SBD/March 31, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chevrolet Could Allow Dale Earnhardt Jr., Graham Rahal To Swap Cars For Exhibition

Chevrolet is allowing NASCAR driver Kurt Busch to "drive a Honda in the upcoming Indianapolis 500, and it will consider letting Dale Earnhardt Jr. experience a Honda if a discussed car swap with Graham Rahal takes the next step," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. But Chevrolet VP/Performance Vehicles & Motorsports Jim Campbell said that there is a "difference between the two situations." Campbell: "At the time Kurt did his (IndyCar rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year) we were aligned with Andretti (Autosport). We were certainly hoping Kurt would be able to find a Chevy team to run with this year, but we understood that these deals take a long time to work out.” Cavin notes Andretti is a Honda team for '14. Campbell said that there has been "no formal request from Earnhardt to drive Rahal’s car, so until that happens there’s actually nothing to comment on." The link to Rahal is "based on both drivers being sponsored by the National Guard" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/31). Campbell said, "If we get a proposal, we'll take a look at it and we'll look at it with an open set of eyes. The rest is hypothetical. Broadly speaking about any Chevy driver that is currently on our roster, if they decided to go race in another category or series, of course we'd love to see them in Chevys. There's no doubt about that. In some cases it works out like that, and in some cases it doesn't." Earnhardt last week said of a potential swap, "He drives a Honda, which is more than just a speed bump. If I wanted to drive an IndyCar, I'm sure I could get with Penske or somebody who owned a Chevy and take a couple laps somewhere. But it would have been fun to do that with Graham because of the relationship with our sponsor and the history of our families" (AP, 3/29). 
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