Evernham confident Chrysler sale will help teams
SCENEDAILY - 2:19PM ET FRIDAY MAY 18, 2007 -
CONCORD, N.C. - Dodge team owner Ray Evernham said Friday the sale of the Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management should help the manufacturer's NASCAR efforts.
Evernham said Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway that he met with executives of the company two days before the sale that split DaimlerChrysler.
"I was with corporate two days before the deal was announced - actually, I had one of the best meetings I've had in a long time when I was up there," Evernham said. "I think this is going to be good."
Evernham said Chrysler Group President Tom Lasorda "has a handle on what NASCAR needs" and hinted that under previous ownership, the NASCAR program was handcuffed.
"I think they're going to reallocate some funds and put them in the right place," Evernham said. "I believe the people that buy this understand the importance of NASCAR. If they don't, they'll get educated on it.
"I liked what I saw. We'll have to wait and see if all that stuff happens, but the bottom line is I feel like they know what they need to do, they're in the process of doing it, and this company coming in may allow them to have a little more freedom that they haven't had. As far as everything I've been told, NASCAR is very important to Dodge."
Evernham wouldn't blame DaimlerChrysler's financial troubles for the struggles his three Nextel Cup teams are facing. None of his three teams is in the top 15 in points, and Kasey Kahne's No. 9 team is 30th and Scott Riggs' No. 10 team is 37th in owner points.
"I'm not going to stand here and tell you we're in the process we're in because Dodge has cut us back," Evernham said. "That would be unfair."