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Dodge Pulls out of NASCAR

“Clearly an extremely difficult decision.”

by on Aug.07, 2012

What was to have been the 2013 Dodge NASCAR entry (r) sits alongside the street version of the Dodge Charger.

In what a top executive described as “Clearly an extremely difficult decision,” Dodge is pulling out of NASCAR, the maker announced Tuesday afternoon, confirming reports that had first surfaced on the website run by the popular race series earlier in the day.

The decision to abandon what is the most widely followed motorsports program in the U.S. was the belated result of the decision by Team Penske to abandon Dodge and sign on with its arch-rival Ford Motor Co.  That unexpected setback, last March, left the smaller brand frantically searching for a new team and sponsors just as was ready to begin testing an all-new car for the 2013 NASCAR season.

After months of effort, no effective solution came together, a senior Chrysler executive lamented during a Tuesday conference call with reporters, leaving the Dodge brand no option but to pull out.

In the Know!

“Cash,” insisted Ralph Gilles, the head of Chrysler corporate motor sports operations, “was not the issue.”  Instead, he repeatedly stressed, the effort to replace the Penske team had to be seen as “a multi-piece puzzle.  We couldn’t, unfortunately, put together a structure that made competitive sense for next year.”

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Dodge Darts Into Global RallyCross Series with Travis Pastrana

600 hp, 70-ft jumps and 1.9 sec. 0 to 60.

by on Mar.26, 2012

A rendering of the 600-hp Dodge RallyCross Dart.

Dodge is entering the Global RallyCross Series with a custom-built, 600-horsepower version of its new Dart sedan piloted by X Games legend Travis Pastrana.

The project underscores the increasing emphasis on motor sports at Chrysler, which recently unveiled its 2013 NASCAR entry – although the maker now has to sign up a replacement for the Roger Penske team, which is jumping to Ford for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The entry into RallyCross suggests Chrysler and its Dodge and SRT Motorsports arms are aiming for a more global profile, rallying generally far more popular outside the U.S. – even while adding a distinctly American twist.

Electrifying!

“At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we’re very excited to announce the next chapter in racing for Dodge with our all-new Dodge Dart,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand. “The new Dart Global RallyCross Championship car with 600 horsepower and driver Travis Pastrana takes our passion for performance to all new heights.”

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