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Report: Don’t expect a Dodge return to NASCAR – for now

Jan 25, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT

Brad Keselowski AP

Dodge made its way out of NASCAR following the 2012 season but did so in grand fashion with a Sprint Cup championship thanks to Brad Keselowski (pictured) and Team Penske.

But don’t expect the brand to return to stock car racing – at least for now.

Ralph Gilles, president and CEO for Chrysler Group’s SRT category (whose Vipers are competing in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona), has left the door open but told’s Lee Spencer that such a return would have to wait a little bit, citing the need to find solid partners.

“We’re never going to have the wherewithal to scoop everybody up,” Gilles said to Spencer. “We’re not big enough to have a stronghold, so it’s always been an issue of having the right team.

“When we were [with] Penske and before that Evernham [Motorsports], the moons were aligned back then. Things made sense – the right people in the right places. Today, it’s not quite the same.”

Last December during NASCAR Champions Week celebrations in Las Vegas, CEO Brian France said that there was room for more manufacturers in the series, even though he also noted the difficulties of potential manufacturers landing strong teams.

And through the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, NASCAR does has the opportunity to forge and retain links with groups such as Chrysler, which owns both the Dodge and SRT brands.

“We didn’t get into sports car racing just to be in sports car racing,” France said in Vegas. “We got in it because it gave us some strategic relationships, namely relationships with OEMs around the world, and those are going to prove to be beneficial as they see how NASCAR works in the road racing series that they participate in now, and I think they’ll like the way we handle competition and manufacturers and so on.”

With all of that taken into consideration, Dodge does have an avenue to return to America’s most popular form of motorsport. But it appears they’ll wait until they’re good and ready for that.

  1. mpzz - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Don’t give up Dodge! Remember when Toyota started? The first year they couldn’t even qualify for races and the second year they won the manufacturer championship? NASCAR might do the same for you!

    • 1chinatown - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      Kozlowski, ( I hope I am spelling his name right)…..won the cup the last year Dodge was part of the mix. That was also the last time I watched a race. Until the pentastar returns, I am done with this sport.

  2. timaug - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:13 PM



    • worknman24hours - Feb 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Unlike Toyota, Dodge is on a year to year basis for going out of business.

      Massive amounts of cash have had to be found to keep Dodge open as well as new owners.

      So there isn’t a lot of money in the budget for race teams that are steady mid pack runners for Dodge to keep supporting.

      If the wins and the resultant publicity had happened, then staying in NASCAR would make since.

      But since Chevy and Toyota have a choke hold on the sport, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to stay in it.

    • jackmoparman - Feb 6, 2015 at 7:17 PM

      Me too! Dodge won to much n has to much power. That’s racing get over it. Don’t be babies.

  3. timaug - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Remember, when they used to say,
    Can you imagine a guy, going into a Toyota sales dept. and saying,


    • texas2888 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Yes, I absolutely can. There has got to be a reason that the Camry is the best selling car in the U.S. I don’t understand the issue here. I’ve been a NASCAR fan since I became familiar with Bill Elliott in 1982 and Davey Allison in the late 80’s. I bought the Ford Thunderbirds because of them (I’ve had several). I grew up hearing my family talk about The King. BUT, I converted to Toyota (and other Japanese cars) in 2006. There’s NO COMPARISON in the quality , customer service and resale value. PLUS, the Camry is the most AMERICAN made car in the U.S. It has more domestic parts in it than any of its competitors. The Chevy SS, currently used in NASCAR, is a Holden (Austrailian). Many of the Fords are built in Canada and Mexico. Dodge (Chrysler) is owned by Fiat (Italian). REAL FANS need to get over their discriminatory views of the Japanese brands. Go drive a Chrysler 200 or 300 (owned 2008 300) and then get in a Toyota Camry or Avalon and honestly tell me that you think the FIATS are better. NO COMPARISON!!!


      • mpzz - Jan 26, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        No way to turn off the ignition, cut off the electric throttle or override the anti-lock brakes…… Now THAT’S moving you forward!

  4. 200mphclubmember - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    I feel if you’re going to be a legit manufacturer in this country, NASCAR is the best way to promote your product and get cars off the lot and down the road, so I hope Dodge does come back. It would help everybody. NASCAR was built on selling American cars, so I really can’t stand seeing Toyota in the series.

    • ltlmoose - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      If you look back in time when Toyota came into NASCAR , of the models being used at that time the Dodge , Ford , And Chevy models being used at that time were manufactured in Canada or Mexico , The Camry was the only model actually being manufactured in the U.S.

      • mpzz - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        ASSEMBLED in the USA. Profits go to Japan. Big difference.
        Beyond that, ALL racecar bodies, frames and practically everything else are made in the USA. The Toyota engine, however is made in Japan.

  5. blazerdad - Jan 26, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Gone are the “good ol days”. There are many of us still ‘kickin’ who grew up during NASCAR’s heyday when you would attend a race and not only did it not cost a fortune, but you were greeted with Plymouth, Dodge, Ford, Mercury, Chevrolet, Pontiac, and even Oldsmobile battling it out for dominance. Remember the Dodge Daytona, or Plymouth Superbird. Mercury Cyclone II Spoiler, Ford Talledega, Buick Grand National and the Pontiac Grand Prix.

    • worknman24hours - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      We killed that style of racing when we all killed the domestic car market by buying foreign owned branded cars.

      I’m as guilty as the rest of you are.

      Reap what you own.

  6. sutarts2sutarts - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    The only problem I have with Dodge coming back is nascar giving Dodge a hard time because they know dodge is better than ford and chevy. I remember when nascar approved a new front bumper for Evernham but didn’t use it and Robby Gordon needed a bumper so Ray let him use it and Nascar said it wasn’t approved. that really pissed me off.

    • mpzz - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      Suuuuure they’re better. That’s why they quit, they were winning too much and making too much money.

      • hairdog69 - Dec 10, 2014 at 6:19 AM

        No they were not winning everything and I blame NASCAR for all the restrictions they put on dodge

  7. charger383 - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Racing is better with Dodge in it

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