Update: While it appears that Ralph Gilles did speak with Ray on this topic, there was a misunderstanding as to the context. Mr. Gilles appears to have been referring to why Dodge pulled out of NASCAR, and was essentially saying that it was not a funding issue — the funding had been approved, but there were other issues.
A Chrysler spokesman wrote, “Chrysler Group’s decision to leave NASCAR competition at the end of the 2012 season was based solely on not being able to develop the correct structure to fit our overall business and competitive objectives.” At the time Chrysler withdrew, Mr. Gilles said that Penske had offered a “one-stop shop” for engines, drivers, and sponsors that could not be replaced in a way that would allow SRT to race at the level that was desired, in the time available.
Ray Alexander, on hand for the LX-centric Spring Festival 8, reported that Ralph Gilles told him that NASCAR funding has been approved, and that Chrysler is talking to teams. [See “update” above; this does not imply that funding for a new NASCAR run has been approved, but appears to relate to the current year.]
Last month, Mr. Gilles told Allpar in New York, in answer to a question about NASCAR, “Oh my God, I can’t talk about that right now. No comment on that.”
Chrysler’s return to NASCAR presumably remains contingent on being able to sign up competitive drivers and support crew (e.g. car and engine builders). NASCAR racing is highly competitive on the technical side, with unique requirements. Chrysler’s budget in 2012 was reportedly $45 million, or $27 per car sold in the United States (including Jeeps and Rams).
For more, see Ray’s Spring Festival coverage.
Follow these topics: Motorsports
Burns Motors has posted two videos of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat doing the quarter mile in 10.48 seconds. These stand in contrast to a video elsewhere which shows a $105,000 Tesla owner jumping the red light at the track to beat a Hellcat owner who was unused to the car, and struggled for traction through the run. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT [...]
Today, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne implied that the odds were against the Toledo plant keeping Jeep Wrangler production, despite a recent land purchase and the city’s long history with Jeep in general and CJ and Wrangler in particular. He did say that, if Wrangler was to find a new home, new product would be moved to the plant: … if the economic [...]
Rumors from Windsor suggested first that the current “RT” minivan body would continue for some years alongside the new “RU,” and then that it would be dropped as soon as the new designs came out — in Chrysler form only. Sergio Marchionne has thrown some fuel onto the speculative fire, commenting today in Detroit that: Where is Reid [Bigland]? If it [...]