RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (RCR), met with media at Infineon Raceway. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEETING WITH GENERAL MOTORS THIS WEEK AND WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO IT AND HOW WILL RCR WORK THROUGH THE CORRECTIONS? "It's...
RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (RCR), met with media at Infineon Raceway.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEETING WITH GENERAL MOTORS THIS WEEK AND WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO IT AND HOW WILL RCR WORK THROUGH THE CORRECTIONS? "It's like these times everybody is seeing times that we never dreamed we would see. With General Motors and the Chevrolet product, they are going to be in racing. We had a really great meeting with them and they've got some great plans moving forward. And sure, we'll have to make some adjustments, but I know what Chevrolet has as a product line coming with fuel mileage and a lot of new things that they're working on and they're going to be a very strong company when they come out of this (bankruptcy procedure). We'll adjust with them and be okay."
IS TECHNOLOGY GOING TO BE THE SAME? IN OTHER WORDS, ARE YOU GOING TO GET JUST AS MUCH TECHNOLOGICAL SUPPORT FROM GM AS YOU'VE ALWAYS GOTTEN? "Yeah, we'll be working with them on a lot of different stuff, just like we have in the past."
HOW MUCH ARE THEY CUTTING FROM YOU? "That's all business numbers and business deals. I don't go around asking people what they're paying ya'll. So that's kind of our deal here. We've talked about a lot of different things with GM and are very supportive of them on the track and off the track. I just see some great things for General Motors in the future."
WITH THESE CUTBACKS, CAN YOU AFFORD TO DO YOUR NATIONWIDE PROGRAM? AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH AUSTIN DILLON, AT SOME POINT? "We'll still be running some Nationwide next year and maybe two teams. Right now we're working on running two teams next year. A lot of that depends on the other sponsorships.
"The cuts that General Motors has made are necessary for the conditions that they're in today. It's not going to affect our performance at RCR. It's not going to affect our technology. We're making sure; yeah, we may have to do other things a little differently, but when it comes to our performance and giving our sponsors their return on investment, it's not going to affect any of our sponsors either."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR ENGINE PROGRAM? FORD, IN THE PAST, BROUGHT THEIR WHOLE ENGINE PROGRAM TOGETHER. COULD THAT BE A POSSIBILITY DOWN THE ROAD FOR GM?
"We haven't talked about it. Right now we're planning on going forward. Everything is intact to go forward with ECR next year and hopefully, if everything works out, we should have plenty of business there besides RCR and Earnhardt-Ganassi."
ARE YOU GOING TO BE FORCED TO LAY PEOPLE OFF? "You know, we're going to go back (to the shop). I've been in Montana for a week. I don't know really what all is going to happen. We're going to have to make cuts like everybody in the sport or in the business. We really don't know what it's going to take to get us to the level. We don't want to cut performance for sure; we're not going to cut performance. We'll cut a lot of other things before that."
IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT WHEN YOU SAID ADJUSTMENTS? "Yeah, just looking at our budgets and seeing things we can do differently, and other ways that we can save money and still be as competitive and have competitive race teams out there."
IS ECR A SEPARATE ENTITY FROM RCR AS FAR AS WHERE THE BUDGET COMES FROM? "Yeah, ECR has its own budget and its own group of people (like) Richie Gilmore and a lot of the guys who are running it, we've already approached a lot of things. And we've been working on a lot of things. Forecasting. We don't know how the economy is going to be a year from now or two years from now. It's no different than any one of you (media) men and women that are talking to me. Your companies have made adjustments and we're not different and General Motors is no different. They went through the bankruptcy and a lot of things are being handled by the bankruptcy court. When they come out, they will be a stronger company."
HAVE THINGS CHANGED IMMEDIATELY? ARE ALL THE CONTRACTS BASICALLY NULL AND VOID AND YOU'RE STARTING FROM SCRATCH WITH THEM? "I'm not putting you off, but I haven't been back. I've talked to the GM executives and I don't think they even have a clear direction yet through the bankruptcy."
ARE THE CUTS MONETARY, OR DO THEY INVOLVE OTHER AREAS AS WELL? "Like I said earlier, all that's business/personal between RCR and General Motors."
AND YOU EXPECT MORE MEETINGS WITH GM? "Oh, yeah. We'll have more meetings. We're partners. You know this is RCR's 40th year. We've been with General Motors for 40 years. And I'm excited about hopefully our company having another 40 (years) with them."
DID YOU GET YOUR JUNE 15TH PAYMENT FROM GM? "Again, that's personal. I didn't ask you if you got your paycheck this week."
DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE FOUR CARS NEXT YEAR? "Right now we do. Who knows what will happen? There are a lot of things moving forward you know. I look around the garage and there's some of the press and some of the other companies that were in here that's made other cutbacks too. We've all just got to adjust for these times and racing is no different. All the different companies that you look around (and see) so many of them are making adjustments and we've all got to do that. We will survive and we're in the greatest country in the world and we will survive this."
DOES EACH CHEVY TEAM TALK TO THE INDIVIDUALLY OR DO YOU MEET AS A GROUP? "Yes, we talk individually about this issue."
-credit: gm racing