Blog Entry

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Posted on: March 1, 2012 9:05 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 9:27 pm
 
By Pete Pistone




(Will a Dodge Charger compete in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 or will the manufacturer leave?)

Now that the dust has settled on the bombshell announcement of Penske Racing leaving Dodge for Ford next season, what are the ramifications of the decision? 

Currently the only Dodge team in NASCAR, Penske’s move to the Blue Oval means a more crowded Ford camp and at this point a giant void for his former manufacturer. 

Penske’s return to Ford gives “The Captain” a better chance to be successful in his mind and was the only motivation in the change. 

“Let me say this, this wasn’t about money,” Penske said. “We’ve been operating for the last 10 years pretty much with some support in the previous years, maybe four or five years ago, but we needed to have a benchmark and I think that having that additional technical information flow through the process as Ford has outlined it to us, I think, was very important to us.” 

Until Thursday Penske and his organization had preached the gospel of being the only Dodge team as a benefit. With no other organizations in the sport, the manufacturer was able to funnel all of its resources to the two-car effort at Penske. 

That view obviously changed and apparently the opportunity to align with Ford presented a better option. 

“I think when we weighed the plusses and minuses of the opportunity, it was apparent to us that we need to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and we have been trying to do it alone,” Penske said of being the lone Dodge entity.

“I think with a certain amount of sponsorship available to us and we were fielding two, three cars and then some in the Nationwide, but having the opportunity to benchmark with someone like Roush, who has been world-class, you could see the performance this past weekend with [Matt] Kenseth and how good their cars are, we thought that it was the time for us to evaluate other options.” 

Now it’s time for Dodge to evaluate what options are available in the post-Penske era. There is speculation the manufacturer may simply leave NASCAR and focus its resources on the various other forms of motorsports it currently participates in. 

Dodge plans to unveil its 2013 Charger next week in Las Vegas, an event that had been in the works for several weeks. The company still plans to show the car to the world obviously without Penske’s participation. 

Since work on the new Sprint Cup car has been on the drawing board for some time, it does seem unlikely Dodge would scrap that path and pull up its NASCAR stakes. 

However the statement released by the company on Thursday did leave the door open to that possibility. 

“Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge’s Street Racing and Technology Brand and Motorsports, in the statement. “As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports." 

That doesn’t sound like a resounding, “we’re sticking around NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series” to me. 

Finding a new team to replace Penske appears to be a major challenge for Dodge’s NASCAR future. Most of the major organizations in the garage area are locked into manufacturer agreements for several years. 

A rumor that Richard Petty Motorsports, a former Dodge player that has its Ford contract up for renewal at season’s end, could return to the fold was shot down by the organization at least for the time being Thursday night. 

“We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013,” read the statement.  “Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. 

“We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team.” 

Other candidates may include Chip Ganassi’s team, which once was a Dodge operation in NASCAR. However Ganassi’s alignment with Chevy supporter DEI and his successful Earnhardt Childress Racing engine program would appear to be major hurdles to any kind of change. 

The elevation of a current Nationwide Series of even Camping World Truck Series to carry the Dodge banner in Sprint Cup is also possible, but such a program would more than likely take several years before becoming competitive at the sport’s top level. 

The coming days and weeks will very much shape the manufacturer landscape for 2013 and beyond. The introduction of the new Sprint Cup car next season pretty much levels the playing field and allows teams and their manufacturers to figure things out from a blank piece of paper.

But unless Dodge can find a new partner willing to be a lone wolf, it won’t be surprising to see one less manufacturer in the garage area next year.
 

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Category: Auto Racing
Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:58 pm
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

  They needed to use one of those powerhouse Fiat 500's in Nascar, after all look how the Yugo dominated motorsports.



Since: Aug 12, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:15 am
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

When you have a 40% increase in sales to move 133,51 units in a month who needs the rigged sport of NASCAR? Yeah, let the "big boys," or the big corporations you mean, do the racing. There is no true compition in NASCAR the losers and winners are predetermined from the outset. "That car is too fast, better take away a bit of spoiler," or "oh they are winning too much catch them up in a wreck."Are these even stock cars? How many of you Ford loyalists are rocking a V8 in your Fusion? 40 years ago they chased the Super B's and Daytonas off the track because they were not "stock enough" or did not "sell enough of the model," are they now able to drive Camaries and Fusions? Let's watch a race that has a Camary! Laughable. The whole sport is silly enterprise to create brand loyalty and sell cars. When stock cars were running moonshine and racing on the beaches of Daytona that was racing. Line-up the true racecars and then we would have something to watch, I bet the Fusion, Camary, would be looking at the taillights of the Chrysler 300, Challanger, and Charger.  NASCAR almost broke out, it almost became a national sport (  ) with large viewership among our diverse population, but ultimatley their backward good ol'boy approach has let them down. Enjoy your Ford vs Chevy duel of identical cars - I hope Dodge takes it's show to other motorsports with integrety and honest racing.

Laughable! Integrity and Chrysler? After two bailouts and billions of taxpayers footing the bill you post this? WOW!!!

You miss the point in NASCAR! Are the cars similar? Sure...they have to be...how many HP are they pumping out of a V8 now vs. back in the day! Unrestricted engines hit 212 mph in the 80's...an unrestricted V8 motor today would push 250 mph!

Safety and competition is the main concern! You can't have a dominant car make nor can you have people dying!

You already have brand loyalty!

Not too many people switch fav's because of a race!

Spare me the Chrysler crap! They aren't you sixties or early seventies car company any longer! 



Since: May 19, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:09 pm
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

When you have a 40% increase in sales to move 133,51 units in a month who needs the rigged sport of NASCAR? Yeah, let the "big boys," or the big corporations you mean, do the racing. There is no true compition in NASCAR the losers and winners are predetermined from the outset. "That car is too fast, better take away a bit of spoiler," or "oh they are winning too much catch them up in a wreck."Are these even stock cars? How many of you Ford loyalists are rocking a V8 in your Fusion? 40 years ago they chased the Super B's and Daytonas off the track because they were not "stock enough" or did not "sell enough of the model," are they now able to drive Camaries and Fusions? Let's watch a race that has a Camary! Laughable. The whole sport is silly enterprise to create brand loyalty and sell cars. When stock cars were running moonshine and racing on the beaches of Daytona that was racing. Line-up the true racecars and then we would have something to watch, I bet the Fusion, Camary, would be looking at the taillights of the Chrysler 300, Challanger, and Charger.  NASCAR almost broke out, it almost became a national sport (  ) with large viewership among our diverse population, but ultimatley their backward good ol'boy approach has let them down. Enjoy your Ford vs Chevy duel of identical cars - I hope Dodge takes it's show to other motorsports with integrety and honest racing.



Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Not Toyota  HMMMMMMMMMM lst me see. General Mess of Crap?????????





Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:44 pm
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Interesting point by Spikes.




Since: Aug 12, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 7:21 am
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Nice post Spikes!

Not so sure about more foreign cars though...we already have one...can you name it?




Since: Oct 24, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:08 am
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Ford is an all American company that does things the right way.




Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:41 pm
 

Penske's move to Ford has major implications

Sorinara Dodge/Fiat, leave the racing to the big boys. You won't be missed, take Government Motors with you, they are bankrupt and always will be if they would ever pay back the 66 Billion to Tarp and the other 68 Billion to the tax payers, that will never happen.


We have Toyota and Ford, maybe Nissan, Subaru, Hyundia, Mercedes or even Volkswagen will get in, all companies that pay their taxes.

GM is exempt from paying taxes for another 9 years to total up to 90 Billion dollars, One down in Dodge/Fiat and one more crooked company to go, 

Spikes. TRD  JGR  MWR  KBM  18  11  20  15  55  56  54  #1  


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