NASCAR: Dodge Is Reportedly Heading Back to Franchise

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

American auto manufacturer Dodge stepped away from the NASCAR circuit in 2012 to heavily invest in Formula 1. Multiple drivers also switched from Dodge to Ford at the time because of the Roush engine’s superior performance; but thanks to this new generation of technology, and the surging interest in NASCAR across the country, Dodge may soon reenter the fold as the third major American OEM.

Late last year, NASCAR president Steve Phelps addressed the rumors that Dodge could return in the next few seasons. “You know what, there are some discussions that are going on with other manufacturers, new OEMs, that would come into the sport,” he said. ”Our three existing OEMs (Ford, Chevy, and Toyota) are happy about that. Our race teams are happy about that. We’re happy about that. It’s been widely rumored that Dodge is one of those or closest. I won’t confirm or deny that.”

Phelps also said that bringing a new OEM like Dodge into the fold is Important to NASCAR.

“It is important. We’ve made no bones about the fact that we want to have a new OEM in our sport,” he said. “I think we got delayed with the pandemic. With that said, we are an attractive place I believe for OEMs to come into the sport. Now is an important opportunity for them to do that because of the Next Gen car. I would suggest things are progressing or I would say that things are progressing. When we have something to announce, we will.”

An old NASCAR driver teased a possible return for Dodge in a social media video

Dodge boasts an impressive history manufacturing muscle cars, powerful pickup trucks, and stock cars. The 1969 Charger Daytona and Challenger Hellcat road car were both loved by the masses.

Ex-NASCAR driver Robby Gordon said in an Instagram video that he would return to the circuit soon in a Dodge Next Gen car. Gordon famously left the sport in 2012 when Dodge left, but he said he “got the group back together” and is going to build a car for an upcoming race.

“Big news today,” Gordon began in the video. “We’ve been talking with Dodge and it looks like we’re going to go ahead and build a Next Gen car. You know I left NASCAR scene when Dodge left the sport. I’ve got the group back together, and we are going to build a Next Gen car for Watkins Glen.”

Of course, Gordon released this video on April Fools Day, so it’s unclear whether or not he was joking when he made the promise. Regardless, rumors are starting to swirl about a return to NASCAR for Dodge; and in professional sports, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire as well.