Back when Chrysler used to be the owner of Dodge, the now infamous Chrysler Hemi engine was constructed. As of 1951, automobiles with hemispherical combustion chambers were a common sight. In fact, in the 1950s and 1960s, even a marine variant of the engine was widely used in boats.
In essence, the Hemi engine was simply too effective. Compared to competing automobiles, the Dodge Daytona was more potent and aerodynamic. The Daytona achieved the brand’s basic goal of building a car that could win NASCAR races. The Daytona was the first vehicle to surpass 200 mph while racing. The Hemi engine cars won around 41% of the stock car races in the 1964 season because they were so successful at winning. Each car had a 426 Hemi V8 or the 440 Mopar big-block V8, contributing to the victory.
Every year, NASCAR has a somewhat turbulent past with regulatory revisions. One of the factors that led to Dodge and the Dodge Daytona’s exclusion from NASCAR competition was the need for change.
Why Did Dodge Leave NASCAR?
After several years of financial difficulties, the Chrysler-owned brand was under Italian management. Despite Chrysler going bankrupt in the 2008’s financial crisis, Dodge has continued to compete in NASCAR. And Dodge had significant economic challenges amid a maelstrom of ownership disputes and corporate reorganization that was ultimate.
The venerable American automaker Dodge said goodbye to NASCAR after the 2012 campaign. Dodge returned to the sport in 1999 but left in 2012, while it continued to compete in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series for a few more years.
Dodge departed, so it’s essential to comprehend why before considering when or how it can return. Dodge is one of the most storied and “inherently” American names in the automotive industry, as it is widely known.
For Dodge, 2012 was a pivotal year. Considering that Team Penske rolled down the Dodge’s window and hopped into a Ford in 2012. This was the last “nail in the coffin,” so to speak, for Dodge. Fiat didn’t have enough interest in or confidence in the sport. Therefore the war had already been lost. Additionally, Dodge was no longer able to locate a sizable squad willing to challenge them. There are now rumors that Dodge may return to the sport. In 2023, it may be exciting, and in 2024, it might be practical.
Why is Dodge Not in NASCAR?
NASCAR authorities began paying more attention to the vehicle when the Daytona surpassed the 200 mph threshold. It was done before it began since the Daytona and the Superbird ended up ruling the 1969 and 1970 seasons. NASCAR authorities modified the regulations to forbid vehicles with specific features, such as the enormous wing some vehicles featured. Due to the size of the wing, these vehicles even earned the moniker “Winged Warriors.” Both the aero elements and the larger, more powerful engines were prohibited by NASCAR. The modifications made in 1970 virtually prohibited Ford, Plymouth, and, you guessed it, Dodge from participating in the races.
Why isn’t Dodge in NASCAR?
Given Penske Racing’s outstanding 2012, this may have been Dodge’s most significant issue. Sam Hornish Jr. and Brad Keselowski each held the lead during the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 19. Keselowski, a local favorite, finished second, while Hornish, a Ford driver, finished 12th as Greg Biffle won the race and assumed the points lead. For several years to come, no team Dodge could recruit to represent the brand in 2013 could even slightly be anticipated to match Penske’s accomplishments. Dodge would have looked worse than not participating in Cup at all if they had settled with average, at best, results in 2013.
Dodge management persisted despite this. There were two viable options: Richard Petty Motorsports, which was prepared to look closely for a number of reasons, including the fact that Petty was nearing the end of his contract with Ford and was unsure of how much support he would receive from the automaker given Ford’s sudden interest in and investment in Penske.
Why Doesn’t Dodge Race in NASCAR?
The most intriguing option is that Dodge returns to its fundamentals. With a brand-new, excellent Ram truck that has just entered the market, the corporation could almost own the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a bit of expenditure. The Truck Series might switch to manufacturer-supplied crate engines if NASCAR is serious about revitalizing it. The expense of competing would be drastically reduced, and the series would regain its true brand identity. Although the racing was excellent, the American Speed Association’s crate motor series failed because every car, even Fords and Dodges, had to have a GM engine.
Also, none of the potential recruiting teams for Dodge are ready or willing to start an engine program. Penske Racing had a strong engine program. Therefore it didn’t make sense to have Penske continue to produce Dodge engines even while Penske’s cars were getting ready to switch to Roush-Yates power in 2013. Dodge explored producing its V8 engines, similar to Toyota, but many Toyotas are on track, which helps spread out expenses. Triad, an independent engine manufacturer, also manages specific Toyota second-tier teams and auxiliary series.
Dodge, like many automakers today, is preparing for an electrified future and beginning to create hybrid and all-electric vehicles. The automaker is certainly interested in NASCAR’s ambitions for an electric and sustainable future. In addition to thinking about making its Cup Series cars hybrid as early as 2024, NASCAR has been preparing an exhibition series that will run entirely on electricity.
The all-electric display series, according to sources, won’t begin as scheduled. It was unclear whether NASCAR’s decision not to launch the exhibition series next year, as stated by the records, was influenced by the deadlocked negotiations with Dodge. If NASCAR introduces an all-electric series, it may eventually replace the present secondary Xfinity Series.