Dodge’s Return to NASCAR Will Not Happen in 2014, Says SRT CEO
If you’re a Dodge stock-car enthusiast who is looking for the brand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Gen II 426 HEMI and its NASCAR dominance with a repeat performance, you’re going to have to keep waiting. After pulling out of NASCAR following its 2012 Sprint Cup championship behind the driving of Brad Keselowski and Team Penske, Ralph Gilles—President and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports for Chrysler Group LLC—tells FOX Sports’ Lee Spencer “the timing isn’t right” for Dodge’s return to NASCAR.
However, there is something of a silver lining in the fact that Gilles didn’t completely close the door on the possibility of a comeback for the bulls-eye brand and acknowledged the longing of their fanbase.
“We haven’t forgotten about NASCAR,” Gilles told FOX Sports’ Spencer on Friday. “We have a lot of pressure on our capital right now. The Dodge brand has a new chief (Timothy Kuniskis, president and CEO of Dodge Brand), right? He’s an enthusiast. He owns a Charger himself, it’s his daily drive. He has an older one and a new one. He gets it. He understands.
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“But timing is everything. To get back in the sport is not an insignificant investment. It’s something that we’ve said no to. This year is out of the question, but the future, anything could happen. The fans want us back, so we’ll see.”
One thing necessary for Dodge’s return to NASCAR will be a strong partner, akin to what the brand had previously with Team Penske and Evernham Motorsports.
According to NBC Sports, NASCAR CEO and Chairman, Brian France, mentioned during the December Champions Weeks festivities in Vegas that there was room for more manufacturers in the Sprint Cup series. With any luck, it won’t be too long before Dodge finds itself in the victory circle at a NASCAR event once more, but it will certainly only happen on Dodge’s time.
What would it take to make Dodge’s return to NASCAR a success? Let us know what do you think in the comments!