NASCAR »

Penske to drop Dodge for Ford power

Penske has been key in Dodge's development of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Charger due to be unveiled next week at Las Vegas on March 11, part of a revamp of NASCAR Cup cars that will allow more manufacturer-specific styling than the current models.

Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing are all firmly in the Chevrolet stable and unlikely to be interested in a move anytime soon, while Joe Gibbs Racing and Waltrip Racing are both tied to Toyota. The teams already aligned with Ford, including Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsport, show no signs of wanting a change anytime soon either.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing - currently with Chevrolet, but seeking an edge to break out of its recent slump in form - might be an option for Dodge. Otherwise only the much smaller teams are left, none of which are likely to have the technical expertise and capacity sought by Dodge in a lead development partner.

That raises a very real possibility that Dodge might exit NASCAR altogether, despite the sport's recent success in viewing numbers and media coverage in the US. Losing Dodge would be an embarrassment for the series and could focus attention on its economic prospects, which is just the sort of cloud that NASCAR won't want hanging over them as it head into the 2012 season.

"Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR," said Ralph Gilles, the president and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports "We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."

In the meantime, Gilles insisted that they were committed to a successful final season with Penske.

"We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season," he said. "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for ten years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future."

But it was also clear from Roger Penske's comments that the lack of other top-level Dodge teams was one of the reasons for his decision to switch back to Ford.

"This wasn't about money," Penske said, indicating he wanted a manufacturer with deeper alliances as he felt he had to be better able to benchmark the team's performance against its rivals if he was to challenge for the Sprint Cup title in the next few years.

"It was apparent we need to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, and we've been trying to do it alone," he added, saying that the decision to make the move away from Dodge had been made before the Daytona 500.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The 2013 Ford Fusion is unveiled and driven on track during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday in Concord, N.C. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
The prototype 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. [Picture Credit: Ford Racing]
Roger Penske and Brad Keselowski celebrate winning the 2010 Nationwide Series championship [Picture Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Roger Penske during the 2011 pre-season Sprint Media Tour [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR}
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.