Pontiac says less offers more

Pontiac will downsize its NASCAR Winston Cup effort next year, but expects to put up just as strong a fight for honours

Pontiac says less offers more

The Detroit-based, General Motors-owned manufacturer, which currently leads the Winston Cup with Bobby Labonte, will field six teams next year - a 40% reduction over 2000. But, despite the loss of front-running outfit Bill Davis Racing to newcomers Dodge, it feels its efforts will be just as potent.

"The 'quality versus quality' issue has been a point of contention throughout the 2000 season," said GM Racing's Jeff Chew. "For 2001, there is absolutely no reason to believe that Pontiac's overall on-track performance won't improve relative to this year. The reduction in number of teams will allow our engineering and technical staff to spend more time with each team."

The news has been welcomed by the remaining Pontiac teams, including Labonte's Joe Gibbs Racing outfit.

"From our perspective, having less Pontiacs in the field is not going to really affect our race team," said Jimmy Makar, Labonte's crew chief. "Between the '20' [Tony Stewart's] and the '18' [Labonte's] car, we learn enough between each other to not necessarily have to have a large group of other Pontiac owners and teams in the sport. There are still going to be several of them out there, and we're still going to try to work with those guys that are still involved, but I don't see it being a problem at all to Joe Gibbs Racing.

"With fewer mouths to feed there should be more resources to go around for the teams that are involved with Pontiac, and that's a positive, for sure," he added.


Chevrolet, 9 teams
Dodge, 5 teams
Ford, 11 teams
Pontiac, 6 teams

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