by David Zatz • Posted on April 21st, 2013
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).
Last year, Brad Keselowski won Dodge’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship of the 21st century, but he signed up with Ford for this year. Shortly after Mr. Keselowski was honored at the White House (with his current Ford, not the Dodge
he won in), Mr. Keselowski and Joe Logano were each stripped of 25 points and their crew chiefs were suspended until July for some rear-end pieces that didn’t match NASCAR specs.
For more, see Ray’s Spring Festival coverage.
San Francisco-based Glass, Lewis & Co. has recommended that its clients approve the Fiat Chrysler merger this Friday.
Glass Lewis is one of the two leading proxy service companies in the world, the other being ISS which last week advised its clients to vote down the merger.
According to a Reuters report, the company said the benefits of the merger outweigh concerns about voting rights....
NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle.
Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver.
Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....
Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship.
Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....
Allen Johnson has secured his place in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-event series the determines the World Championships of drag racing.
Johnson joins Erica Enders-Stevens, who clinched her spot last weekend. Participation is limited to the top ten drivers in each pro class.
There were three different top qualifiers in Pro Stock: Johnson had the No....