“Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” was a mantra that permeated through the hallowed halls of Detroit for decades. And during the muscle car heyday, the Dodge brand was arguably one of the most successful at converting NASCAR wins into cars sold, entering the iconic Charger through the years.
But somewhere along the line, there was a decoupling. NASCAR proclivity stopped equalling street car superiority because the race cars were no longer modified streetcars. Increasing safety measures that led to tube frames, homogenous proportions, and a rule book designed to promote parity robbed stock car racing of most of its stock car aspects. Sad.
Still, though, the brands remained. Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Dodge, Plymouth, and eventually Toyota.
But since 2012, we’re down to just three majors: Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota. Yet, that could all be changing in the near future as the rumor mill has recently cranked up with stories alleging a new manufacturer will join the ranks for 2023. If you believe where there’s smoke there must be fire, then it sounds like Dodge might be rejoining the NASCAR Cup Series.
Dodge Nascar Exit, And Possible Return
Following Michigan-born Brad Keselowski’s 2012 NASCAR Cup Series championship in Penske Racing’s Miller-sponsored No.2 Dodge Charger, the Dodge brand disappeared from top-level competition. At the time, team Penske was the only factory-backed team running the Dodge Charger, but when the team announced a switch to Ford for the 2013 season, it left Dodge without a major partner. Again, very sad.
Whether Dodge jumped or was pushed out by Penske’s decision doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, especially if rumors of Dodge’s return end up being true.
As covered by Racinboys, the comments of a Dodge Nascar return came in a press conference for the State of the Sport address, which Phelps has given every year since becoming president of the organization in 2018. In response to a reporter’s question concerning rumors of Dodge joining the sport, Phelps acknowledged that “It’s been widely rumored that Dodge is one of those or the closest,” adding “I won’t confirm or deny that.”
We hope to share the good news soon, especially as NASCAR prepares to run the Next-Gen Cup Series race car for the 2022 season, starting with the Daytona 500. This new car, featuring a sequential transmission, fuel injection, and bigger wheels.
The Next-Gen Nascar will conduct further testing this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Its first entry into competition will be the 2022 Busch Light Clash in February at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.