10-18-2004: CHEVROLET CLINCHES NASCAR NEXTEL CUP MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP
Title is 28th for Chevrolet since 1952 and 24th in Modern Era (since 1972)
CHARLOTTE, NC - Jimmie Johnson's victory in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at
Lowe's Motor Speedway clinched the 2004 Manufacturers' Championship for
Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier division. With five races left in the season,
Chevrolet collected its 28th Manufacturers' crown and the 24th of NASCAR's
Modern Era, which began in 1972.
A total of five different drivers have contributed to the 18 victories in 31
races thus far this season that brought Chevrolet its 24th crown. Chevy drivers
who posted wins during the season included Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5), Jeff Gordon
(5), Jimmie Johnson (5), Tony Stewart (2), and Joe Nemechek (1).
The 2004 Manufacturers' Championship continues Chevrolet's dominance of North
America's most popular motorsports series. In fact, Chevrolet's nearest
competitor has won just nine times. Since 1972, GM Racing has earned 26 of the
33 Manufacturers' titles contested, with Chevrolet collecting 24 of those for an
impressive .75 winning percentage (Buick has won the title twice).
PATRICK SUHY, NASCAR GROUP MANAGER, GM RACING: "Chevrolet has a storied
history in NASCAR competition with 428 race wins since the Modern Era began in
1972. To clinch the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Manufacturers' Championship with five
races remaining in the season is pretty impressive. It has truly been a group
approach with five primary Chevy teams sharing in this result. This cooperative
effort among the teams, in concert with the technology and support provided by
GM Racing, has made this championship special for all concerned. We are also
extremely proud to capture the inaugural Manufacturers' title under the new
RICK HENDRICK, OWNER, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: "Chevrolet came down and
presented me with a Monte Carlo pace car this weekend that had the 20th
anniversary on the hood. We had all our cars painted silver this weekend. Being
a Chevrolet dealer and racing Chevrolets all the way, GM in Detroit puts an
awful lot of emphasis on winning that deal. To clinch it tonight with us doing
it is really special for me."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, No.48 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "It's been a very special
ride for me with Chevrolet. When I was 16 years old, they took a chance with me
and put me in their off-road program. They have really guided my career and
helped me meet the right people and bring me though the ranks. Last year I
captured their 400th NASCAR win and that was very special for me with the
history I've had with Chevrolet. And then to be able tonight to win the race and
clinch the Manufacturers' Cup for them this year is just really something
special. I remember being the young guy under the umbrella and watching all
these marks be taken by drivers like Jeff Gordon and numerous other top-notch
guys, and it's pretty cool to know I'm in that company now."