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Chevrolet Clinches Manufacturers’ Championship

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 16, 2004) – 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.
“It’s been a very special ride for me with Chevrolet,” Johnson said.  “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.”

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 Johnson (5), Gordon (5), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5), Tony Stewart (2), and Joe Nemechek (1).

The 2004 Manufacturers’ Championship continues Chevrolet’s dominance of North America’s most popular motor sports 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 percent of those (Buick has won the title twice).

“Chevrolet has a storied history in NASCAR competition with 428 race wins since the Modern Era began in 1972,” said Patrick Suhy, NASCAR group manager, GM Racing.  “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 NEXTEL reign.”

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