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Dodge unveils 2013 Cup car

Dodge re-entered NASCAR competition 12 years ago and originally had a full stable of teams aligned with it including Bill Davis Racing, Evernham Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske Racing, but the economic downturn in 2009 saw teams either fold or move to other manufacturers.

The only other team now fielding Dodge cars in Sprint Cup competition is the small, single-car Robby Gordon Motorsports operation. Not only does RGM not have the budget for the kind of technical development work that Dodge need in their principle team, the lack of other teams running Dodge means that the company's NASCAR operation simply isn't commercially long-term without signing on more partners.

One team with historic links to Dodge in the past is Richard Petty Motorsports, currently in the last year of its current contract with Ford. However, RPM recently flirted with closure itself and is also not a big operation, currently relying on Roush Fenway Racing for its engines, chassis and technical support rather than having its own development personnel.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing is another team with old ties to Dodge, but team co-owner Felix Sabates seemed to squelch any hopes of them making a move anytime soon. "We're happy where we are ... It's hard to beat General Motors or this group with Chevrolet."

Gilles insisted that his heart was in seeing Dodge stay in NASCAR. "I would say we're putting our effort in that direction, and we'll see what happens," he said. "We've been knocked down a few times in our history and we've come back."

Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota are the other manufacturers currently in Cup competition. Ford unveiled its 2013 Ford Fusion Sprint Cup model in January.




Related Pictures

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SRT Motorsports unveiled the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger (right) on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The new race car was engineered and developed to bring more Dodge brand identity to NASCAR competition. On the left is the 2012 Dodge Charger R/T. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sports Media). (PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC, Chris Williams)
NASCAR President Mike Helton stands in between the passenger version of the 2013 Dodge Charger and its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series counterpart on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet back to pit road after cutting a tyre during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, lead the field to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare/Project Pink Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, Driver of the #51 Toyota Care Toyota takes the chequered flag to win the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, Driver of the #51Toyota Care Toyota celebrates winning the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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