Thursday, July 10, 2008
SMOKE PRESSER TIDBITS
Perhaps the two biggest talking points to come out of Tony Stewart's just-completed news conference were when he first began talks with The Company Formerly Known As Haas CNC Racing and what monetary role General Motors played in his move.
To the former point, Stewart revealed that he was first approached by the organization at the end of last year about a potential partnership with Haas CNC.
Rumors of a potential move were first reported around the time of the Talledega race in April, which means nearly sixth months transpired from first contact to the news hitting the rumor mill. Given the loose lips walking around the NASCAR garage, it's amazing Stewart and company were able to keep their dealings private for that length of time.
As to the latter point, there was a constant buzz in the weeks leading up to Stewart's announcement that GM would be willing to pay whatever it took to buy-out the remainder of his Joe Gibbs Racing contract and get one of their flagship drivers back underneath the Chevy umbrella.
Stewart stated unequivocally in his press conference that neither GM nor their checkbooks had anything to do with his buy-out from JGR. It was an issue that was handled strictly between Stewart himself and his soon-to-be former team.
Needless to say, though, given Toyota's domination of the Cup series this year, there are some very happy executives at GM right about now.