Dodge Withdrawing From NASCAR

Dodge

Dodge, which had unveiled its 2013 Sprint Cup Series car earlier this year in Las Vegas, on Tuesday announced its withdrawal from NASCAR competition at the end of the current season. (Photo: Dodge)

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Updated at 3:50 p.m. (ET)

SRT Motorsports announced Tuesday that Dodge will withdraw from NASCAR competition at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of the Street & Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports for Chrysler Group LLC, made the announcement during a media teleconference.  Penske Racing currently fields two Dodge Chargers in the Cup Series and two Challengers in the Nationwide Series.

Penske Racing, the only organization currently campaigning Dodges, had announced in February that it would end its 10-year partnership with the manufacturer at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

“We’ve spent an intense five months working to identify and evaluate all options for our future involvement in NASCAR,” Gilles said.  “A number of opportunities emerged, and our team worked diligently to put a structure together to fit our overall business and competitive objectives.  While we have been pleased and enthused with the amount of interest from teams and sponsors over that time, in the end we simply couldn’t develop the right structure.”

Dodge has recorded 215 wins in the Sprint Cup Series, including 55 since its return in 2001, and has been represented in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in seven of the eight seasons the championship format has been used.  In 2010, Brad Keselowski captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driving a Dodge from Penske Racing.

“It’s an extremely difficult decision to know that we won’t be there for our fans next season,” Gilles added.  “It’s important to note that we have not lost focus on 2012 or the commitment to our partnership with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.”

Keselowski currently is seventh in the Cup Series standings and has three wins in his quest to make the 12-driver Chase field for the second straight year.  In Nationwide Series competition, Sam Hornish Jr. is locked in a four-way battle for the championship.

"Dodge has been a great partner for many years," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.  "They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before (coming back) in 2001.  We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date."

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