Dodge Will Not Return to NASCAR in 2013
Posted by: Candice Corrigan, follow @candicecorrigan
August 7, 2012
The day after Penske Racing announced that it would receive engines from Roush Yates in 2013, Dodge announced that it will leave the sport after the 2012 season. Penske Racing is currently the only organization that uses engines made by Dodge, but announced in early March that it would switch to Ford in 2013.
ESPN’s Marty Smith broke the story this morning and says that Dodge’s decision was based on inability to attract competitive teams.
During a teleconference Tuesday, Dodge’s SRT Motorsports President & CEO Ralph Giles explained the situation further:
“We were initially pleased to see the vast amount of interest from multiple teams and sponsors that came our way with a lot of interesting packages and ideas. We looked at this process as a multi‑piece puzzle. Capacity has shrunk dramatically over the years in the NASCAR world.
“We could not unfortunately put together a puzzle or a structure that made sense to continue our business and competitive objectives for next year. This decision was not based on budgets. Even though we have diversified in many sports this year, this was really NASCAR‑centric discussion.”
Dodge’s decision comes after it had already released the design for the 2013 Dodge Charger to be used in NASCAR competition. At the time, there was discussion that Mario Andretti may make the move to NASCAR and field the manufacturer’s cars. Richard Petty Motorsports also looked like a potential candidate to switch to Dodge in 2013.
NASCAR’s CEO Brian France issued this statement about Dodge leaving NASCAR:
“Dodge has been a great partner to NASCAR for many years, and they have been part of numerous memorable moments throughout our history,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date.
“Our fans have a passion for cars and emotional connections to particular manufacturers, and that’s why in 2013 we will debut new race car designs that are modeled after each manufacturer’s production cars. This change is a direct result of feedback from our fans, who are the most brand loyal in all of sports.”
Dodge’s latest return to NASCAR came in 2001 when they joined with Ray Evernham’s team. Penske Racing has fielded its two Sprint Cup Series cars made by the manufacturer since 2010.