Move Over, Toyota: More Foreign Car Makes Racing To NASCAR?

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IJune 15, 2009

Toyota might not be NASCAR's proverbial new kid for much longer thanks to a lack of support from General Motors and Chrysler.

Following a weekend at the Michigan International Speedway, the back yard of the "big three" – GM, Chrysler and Ford – NASCAR Chief Executive Brian France is now talking about other foreign car makers.

The catch? Any manufacturer interested in entering the sport must have plants inside the United States, according to NASCAR rules.

"We have companies that are interested in particular in developing the North American market as robustly as they can," France said. "And we're all aware that there are lots of foreign manufacturers producing cars here in America. That was part of the rationale that Toyota used" to get involved in NASCAR."

Such companies could include Honda, who fields all cars and engines for the IndyCar Series, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and others. However, France says he's "not going to name names".

As much fuss as was made when Toyota entered NASCAR, first coming into NASCAR five years ago, it will be interesting to see what current Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford team owners have to say about these new car makers entering the sport.

Or, maybe more importantly, which of these teams will make the switch from companies who can't support themselves, let alone race teams, to incoming companies with dollars to spend.

Could we see Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. driving BMWs? Or the Roush-Fenway brigade rockin' Mercedes-Benz? Only time will tell.

Thanks to Jayski, ESPN, the Virginian-Pilot, The Associated Press for the information and quotes used in this article.