FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne Would ‘Love’ Dodge Return to NASCAR
In 2012, Dodge announced it was leaving NASCAR. Before it walked out the door, however, it won the Drivers’ Championship with Brad Keselowski and Team Penske, leaving many fans grumbling unhappily about Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s decision to withdraw the manufacturer from the competition.
But now Dodge could come back, and surprisingly, Marchionne would also be the person behind the move. At a press conference held during the Ferrari Challenge World Finals at the Daytona International Speedway, Marchionne was asked if Dodge would be interesting in returning to NASCAR, to which he responded: “Yes, I’d love to. I talked to Jim France (NASCAR’s executive VP) about this just last night.”
He went on to admit that he was the “guilty party at the table” for having pulled Dodge out of NASCAR in the first place, though reminded everyone of the reasons he had done it. The company had just come out of bankruptcy in 2009 and there were simply too many bills to pay to afford racing, especially as Dodge was performing relatively poorly versus the competition, bar Team Penske.
“I think we’re in a different place now. I think, if possible, we’ll come back to NASCAR—I think we need to find the right way to come in,” Marchionne said. “I’ve agreed with both Jim and Lesa to come back to the issue in short order.”
Dodge hasn’t won a NASCAR manufacturer’s championship since 1975. Could it end the drought if it returned to the sport? Let’s hope Marchionne makes it happen so we can find out.