Tha Sports Junkies 101

Report: Dodge will not return to NASCAR



On December 4, 2016, at a press conference for Ferrari’s Finali Mondiali, Sergio Marchionne made an announcement. Sergio, who is the CEO of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles announced that Chrysler is looking to return to NASCAR. Dodge is the likely candidate to make a return.

Dodge hasn’t been in NASCAR since the 2012 season in which Brad Keselowski won them a championship. Marchionne was the one who pulled the plug on Dodge’s NASCAR program as he believed it was an expense that the company couldn’t justify. As a result of this, it came as a shock when it was announced that Marchionne was looking to break back into the sport.

However, after the company went deeper into looking at a return it became apparent how expensive and difficult it would be. One of the main issues to arise is finding a team that has top-tier engine building capabilities. This is because unlike Toyota, Dodge would prefer to give the specifications to the teams and have the teams produce the engines. With that being the route they want to take it doesn’t leave any particularly appealing options for Dodge. NASCAR’s top tier teams are few and far between and that is what Dodge is looking for. While the company may be able to afford a return it just may not make financial sense at this time.

Dodge does have successful Motorsports teams in both the NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing divisions. A company seeks to be successful and poor performance on track doesn’t help that narrative. A return to NASCAR will take countless man hours and a high amount of dedication and money. With Dodge saying they don’t want to go the route that Toyota has gone and Supply the teams with the engine, it is unknown if they are willing to spend that extra money to do what is needed. If that is the case then there is no guarantee how the return to the sport would end up. One Dodge employee said, “We don’t want to come back and embarrass ourselves”.

For a company looking to avoid embarrassment, this wouldn’t be the way to do it.