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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.




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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]
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Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Kahne is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Smoke pours from the #51 Flipping Ships Chevrolet, driven by Justin Allgaier, after hitting the wall during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

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