Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT, made it official in a speech that Dodge will withdraw from NASCAR racing at the end of 2012 season. As Penske Racing, who currently fields two Dodge Charger cars in the Sprint Cup Series and two Dodge Challenger cars in the Nationwide Series, decided to end its partnership with Chrysler, they find it not worth the hassle to stay in the sport on their own.
That’s a pity, because next year all the teams are going to use new race cars that are close, visually, to their road-going versions. It could have been a great opportunity for Dodge to market the Charger.
They have also been doing pretty good. Dodge has recorded 215 wins in the Sprint Cup Series, including 55 since 2001, and has been represented in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup seven of the eight seasons. In 2010, Brad Keselowski captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in a Dodge from Penske Racing. From now on though, they will be focusing on the SRT Viper and its endurance racing career.
“We’ve spent an intense five months working to identify and evaluate all options for our future involvement in NASCAR,” Gilles said. “A number of opportunities emerged, and our team worked diligently to put a structure together to fit our overall business and competitive objectives. While we have been pleased and enthused with the amount of interest from teams and sponsors over that time, in the end, we simply couldn’t develop the right structure.”