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.
Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16. Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class. The cars appear to be driven by 5.7 liter Hemi engines. [...]
Though the Ram 1500 just had major upgrades, another refresh is due in 2017, to deal with the new F-150s and a possible Chevrolet Silverado update. So far not much is known about these trucks, except that they will likely include the Pentastar engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have undergone weight reduction therapy [...]
With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team [...]
Artist suzq044 has provided an alternative view of what the 2017 Ram may look like. This refresh will counter new F-150s. The trucks will almost certainly include the V6 engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have more high-strength steel and aluminum to cut weight. The 2017 Ram is also likely to have aerodynamic improvements to increase highway [...]
It has been years since Allpar first reported on the future launch of a new Jeep Wagoneer, and the dropping of the Dodge Caravan. With Wagoneer on the books, Chrysler planners may have had mixed feelings about the sudden success of the Dodge Durango. They wanted to drop the Durango for a more-profitable Wagoneer (essentially a Durango with the Grand Cherokee suspension design [...]