After the sudden departure of Dodge, after the conclusion of the 2012 season, where Dodge won their first Sprint Cup Championship with Brad Keselowski, a statement has been made by CEO of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Sergio Marchionne, as he noted that the corporation had no intention to returning to NASCAR anytime soon. Following the statement by Sergio Marchionne, the VP of marketing and communications David Higdon commented;
“There is an increasing excitement around NASCAR. We continue to have on-going dialogue with a number of auto manufacturers about their interest in joining our sport. We look forward to exploration with them on this topic.”
Following this suprising statement, it’s throwing more rumors upon this one, including the Honda rumor, which has been thrown around since Dodge left in 2012. Dodge will more than likely run the Charger for MES, Challenger for Xfinity Series, and RAM for Camping World Truck Series. If Dodge does return, these are two teams who could possibly become Dodge teams:
1. Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM)
This team has jumped around manufacturers for years, after being loyal to Dodge following the departure of Pontiac from NASCAR, fans were left scratching their heads. Petty Enterprises decided to merge with Gillett Evernham Racing, forming Richard Petty Motorsports, becoming a Ford Racing team.
After that, they merged with once-successful Yates Racing, bringing the team lineup to four cars; the #9 Budweiser Ford driven by Kasey Kahne, #19 Best Buy Ford driven by Elliott Sadler, #43 U.S Air Force Ford driven by Reed Sorenson, and #98 Menards Ford driven by Paul Menard. With Dodge returning, RPM could be the head team they once were.
2. JTG Daugherty Racing
This team is a rather new team in the Monster Energy Series, but they have been around since 1995 in the Xfinity Series. They started in the MES in 2008, with Australian driver Marcos Ambrose behind the wheel of the #47 Little Debbie/Clorox Toyota. The team struggled for some time like most new teams, but after years of struggling, things were looking up for the team.
After a driver change with Bobby Labonte, and after some success, the team moved onto another new driver and manufacturer, A.J Allmendinger & Chevrolet, and eventually picked up Kroger as the full time sponsor. JTG Daugherty Racing hit their big break when they won the 2014 Watkins Glen race, beating out former driver Marcos Ambrose for the win. It was a bittersweet moment for JTG Daugherty and all the Allmendinger fans seeing him go to victory lane at that race.
With a JTG Daugherty Racing manufacturer move, they can get first touch at their engines, which they haven’t had. The team is a satellite team with RCR, but with them leading the charge of the new and improved Dodge, they could be front runners.