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Blog Entry

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 2:44 pm
 
By Pete Pistone

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(The debut of the new Fusion in 2013 will include Penske Racing as part of the Ford program)

In a blockbuster announcement Penske Racing will join the Ford camp in 2012 leaving Dodge.

An official announcement was made Thursday morning confirming earlier reports the long-time NASCAR team would campaign Fords in NASCAR beginning next season.

“We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013," said team owner Roger Penske. "We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport.”

More: Dodge statement regarding departure

The move returns Penske to the manufacturer a partnership that began in 1976 and 1977. Penske left and came back in 1994 before aligning with Dodge.

In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series).

The announcement was a surprise to many as Penske's two car tandem of Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger were both considered pre-season favorites for victories as well as possible Chase contenders.

Only one race into the new year, the organization and the manufacturer decided to announce their new partnership.

“It was important to get this agreement in place early so that we can plan ahead for the debut of the new 2013 NASCAR Fusion,” said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director. “We will work with Roush Fenway on the final development of the new car during this season, but we want to be able to have our teams building their new cars for the 2013 season before the end of the year, as the transition to the new body is taking place.

“With the operations and technology resources Penske brings from all forms of racing, we know they will be a strong addition to our program, and we look forward to working with them and all our teams to create a stronger Ford NASCAR program with even greater depth.”

Ford unveiled its new 2013 Fusion during a media event in Charlotte back in January and the manufacturer sees the addition of Penske to its line-up of NASCAR organizations including Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports as another opportunity to win the Sprint Cup title in 2013.

“This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels.”

Where this news leaves Dodge and its NASCAR program is still murky. Penske was the only team in teh Dodge camp fielding entries in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.

Dodge is set to unveil its new 2013 Sprint Cup Charger next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but at this point does not have a team aligned with the manufacturer for the new year. 

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Comments

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:18 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

Dodge hasn't made good equipment since Bill Elliott was racing full-time.  With this much money at stake, I can't imagine any owner sticking with Dodge.  Loyalty is great, but when you get to about the tenth year of your loyalty costing you serious money, a change is needed.  

In the early 2000's, Dodges were still fast, but seemed to blow engines at inopportune times.  As the decade wore on, everyone else got better, but Dodge didn't.  When the "Car of Tomorrow/Car of Today" was introduced in 2007, it was pretty much over for Dodge.  They never seemed to get the "hang" of making equipment that would work with the CoT template.   

When cars are fast but unreliable, you at least win a few races.  When they are slow and unreliable, your "racer cars" become pylons for others to maneuver around.  If I was Roger Penske, I would rather be "Team Penske" than "Team Pylon."

A classy man who has given as much to the sport as Penske deserves to field equipment that has a chance to win.  This move will give him that.  Really, there are no losers here.  Dodge doesn't count because they "lost it" years ago.  

Congratulations and good luck to Penske Racing. 



Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:11 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

Very interesting post from someone who doesn't really like NASCAR, I can only imagine your level of knowledge if you did like it.



Since: Dec 31, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:51 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

First and foremost I am not a fan of NASCAR. I don't like spec series that dictate compliance down to the fastner on the hood. It goes against the "Spirit of Motorsport". Innovation and creativity are stifled in name of "a good show for the fans".
I am surprised to see Penske align themselves with Ford simply because they just agreed to terms to run Chevrolet engines in Indycar for 2012. Apples and oranges I know. Most likely Roger's people know that Hendrick and Childress have virtual stranglehold on Chevy development money as they are the "works" teams. Toyota has JGR and throws their bones to Waltrip and BK (nee Red Bull) so no joy there. Dodge cannot continue to support a frontline program in the manner that Penske will require and demand so Ford is the only other choice.



Since: Aug 12, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:51 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

It will be interesting to see how Jack Roush takes this news after being THE Ford team for decades.  Penske isn't making this move to take a back seat to anyone and he doesn't share equipment with anyone either.  It will also be interesting to see what happens with RPM.  They could be in trouble with Ford if they can't get their cars backed by sponsors.

Jack Roush will be fine! He shared Ford for eight years in the 90's and early 2000's!

Welcome back Roger! We're glad to have you!!!

Go Team Ford Racing!!! 



Since: May 19, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:34 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

At one point I would have been truly upset at this news, as I was a big Dodge supporter. But now I realize there is no other sport that is more corporately manipulated than NASCAR and that the whole sport is rigged. Good by good old boy sport.



Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford in 2013

It will be interesting to see how Jack Roush takes this news after being THE Ford team for decades.  Penske isn't making this move to take a back seat to anyone and he doesn't share equipment with anyone either.  It will also be interesting to see what happens with RPM.  They could be in trouble with Ford if they can't get their cars backed by sponsors.


godplzhelpabbie
Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:01 pm
This comment has been removed.

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