DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chevrolet may have pulled out of NASCAR had the sanctioning body not agreed to redesign race cars and make them more relevant to consumers.
NASCAR President Mike Helton and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick say they were involved in talks with the American automaker that made it clear things needed to change to keep Chevrolet happy.
But Mark Ruess, president of General Motors North America, says the auto giant never threatened to walk.
Helton and Hendrick, though, believe it could have happened had NASCAR not developed the new "Generation 6" car that resembles those on showroom floors.
At the unveiling of the 2014 Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway, Helton says: "We can't thank Chevrolet enough for having led the charge on that. Backed us in a corner and said, 'Here's what you guys need to think about doing' and causing us maybe to react a little bit ahead of our own schedules. But it worked, and it worked well."