Pontiac pulled out of NASCAR Nextel Cup

American GM brand Pontiac will not be represented in the NASCAR Nextel Cup. From 2004, GM Racing will concentrate its resources in NASCAR stock car racing exclusively on its Chevrolet programme. "GM Racing will no longer race or support the Pontiac Grand Prix racecar," affirmed director Doug Duchardt. "This transition will enable GM Racing to strengthen its Chevy Nextel Cup programme and, at the same time, work with Pontiac on its future racing plans."

Pontiac pulled out of NASCAR Nextel Cup

Lynn Myers, the general manager of Pontiac-GMC, commented: "Given Pontiac's long association with NASCAR and our many great accomplishments over the years, the decision to withdraw from NASCAR was not an easy one. Consistent with GM efforts to focus its racing programmes, Chevrolet will carry the NASCAR banner while Pontiac can now devote resources to developing future racing and marketing programmes consistent with our new performance products, including the GTO, Grand Prix Comp G, G6 and the GXP performance series.

"We're proud of our racing accomplishments and we recognize that motorsport is a powerful engineering, people development and marketing tool. Pontiac is investigating new opportunities to highlight the performance of our vehicles on the track."

Rumours in the USA link the Pontiac brand with a road racing programme with the GTO model, in either the American Le Mans Series or the Grand Am Cup.

The Pontiac Grand Prix has won two of the past four Drivers titles in the NASCAR Winston Cup, with Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002. Chevrolet has won 23 of the last 31 Manufacturers titles in the series, including the 2003 championship.

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