The news came out yesterday. Dodge is leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season. With little news in recent weeks about possible teams to field Dodge’s the news was expected.
Dodge leaving NASCAR was not a surprise to me. One statement by Ralph Gilles, head of Dodge Motorsports, spoke volumes about their efforts. The decision by Penske Racing to move to Ford Motor Company “kind of caught us by surprise and we never really recovered.”
A five year deal with Dodge is what Penske Racing wanted. Dodge would not commit to five years and hung on to the idea of a three year commitment. In the end Ford offered Penske a five year deal and effectively put Dodge and the 2013 Charger into a pile of mothballs.
Dodge lacked commitment to Penske Racing. The organization which had run Dodge cars for the past ten years winning a total of 29 races.
If Dodge was not going to go five years with Penske, a team which had two race cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase last season, why would they go any ye...