Exclusive: Two Manufacturers Now Looking At NASCAR

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Despite published reports to the contrary, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has not pulled the plug on its program to return the Dodge nameplate to NASCAR and is still in talks with the sanctioning body, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confided to Kickin’ the Tires.

“The story about them pulling out is absolutely, 100 percent false,” the source said. “They are researching a possible return to NASCAR.”

Additionally, the source said a second manufacturer has also expressed interest in NASCAR but is in preliminary stages of any talks with the sanctioning body.

“This isn’t the type of decision you make lightly as a company but 2019 would be, by far, the earliest for Dodge,” the source said. “If you look around the garage, there are still people wearing Dodge paraphernalia. You see Ram pickups and Dodge cars in the parking lot. There is still a large fan base here.”

NASCAR does not discuss which manufacturers or partners it is working with specifically but Steve Phelps, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer, confirmed the sanctioning body is routinely talking with manufacturers expressing interest in coming aboard.

“There is increasing excitement around NASCAR,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer. “We continue to have ongoing dialogue with a number of auto manufacturers about their interest in joining our sport.”

In 2012, Dodge introduced the Charger at an unveiling in Las Vegas but later that year they were out of the sport. Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin’ the Tires

It has been reported that Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, talked with NASCAR’s Jim France about what it would take to put a car back on the track in the sport’s top series. One of the early obstacles were requirements about the car being a coupe versus a sedan.

The source said those issues have been worked out and it isn’t an issue any longer – pointing to Chevrolet’s introduction of the 2018 Camaro, which is a two-door coupe, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, who was still beaming from Thursday’s unveiling of the Camaro on the streets of Detroit, said Chevrolet’s roots are in racing and the company welcomes the competition – it’s something they do in numerous motorsports genres.

“Chevrolet is involved in race series from stock car racing to drag racing to IndyCar to sports car racing and in every one of those series what we want is we want to race against other manufacturer competition,” Campbell said. “It is a key tenant of what we do. So, more competition is, I think better. It’s what happens in the showroom every single day. So, we want to see that on the track if more are interested in coming to any these series we race in, we welcome it. We compete with them in the showroom and we want to compete with them on the track.”

Ford Motor Company was built on racing with Henry Ford using prize money from a race in 1901, and from financiers wanting to support his automotive endeavors to build his company. Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance, agreed with Campbell that having additional manufacturers isn’t intimidating and, in fact, something the company would like to see.

“We are excited to have more manufacturers. I mean, look the more manufacturers the better as far as we are concerned, so that doesn’t scare us at all,” Pericak said. “I say bring it on. You know we have a strong Ford lineup now and to get some more competitors on the track, I think, it would be great for the fans and for the sport.”

“I don’t want to speak on behalf of NASCAR, I think that would be speaking out of turn. But I will say, is that again, if it is getting serious we think it is great and I fully encourage it. So, you know, I hope it is happening.”

One of the obstacles Dodge would have to overcome would be development of an engine program, but Toyota proved that can be overcome – its Toyota Racing Development (TRD) engines are currently dominating the sport.

David Wilson, president and general manager of TRD, said he welcomes competition and believes Toyota has shown that manufacturer involvement makes NASCAR stronger.

“Number one from the very start of our relationship with NASCAR, our entry into the sport, we were very clear to say we’d love to have another OEM,” Wilson said. “Now, this was when Dodge was still there. So, we are here to compete number one. We love competing with Ford and Chevrolet but I think the sport would be stronger with another manufacturer. I think we have demonstrated by our investment in the sport that the OEM can help lift the overall sport. So, adding another manufacturer can only be a good thing. But again, for Toyota, it is about competition. You know, we compete with these guys in the showrooms that is a given, so the more that we can take it to the racetrack, the better.”

27 Comments

  1. MoparBob

    August 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Would be a dream come true for us lifelong fans, product owners, and enthusiasts, despite what the naysayers will tell you…

    • Paul Rodrigues

      August 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      In regards to the headline….Who is the 2nd mfg. I read it twice and don’t see it. Bunch of bs.

      EDITOR: The second manufacturer is not named, which is explained in the story. As for the accuracy of this story, I’m sorry you feel that way. But I can assure you it is spot on. I don’t print what I can’t prove and my record goes back decades. My research and accuracy have never been successfully challenged. -Jerry Jordan

      • D. Nutz

        August 15, 2017 at 7:32 am

        ROTFLAMO. Okay guys, we got the oracle of a Detroit over here

  2. Pingback: Two manufacturers now considering NASCAR – ESPN | Quick & Fast Sports News

  3. Anthony Redmon

    August 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve been hoping for a return announcement by Dodge since 2013! It was a big mistake for them to retreat from the most popular motorsport in America. Dodge needs to be there!

    • Dennis Hodnett

      August 18, 2017 at 12:25 am

      True enough this seems like the 70s and 80s . We need Legendary manufacturers in the sport as much we do the individuals who are willing to put it all on the line. This is a true test of persons passion and grit . The manufacturers can offer up great opportunities to individuals who are extraordinarily talented individuals,that are
      Only looking for a change to prove they have what it takes to race . In the leagues of NASCAR I want Dodge to be one of those companies that can offer those individuals a ride to the finish line in one of their cars . Thank you for this opportunity to voice my comment on this topic .

  4. Larry Phelps

    August 14, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Dodge is 1, what is the second?

    • Heywood Jablowme

      August 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Tesla

  5. Richard

    August 14, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Sounds more like disinformation from NASCAR to make the fan base NASCAR is a hot commodity. So hot, others want to play. I’m skeptical

    • Richard

      August 14, 2017 at 5:38 am

      Whoops. Left out a word. “Sounds more like disinformation from NASCAR to the make the fan base believe that NASCAR is a hot commodity. So hot, others want to play. I’m skeptical”

  6. Rick Gaskill

    August 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Dodge brought the Challenger to Trans Am2 series midseason 2014. Cameron Lawrence switched to Challenger after winning 6 races in a Camaro and establishing a substantial points lead the first half of the season. The remainder of the season he only won 2 races in the Challenger but did manage to win the championship. Driving the Challenger in 2015, Lawrence finished 3rd in points. He didn’t race in Trans Am in 2016. Archer Brothers race team with drivers Tommy Archer and Adam Andretti drove Camaros in 2016 after driving Challengers in 2015.I doubt FCA could get a competitive team to move from Ford,Chevy, or Toyota o Dodge. People complain about Toyota which is American made and the only NASCAR model that qualifies as an American domestic model based on percentage of American parts. Challengers are made in Canada by an Italian manufacturer. All Chrysler Hemi engines are made in Mexico.

    • Costa

      August 14, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Your point is?
      Toyota is still japanese no matter how much of it is American made. Dodge is and has always been American and with a larger fan base than toyota.
      Dodge took out the championship with only 2 cars and no engine failures all season while under the Penske umbrella can ford claim that? Can chevy?
      Crowds have been declining since dodge left bet it will start to clomb when or if they return.

      • Joe Machado

        August 15, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        Respone to 2 quotes. First, Dodge left because Penske signed on with Ford in March 2012 to have a “Better chance at a Championship” as Dodge had Only One Team running. Technically Dodge had One Car, the 2 team. The other Dodge team car had more than one driver so running for points championship was not happening. Hence, one and only one Dodge was elligible to win that championship. Woops, that single, only eligible team won. It does not take 4 to win. Dodge had no other team running Dodges so opted out when Penske left Dodge. All this with Zero engine failures. I certainly hope Dodge returns by 2019 season as we will be at Talladega with a couple 69 Dodge Daytonas for the 50 Anniversary of Talladega Superspeedway and the 69 Daytona. That being the month of October, 2019 race. I will have Neil Castles in my number 06 Daytona if his health is up to it. So, Dodge, get back in as we promote you with all our hearts and cars like you won the very first there in 1969. Tim Welborn will have the number 71 Isaac Daytona there also. I will turn 74 years old that weekend. See ya there. Joe

        • Costa

          August 16, 2017 at 6:30 am

          Penske signed with ford becuase he wanted a 4 year deal and dodge was offering 2 years Ford was the snake in the grass and snuck inn while the negotiations were happening. Had nothing to do with a better chance at winning the chapionship per say.
          Penske had a history of controlling his own destiny and for him to give up his own engine shop for a supplier it would have been a heck of an offer by ford. Sides hes still waiting for a championship since dodge. True?

    • Bad Daddy-R

      August 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Agree, Toyota is the only one manufactured in the United States by an American workforce. Chevrolet is returning, (from Canada and recently Australia) Will be real interesting if a Chinese firm buys Fiat/Chrysler as reported today. (Maybe GM can race Chinese-built Buicks?)

  7. Tony

    August 14, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Didn’t Toyota get help from dodge when they started with engine help?

    • MoparBob

      August 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Yep. Bill Davis allegedly sold Dodge tech to Toyota. TRD’s whole house is based on that. Davis lost his Dodge sponsorship and was sued by ChryCo.

      • Keith

        August 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        Don’t forget that when Joe Gibbs went to Toyota his team sat through all the meetings that season and brought all of the new Chevy engines info with him. He announced he was going to Toyota in December when GM’s contract required a June notice to leave and not be in the next season team meetings.

    • Mark

      August 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      They just copied what they wanted to from the other manufacturers

      • Costa

        August 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

        All they did was make the sport that much more expensive. The big three had to stick with an engine based on their past designs while toyota got to redisign a whole new engine from scratch ehich gave them an advantage.
        Ever see a chevy or a dodge engine with the dizzy out front like a ford?
        Thats what they’re doing now.

  8. Pingback: NASCAR Is Looking At | The Pit Stop

  9. Echo

    August 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Well I’d like it if Dodge came back to NASCAR… Challenger/Charger they are both RWD Cars.. Unlike the Toyota Camry and the Ford Fusion, of which you can’t buy in RWD Form from the Factory. Maybe this will get Dodge to make the Charger back into a 2 Door.. Like it was when they created it. (Cause a Yellow 4 Door Charger with a “Daytona” Sticker on it does not make it a Daytona or a Muscle Car at all!)

  10. Patrick

    August 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Dodge already has a NASCAR engine. I’m sure it would only need a few refinements to be competitive.

    • Costa

      August 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

      Built by penske. I doubt ford would allow him to supply the competition with engines.

  11. Phil Giguere

    August 15, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Must of the Dodge team engineer,Mechanic,engine builder are spread all over the garage.It will be such a challenge for them after 7 years.New Shop + you need a minimum of 3 cup team(6 cars) Xfinity (4 cars) trucks (4 cars)& more.

    They will also need a Dodge development program,i am really looking forward to it.The fans will welcome back that will be the busiest fanzone booth!

  12. Pingback: Return To NASCAR May Still Be Possible For Dodge

  13. Courtney L. Travis

    October 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I believe with the recent retirements especially Dale Jr. NASCAR really needs to get other manufacturers involved Toyota has limited their teams basically to 1! But are dominating in every lower series that NASCAR has. Either other manufacturers get into our sport or I can see it diminishing greatly. Yes there are many talented new faces coming up but the average fan could care less with no competition from car brands. All other sports have numerous teams with different manufacturers except sports with apparel and they don’t need them we do! Toyota is now taking over as the true American sport (NASCAR) name!!!

    Really! What happened was while the sport was growing do to Drivers that made us tune in they are leaving or long gone. the manufacturers keep us involved in the past while that happened now? It’s sad to think that all our home grown manufacturers don’t care any more! We as customers have always guide this sport that’s why the Sponsors are here but they seem to be leaving as well. I have many ideas and suggestions but like most fans seem to think does NASCAR really care!

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