Many media members on Twitter and websites are reporting that Dodge has made the decision to leave NASCAR following the 2012 season. Since Penske Racing announced earlier in the year, Dodge’s brass have maintained they would be looking for a new team(s) to associate with for 2013 and beyond. They even went as far as making their 2013 car, under the new guidelines for cars. There is a 2:30 PM EST conference call scheduled for the announcement.
As of last week, it was reported that Dodge could be going to Furniture Row with Kurt Busch driving a second car for the team. There had been whispers too of talks with Richard Petty Motorsports.
The biggest problem had been that where ever they ended up, that team would need to find a place to get engines from. Penske Racing had been making their own engines, and with the recent announcement that they will use Roush Yates Engines in 2013, left the door open to the engine shop still making engines. The other provider, Joey Arrington, had mixed results with the other Dodge driver, Robby Gordon.
Dodge had been in a bit of a free fall ever since multiple teams left due to mergers and had solely aligned with Penske. At this time too, funding from the manufacturer had slowed which discouraged other teams from wanted to switch to them. Updates after the 2:30 PM EST conference call.
Comments from SRT Motorsports president Ralph Gilles, via ESPN.com: “We’ve spent an intense five months working to identify and evaluate all options for our future involvement in NASCAR. A number of opportunities emerged, and our team worked diligently to put a structure together to fit our overall business and competitive objectives. While we have been pleased and enthused with the amount of interest from teams and sponsors over that time, in the end, we simply couldn’t develop the right structure.”
Statement from NASCAR Chairman And CEO Brian France: “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.”