NASCAR: Audi To Join Sport As Fourth Manufacturer?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

NASCAR currently boasts three manufacturers but that doesn’t mean that a fourth one couldn’t be in the mix somewhere down the road and some believe that Audi might be that fourth manufacturer.

The current NASCAR landscape consists of Chevy, Ford and Toyota. While three manufacturers make up the sport today, you only have to look back to 2012 to find a time when there were four manufacturers in NASCAR. 2012 was of course the last time that we saw Dodge in NASCAR and since their departure some fans have wondered if they would ever return or be replaced.

According to recent comments from Matthew Dillner of, Audi could be looking to make the move and fill the void left by Dodge. Dillner believes the German manufacturer is preparing to enter NASCAR after hearing rumblings about such a move for a couple of years now.

The Audi to NASCAR theory is only helped by comments Brian France made last week.

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined SiriusXM Speedway host Dave Moody last week to talk about a variety of NASCAR topics. One of the things that came up was whether or not we would see a new manufacturer in NASCAR anytime in the near future. France seemed to be cautiously optimistic about the interest from outsiders in joining and the possibility of it happening in the “right” situation.

"There is some interest, and by a couple of different manufacturers and we would be open to that in the right conditions. I think a lot of the car companies are understandably looking at the terrific job that Toyota has done by partnering with NASCAR and the success and all the things that comes along with that. They’ve been an incredible success story for a car manufacturer looking to come into a sport that’s very difficult to come in, compete and win every weekend. But there’s an interest. And this is obviously the biggest opportunity in auto racing in North America."

France touched on a couple of key things when speaking about another manufacturer joining NASCAR. The first of which was Toyota and their recent and overall success in NASCAR. When Toyota first came into NASCAR there were plenty of people who did not believe they were going to make it much less have a champion (Kyle Busch) less than 10 years after entering the sport. The success of Toyota could be enticing for other manufacturers to make the jump into NASCAR.

The other key thing that France touched on was that in North America, NASCAR is where it’s at when it comes to auto racing. If one of these interested manufacturers is interested because of their desire to reach racing fans in North America, NASCAR is going to be their ticket to do that. In this sense NASCAR might actually be able to offer something that others cannot and that only benefits NASCAR.

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Audi coming to NASCAR would certainly surprise some as many in the world of Motorsports have expected them to head into Formula One in the coming years, not NASCAR. If this move does happen it would be interesting to see how the new charter system comes into play when it comes to a new manufacturer. It would also be interesting to see who drives for the team and how long it takes them to become competitive. It’s important to note that Audi to NASCAR is by no means a done deal, but there seem to be plenty of signs pointing to a fourth manufacturer coming down the road (whether it be Audi or someone else).