Remember CarandDriver's April Fools' prank? The one that made the magazine relevant for the first time in years? It's caused NASCAR to set down the Natty Light and consider a future without not-so-Big Three sponsorship.
While manufacturer sponsorship doesn't provide the majority of NASCAR's funding - that honor goes to mainstream sponsors like Mello Yello — it is a key part of the race series' equation. Manufacturers like GM and Chrysler provide funding for racetracks, key engineering know-how and parts. There's also the historic connection between NASCAR and the manufacturers; 17 cars wear Chevy badges at NASCAR's top level.
Car and Driver, not recently known for either humor or relevance but benefiting from a revival under new EiC Eddie Alterman, reported President Obama had ordered Chevy and Dodge out of NASCAR as part of an April Fool's Day prank. NASCAR didn't get the joke, with many teams, fans, executives and assorted rednecks believing the news.
That shock has apparently awoken the above parties to the real possibility of losing the support of two brands most closely associated with going fast and turning left and instead relying on the support of newcomers like Toyota. While NASCAR claims it'd survive both financially and emotionally, we get the feeling that they're pouring a little cheap beer out for their homies at the not-so-Big Three. Humor's always best when it causes the target to get all introspective, thus proving they never really got the joke. [via NASCAR]