UPDATE: Dodge’s talks with NASCAR about re-entering the racing series as a manufacturer have stalled, according to sources, as NASCAR’s search for an elusive fourth OEM to join the sport continues. Dodge was one of the companies that was pitched and it had been seriously entertaining the idea of re-joining NASCAR in the coming years, sources said.
At the same time that Dodge explored entering NASCAR over the last year, it held exploratory talks with at least one team, RFK Racing, about a prospective partnership should it have decided to re-enter the sport, sources said. RFK is currently aligned with Ford. One series where Dodge is a manufacturer is the NHRA drag racing series, where it is now aligned with Tony Stewart, though it is unclear whether Stewart’s NASCAR team could have also been an option for Dodge.
Dodge told SBJ last week that it is not working on expanding into any new series, saying in a statement, “Dodge is focused on our NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series efforts and the NHRA ‘Countdown to the Championship’ with Tony Stewart Racing and not expanding our efforts into other forms of racing at this time.” Ford, RFK and NASCAR all declined comment.
Original post: Rumors of Dodge’s return to Cup have been growing throughout the NASCAR world after the announcement that three-time Cup Champion and current Cup owner, Tony Stewart would field two NHRA entries with Dodge/Mopar factory support.
In November, NASCAR President Steve Phelps held a “State of the Sport” address to inform the public about the direction NASCAR is heading towards going into the 2022 season. Taking questions, Phelps was asked about recent rumors about Dodge and other manufacturers entering the sport. “Our three existing OEMs are happy about that,” Phelps 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.”
But in recent days, as reported by EssentiallySports.com, NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer, Steve O’Donnell, suggested a fourth manufacturer may be announced very soon.
“We are in daily dialogue with one (OEM) in particular that’s close to the finish line, depending on who you ask,” O’Donnell said. “It’ll be terrific for the sport if we can get that. But I think ideally if we could ever get to five, that’d be awesome.”
— Mopar Insiders —