Rumors from the NASCAR garage that Dodge is eyeing a return to the sport are picking up steam heading into the offseason. NASCAR President Steve Phelps did little to dispel the chatter with some eyebrow-raising comments at his press conference last weekend in Phoenix.
Phelps, who is often careful to not make news at press conferences, was asked about the topic and confirmed ongoing discussions with new OEMs. “Our three existing OEMs are happy about that,” he said. “Our race teams are happy about that. We’re happy about that. It’s been widely rumored that Dodge is one of those or closest. I won’t confirm or deny that. It is important. We’ve made no bones about the fact that we want to have a new OEM in our sport. I think we got delayed with the pandemic. With that said, we are an attractive place I believe for OEMs to come into the sport.”
He concluded, “Nothing to report at this particular point. It is important. I would suggest things are progressing or I would say that things are progressing. When we have something to announce, we will.”
AND: A Dodge spokesman told Fox News Autos the brand had no comment on what Phelps said, but it just this week launched a new business plan focused on highlighting its V8 engines and racing parts business.
If the brand were to return to the Cup Series, it would need to convince one of the top charter teams to switch its allegiance from Ford, Chevrolet or Toyota, in order to be competitive.
As far as when Dodge or another brand could join the series, it wouldn’t be before the 2023 season, while the possible addition of new hybrid powertrains in 2024 offers another logical entry point, but Phelps didn’t put a timeline on it.
— Fox News —