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BLACK: GM LETTER NO SURPRISE
Written by Bobby Bennett
Thursday, 09 July 2009
Pro Stock Team Owner Said Communication With GM Was Minimal Following Simmonds Departure …
Ken Black congratulates fellow GM Pro Stock team owner Victor Cagnazzi following the 2007 NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Both Black and Cagnazzi received letters from GM discontinuing their respective programs. (NHRA.com photo)
Ken Black received a Fed-Ex letter yesterday and the contents came as no surprise to the NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock team owner.

Inside was a notice from GM which stated they were officially cutting ties with his KB Racing, LLC as well as with Cagnazzi Racing, Pedregon Racing and Kurt Johnson.

Black’s team consists of former world champions Greg Anderson and Jason Line.

“I knew it was coming, I was forewarned,” Black told CompetitionPlus.com on Wednesday. “That’s why they [GM] filed bankruptcy … to get rid of all of this stuff.”

The stuff Black refers to is the monetary funding his teams received as well as support vehicles and free parts.

“The biggest thing we are going to lose now are our support vehicles … we get four of them a year,” Black explained. “We’ll be turning those in as soon as they advise us to.”

Black said there’s a strong likelihood that GM will allow him to purchase the returned vehicles, a practice he said is new to him and if the price is right, he’ll consider the option.

Black admitted the relationship between his team and GM had deteriorated to a trickle of communication since the departure of Drag Racing Marketing Manager Fred Simmonds last October.

“Fred was our direct link and when he left that was pretty much the end,” Black said.

Black further stated that if he chooses a different manufacturer his options are limited to Ford because as he sees it, “Chrysler is in the same boat with GM with the bankruptcy.” He did confirm that his KB Racing team had discussed a Toyota program with representatives of the company but that was several years ago.

“We’ll have the parts and pieces to finish the year and beyond,” Black said. “Getting parts shouldn’t be a problem because we are told they will still make those. We’ll just have to pay for them.”

KB Racing runs the DRCE3 combination along with Kurt and Warren Johnson. Others running the DRCE2 combination could be in trouble for the future as the production of that line is in question.

For Black, losing support from GM is a double whammy. Ever dime saved via their support is now a dime that must be spent to remain at a competitive level. And, GM isn't the only sponsor cutting back. Black, by accident, discovered K&N Filters is not longer paying out a No. 1 qualifier bonus. A story CompetitionPlus.com is working as you read this.
 

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Colts fan
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Surprised they didnt do it sooner.
 

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I, too was really surprised this didn't come sooner. It's just a shame. It's really not a good time to be a factory backed racer, (at least by GM and Chrysler). I wonder if we will see the likes of Nissan getting into drag racing? We got Toyota in there.
 

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513 Posts
racing s we know it is not to much longer for this world. It will still b around but not as it exists today. With rising costs in every way people are dropping left and right.
 

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The Pipe Gettin Big
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1,304 Posts
Another bone head decision by GM to sell fewer cars. I don't know for sure but the Camaro seems to be selling very well, more around than when the GTOs first came out again at least in my hood. They drop a great car like the G8 and keep the Impala?????????. Clearly they have lost touch with the universe, the younger buyers, and most car enthusiasts. The 2011 Mustang will sell like crazy and have power options comaparable to the GTOs and Camaros and will out sell them because of good advertising , investment in racing, and a good looking car. Just MHO.
 

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9 Second Club
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What would be really neat would be to see a true heads up stock class return to the professional ranks. If you are going to run a toyota you have to run a Toyota that can be bought off the showroom etc. I thought the Dragpack from MOPAR was on track.
 

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o.g.owner since 10/31/2004
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584 Posts
old school pro stock car would be cool,and if toyota wants in they must run a fwd drive v6 version since they dont make anything rwd or with a V8. so fuck toyota
 

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Token-Cracker African
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I never did understand the sticker funding those cars get.

Seriously, the only thing they have in common is that the bodies kinda/sorta look like the car they are "supposed" to be.
 
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