Dodge Templates Approved

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"We are very pleased to receive approval from NASCAR on our car design," said Lou Patane, Dodge’s vice president of motorsports operations. "This effort has really been a partnership with our Dodge engineers and the three development teams -– Evernham Motorsports, Bill Davis Racing and Petty Enterprises. The final result is that we have an approved body style and shape that reflects the distinctive Dodge R/T brand. It will be as recognizable on the track as our Ram trucks are in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

After receiving a car from Dodge in August -- and having conducted wind-tunnel and then on-track testing with Bill Elliott behind the wheel –- NASCAR has now granted permission for the five Dodge teams to order the body templates. Dodge will make its debut in Winston Cup racing at the 2001 Daytona 500 with five teams and 10 race cars.

Dodge began developing the car and engine last fall, beginning with the Dodge Intrepid R/T passenger car body style and adapting the aerodynamics and chassis to Winston Cup racing. Dodge first unveiled the Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T show car at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show, tested the car in the wind tunnel in the spring and conducted its first on-track testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on May 2.

"We have worked closely with NASCAR to develop a car to meet the prototype templates they provided us earlier this year," said Ray Evernham, team owner and leader of the development effort. "We are proud of the development work we did on the car. We did what we could to create a car that met their standards and stayed within the limits they gave us."

Dodge will now turn its focus to preparing the engine for presentation to NASCAR in the fall.

"We’re running engine tests in the race shop and working on getting our new engine ready to present," said Evernham. "We have run the engine in several 500-mile tests and it has performed very well. We will continue to test the engine for durability and speed over long distances. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re making good progress."

The Dodge teams preparing for the 2001 season include Evernham Motorsports, with Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood; Bill Davis Racing with Ward Burton and Dave Blaney; Petty Enterprises with Kyle Petty and John Andretti; Melling Racing with Stacy Compton; and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2000

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