That would answer part of the question. The majority of the numbers I think are taken up by the current teams anyway. The last I heard, they're thinking about going to three digit numbers.
"I've heard all kind of numbers about what Chrysler is throwing around, and God bless them if that's what they have to spend. That's wonderful, but I think that what it has caused us to do is it has given The General the opportunity to take a look at forming a unified approach to our global motorsports program. I think that will come through loud and clear in some announcements that we're going to make at SEMA on Tuesday, Nov. 2. As far as budgets are concerned, I think we're going to have the resources (to use) what we feel in the racing venues that we choose to be competitive and to win.
"We're keeping our options open (on building wind tunnel in North Carolina)."
CHEVY SHORTS -- Entering the Final Four races of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Team Monte Carlo drivers have made up 11 points in the past three races and have pulled within 10 points of Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturers standings. By winning four of the past five races and three straight, Chevrolet trails Ford 204-194. Pontiac is third with 172 points. Ford and Chevrolet are tied with 12 wins each this season. Pontiac has six wins. Jeff Gordon leads the way for Team Monte Carlo with seven wins. Dale Earnhardt has three, while Terry Labonte and Joe Nemechek have one win.
Chevrolet has won 13 of the past 16 manufacturers titles and 21 of 27 in NASCAR's modern era that began in 1972 when the schedule was trimmed to 31 or fewer races per season.
Buick won two titles in 1981 and 1982. Dodge won it in 1975, and Ford won titles in 1992, 1994 and 1997. From 1983-91, Chevrolet won an unprecedented nine straight manufacturers championships.
General Motors will be the only manufacturer to participate in the Big Three motorsports events in 2000. GM will compete in the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of LeMans.
TEAM MONTE CARLO WINNERS CIRCLE
Here are the 24 drivers who have won races driving a Monte Carlo. Team Monte Carlo drivers have made Chevrolet's Monte Carlo the most successful nameplate in NASCAR Winston Cup history with 276 career victories.
Darrell Waltrip 48 Harry Gant 6 David Pearson 2 Jeff Gordon 47 Geoffrey Bodine 6 Buddy Baker 2 Dale Earnhardt 43 Richard Petty 6 Charlie Glotzbach 1 Cale Yarborough 38 Neil Bonnett 5 Ken Schrader 1 Bobby Allison 15 Sterling Marlin 5 Greg Sacks 1 Terry Labonte 15 Bobby Labonte 4 Earl Ross 1 Benny Parsons 14 Donnie Allison 3 Bobby Hamilton 1 Tim Richmond 9 Ricky Rudd 2 Joe Nemechek 1