Dodge hasn't ruled out return after triumphant exit
Auto Racing Videos
While Richard Petty was the face of NASCAR, Dodge became a familiar fixture as stock-car racing began to stretch out from the shadows of its southern roots.
Petty won back-to-back championships in 1974 and '75, the fifth and sixth of his record-tying seven NASCAR titles. He registered 23 victories in a Dodge during a dominant span that no other driver has equaled.
However, the auto manufacturer fell behind the competition when Petty switched to Chevrolet after Cale Yarborough won three straight titles in General Motors cars: two in a Chevy and one with Oldsmobile. Then, Dodge jettisoned NASCAR in 1977 before returning in 2001.
It took 12 years, but Dodge recaptured the magic in 2012 as Brad Keselowski provided the manufacturer its first title in 37 years. Yet it wasn't enough to change the mind of executives who opted to pull out of the sport while Keselowski was dueling five-time champion Jimmie Johnson during the Chase.
Now, Dodge is measuring its desires to return. Ralph Giles, president and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, left open the possibility that the manufacturer is prepared to take on NASCAR's current lineup of Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.
Giles acknowledged that Dodge's decision in August to abandon NASCAR was influenced largely by Penske Racing's announcement after the 2011 Daytona 500 that it had agreed to a five-year deal with Ford, beginning this season.
“We can never say never, and we'll continue to evaluate opportunities in all forms of motorsports, just as we do now,” Giles said in a statement. “Following the announcement by Penske Racing, we determined a number of particular items and details necessary for us to continue in the sport. Our team worked diligently to put a structure together to fit our overall business and competitive objectives.
“In the end, we couldn't develop the right structure. Just as in this process, we'll evaluate future opportunities seeking the right structure for Dodge and our other brands.”
Giles said Dodge might consider the possibility of returning to NASCAR on a limited basis, likely in the second-tier Nationwide Series. A handful of teams — including Richard Childress Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports — could be interested.
NASCAR president Mike Helton said during the Gen-6 tour in Detroit that he's interested in expanding the competition among manufacturers.
“We wish (Dodge) were here, and I hope they would reconsider and come back soon,” Helton said. “It's an ebb and flow. Hopefully, their interest has piqued since they left.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Blake gets outside shot in nickel
- Pirates use big 7th inning to sweep Marlins, stretch winning streak
- Plum teacher, held for trial, vows to fight witness intimidation charge
- Judge lashes UPMC, Highmark in consent decree violation hearing
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Emergency crews search Youghiogheny River in Layton for Charleroi man
- Concert business booming at Heinz Field this summer
- Tenant charged in fire that destroyed Latrobe apartment house