Looks Like Dodge & Nascar are Officially Parting Ways (Announcement Later Today)


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By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

Dodge is expected to announce its withdrawal from NASCAR competition following the 2012 season, multiple sources with knowledge of Dodge's plans told ESPN.com.

Dodge is expected to hold a Tuesday press conference to make the announcement. Attempts to contact multiple Dodge spokespeople for comment were unsuccessful or resulted in no comment.

Dodge was faced with a rebuilding phase beginning in 2013, after Penske Racing -- the lone NASCAR organization to field Dodges since 2009 -- chose to leave the manufacturer in favor of Ford Motor Company beginning next season.

Penske has fielded Dodges since 2003, winning 29 Sprint Cup races to date and a Nationwide Series championship with driver Brad Keselowski. But in March, Penske announced the return to Ford, which the team had fielded from 1994 to 2002.

"That was the piece that I feel like puts us in a position to make a run for the championship for the next few years," Keselowski said in March. "I think there were some limitations in making that happen with the road we were on, so we changed roads."

Industry sources question whether Dodge's parent company, Fiat, has any passion for NASCAR, leading to Penske's decision to leave for Ford and, ultimately, Dodge's decision to leave the sport altogether, the sources say.

Ford announced Monday that Roush-Yates engines would provide motors for Penske beginning in 2013, leaving questions about what may become of Penske's motor department and its 60-plus employee staff.

This isn't the first time Dodge has chosen to leave NASCAR. The manufacturer pulled out of the sport in 1977 and didn't return until 2001. Since that time, Dodge has accumulated 55 Sprint Cup victories.

Tristar Racing

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So, if Robby decides to ever race Nascar again (Which I am not convinced he will), yet another manufacturer change is necessary.

I figured the writing was on the wall when Penske bolted right before the new car was unveiled, Dodge not showing up at the new car tests verified that. The announcement was purely a formality...