Change Coming To NASCAR

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This column was written by Harry Smith.
In a week when everyone is talking about troubles in the American auto industry comes news that starting next year Toyota Camrys will be racing right next to Chevys and Fords in NASCAR races.

That's right — Camrys. They say the reason the Camrys can race in this most American of auto sports is because the Camrys are made in Kentucky.

In a sport that has its roots in the moon shining hills of Appalachia putting a Japanese car on a NASCAR track is a significant cultural shift. But, only if you missed that fact that Toyota trucks have been racing on the NASCAR truck circuit for a couple of years now, and only if you missed the fact that Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, BMW and Mercedes all have plants in America.

Even as American car companies have been cutting jobs the number of American auto workers has stayed at right around a million because so many foreign companies build their product here. Camrys in NASCAR? Don't blow a gasket.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith