The battle cry was “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” and when it came to the largest audiences in auto racing, NASCAR had the power. Buick was one brand hoping to cash in with those racing enthusiasts’ desire to buy winning cars, but without reaching the podium it really struggled to make a meaningful play for those hard earn dollars. Oh, you forgot Buick ran in NASCAR? Don’t worry, you are not alone. It took a recent video from the YouTube channel S1apSh0es to remind me.
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There is much more to this story. For 1981, Chevys, Buicks, Olds and Pontiacs were all entered in the Daytona 500. When Richard Petty won in a Regal, many GM teams switched to the Buick, believing its shape to be part of Petty's success.
Ray Smith was the talented engineer that ran Buick's Nascar program, which also included V6 LeSabres in the Busch GN Series.
Like Olds before it, Buick was forced out of Nascar by internal GM politics, as Chevy racing boss Herb Fishel maneuvered to put all of GM's racing budget under his thumb.