Nov 18, 2012; Homestead, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski celebrates after winning the 2012 championship following the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dodge Returning To NASCAR?


Dodge may be headed back to NASCAR sooner than expected. Promising news emerged that may have NASCAR and Dodge fans excited. Funding for the Dodge program in NASCAR has been approved says, Ralph Gilles.

Ray Alexander first reported that Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of the SRT Brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler Group LLC, said that NASCAR funding has been approved by Chrysler but lack of personnel played a large role in Dodge’s exit from the sport. Personnel that is needed for Dodge’s NASCAR program includes engine builders, as well as a winning and championship contending team. But Gilles added, Chrysler is already talking to potential teams to bring back Dodge in the sport.

Possible teams that could be part of a Dodge return to NASCAR are uncertain. Chrysler tried to find potential teams to stay in the sport last season after Penske Racing announced that they would be switching to Ford. Chrysler was unable to find a suitable team that met their criteria and decided to back out of NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season.

A possible suitor, Richard Petty Motorsports. They have been running slightly better in 2013, including three straight top 10 performances between the No. 9 and No. 43 the past three weeks. Only Dodge knows exactly the criteria they are looking for in a possible team.

Ralph Gilles did not say when Chrysler plans to have a Dodge back in the Sprint Cup field. Gilles also did not mention any recent additional personnel added to Chrysler’s NASCAR program. But the recent news is a move in the right direction for Dodge’s return and any sign is better than no sign.

More potential news of a return for Dodge may come as the summer months draw nearer and teams finalize deals for 2014. It is also possible for Dodge to plan a return that will come after 2014, only time will tell.

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