Volume I, Issue 4, Page 26

The Racer’s Liaison

GM’s Fred Simmonds is the man Chevy racers see at the track and the direct link to the brass at General Motors. If you have a question about Chevy support or interest in what the Bow-Tie Brigade is up to, chances are Fred has the answers. We were able to link up with the man at the recent NHRA World Finals at Pomona Raceway to see just what news he could fill us in on.

MAXCHEVY: Do you have a background in racing?

Fred Simmonds: Yes and no, not at the level we are talking about here at Pomona, but as a teenager, I drag raced. I was an NHRA member back in the early '60s. In fact, I even drag raced my '65 Pontiac Tempest on the back stretch of what was then Charlotte Motor Speedway where they had an eighth-mile track set up.

MC: How long have you been with General Motors?

FS: Just over 29 years.

MC: Have you always been in a racing liaison capacity?

FS: No, not at all. When I started after my eight-year stint in the Army, I started out as a district service manager for Pontiac out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was in the sales and service operation for a number of years and really took over the Pontiac Motorsports manager job in November of '97.

MC: Did that also include Chevrolet?

FS: It does now, since 2000 when we had the change in the alignment of vehicle sales, service and marketing group at GM. What we did was really a result of, I'll say a bad

organizational structure we had where I was the Pontiac guy for all racing series. There was also my counterpart in Chevy who also did all race series.  Since we both liked drag racing, we would both show up at the US Nationals and nobody was in Darlington for the Southern 500 that weekend, so as it turned out, in 2000, we put everybody together by racing series. So, I just do drag racing marketing for any division in GM that drag races and likewise I have counterparts in NASCAR and other forms of racing.

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