Dodge Isn’t Returning To NASCAR Cup Anytime Soon

Mopar muscle fans hoping that Dodge would return to NASCAR in the near future will be disappointed by the latest news. According to circulating reports, the American automaker isn’t likely to stage a comeback to top-tier stock-car racing any time soon.

This despite pronouncements by FCA chief Sergio Marchionne as recently as this past December that he was eager to get the Dodge brand back into the Cup series.

The Drive reports that, after meeting with NASCAR officials over the past few months, the conclusion reached in Auburn Hills is that the cost of mounting a renewed assault on the top stock-car racing series would be prohibitive. Chrysler would ostensibly prefer to contract an established engine builder (rather than handle it in-house as Toyota does), but with series organizers having recently constricted the number of sanctioned engine-builders, finding one able to undertake the program for FCA could prove the ultimate stumbling block.

Dodge last competed in NASCAR in 2012 when Marchionne pulled the plug due to financial considerations. That was right after Brad Keselowski won the championship in a Dodge Charger, one of only two fielded by Penske Racing, which was the only team running Dodge engines full-time that season. It was a similar move that Dodge pulled after it won the GTS class in the American Le Mans Series back in 2000, leaving the series on a high note.

These days Dodge and Mopar are focusing more on NHRA drag racing, where they’ve proven the dominant force in both the Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster classes. It also competes in the second-tier Xfinity Series, but again (like Ford) only with a half-empty handful of teams to go up against all the others running Chevy and Toyota engines. If Dodge ever does get serious about returning to what’s now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, it’d likely start by ramping up its presence in the Xfinity Series first. In the meantime, with the prospects of Honda or Volkswagen joining the ranks (as have been mooted) now looking unlikely, it looks like Chevy, Ford, and Toyota will remain the only automakers in the game.

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  • Bash

    Just one bad decision after another, after another, after another….

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    It’s too busy working on it’s electric….oh wait….I mean…..next gas guzzler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee based, Screamin’ Hound of Death…From Hell…950hp(de-tuned switched via key to 750hp), awd, factory slicks, full roll cage(this time!) and gets 4.2 gal per mile cause they DO think of the environment you know! Seats 7! and the passenger seat and rear seats with racing harnesses are a no charge option in case you are soccer mom configuring one.

    Oh yeah, user configurable interior lighting with 7 colors…

    Coming 2019

  • gary4205

    NASCAR is insanely expensive with little or no return to the manufacturer, in the way of tanigible benefits.

    NHRA Drag Racing is not only fan friendly, and certainly less expensive, but because it’s so fan friendly, offers tangible returns.

    Also EVERY Top Fuel and Funny Car runs a Hemi derived engine, regardless if the body, or name on the valve covers.

  • Moparbob

    Just an observation… This article cites “reports that have circulated.” I would correct the author. Where are these other “reports?”
    It’s been ONE report circulated and linked the multiple outlets. The ONE report offers ZERO corroboration from multiple OFFICIAL sources and is hearsay at best. Until I hear or read it from an OFFICIAL source, I’ll keep the faith. And yes, I would like to see DODGE// racing in a fully funded capacity in Trucks, XFINITY and Cup.

  • Ed Ward

    ALL of Dodge’s budget went to Alfa Romeo. This brand is being prepped for extinction that’s why they took ram away. No viper, no new charger challenger, avenger midsize, journey replacement nothing.