Despite the massive financial problems facing the Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Motorsports director Mike Accavitti says that they will continue to support its NASCAR program. In the short term, this is very good news for NASCAR and its Dodge teams.
I will not delve into the root causes of the financial difficulties which all the domestic automakers face here. There are literally thousands of places to read analysis of the economics involved. As far as NASCAR is concerned, 3 of the 4 automobile manufacturers represented in the sport are in big trouble. Dodge is shutting down all North American manufacturing plants for at least 30 days. Ford has announced that it will extend the annual 2 week shut down of 10 of its plants by an extra week in January.
The fact is this: All of NASCAR's non Toyota teams face drops in manufacturer support in 2009 and beyond. This quite frankly blows NASCAR's carefully tweaked level playing field all to heck. Toyota has already been flexing it's considerable muscles and appears to be ready to dominate the sport should its competitors lose manufacturer support.
Dodge's commitment to supporting its race teams in the middle of such uncertainty is commendable. How effective its support to its teams will be remains, of course, to be determined. Coming off a disappointing 2008 season, and now faced with a financial crises, Dodge has proven that when it came back to NASCAR in 2001, it came back to stay.
I sincerely hope that Ford and Chevrolet will be able to step up to the plate and make the same commitment.