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For myself, Dodge's return to NASCAR Cup competition in 2001 came at the perfect time to create a lifelong superfan. 10 years old, the son of Dodge Dealer, glued to the TV every weekend they were on track. Constantly filling sketch books with drawings of the Dodge Boys hotrods. Twenty years later, I'm doing the same thing, just digitally. That's why I wanted to share these concept designs with the Allpar community.

It's an absolute bummer and a total shame that "America's Performance Brand" has zero presence in America's top racing series. So I wanted to start a discussion. Next Gen is set to bring brand identity back to the sport and we'll find out what that means for the other three on May 5. Street car looks, lower costs, and general excitement around the future of the sport. It's a major opportunity, sitting right in front of us.

So, what would it take for a return to NASCAR? Who leads the charge this time? Besides Gilles and Trostle, who's Stellantis eyes do these need to get in front of? Lets get back to racing.

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Honestly though I don't believe we will ever see Dodge return to Nascar again. NASCAR has been actively courting pretty much every manufacturer out there for the better part of the last decade and there's no one willing to dump the money and resources into what would be required to build a competitive racing program today. The landscape of Nascar has changed dramatically since 2001 when Dodge reentered the sport. For starters, there are only four engine programs supplying the entire field. Chevy: Hendrick & ECR Engines, Toyota: TRD, and Ford: Roush/Yates. So for a new manufacturer, this goes way beyond signing some interested teams to come over to their banner. They'd have to build an entirely new engine program from scratch. That's tens of millions of dollars investment before you can even get started. And how much of that tech can be translated back to production cars? Probably zero given the industry is moving away from ICE and toward electric.

Second part is in 2001 Nascar's audience was HUGE and was expanding. Today's popularity is a shadow of that. In the last decade just about every track on the circuit has ripped out tens of thousands of seats and entire grandstands. For example: Las Vegas Motor Speedway went from a capacity of over 140,000 to now around 80,000. TV ratings are also a fraction of their former heyday. Also given that most of the sport's biggest names and stars have retired over the last 5 years and they've got a fan retention problem.

So frankly it's not a wonder no other manufacturer will touch Nascar. I'd much rather see Stellantis invest in strengthening the extremely thin product lines for Dodge and Chrysler than dump a pile of money into Nascar where the return on investment is dubious at best.
 

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Honestly though I don't believe we will ever see Dodge return to Nascar again. NASCAR has been actively courting pretty much every manufacturer out there for the better part of the last decade and there's no one willing to dump the money and resources into what would be required to build a competitive racing program today. The landscape of Nascar has changed dramatically since 2001 when Dodge reentered the sport. For starters, there are only four engine programs supplying the entire field. Chevy: Hendrick & ECR Engines, Toyota: TRD, and Ford: Roush/Yates. So for a new manufacturer, this goes way beyond signing some interested teams to come over to their banner. They'd have to build an entirely new engine program from scratch. That's tens of millions of dollars investment before you can even get started. And how much of that tech can be translated back to production cars? Probably zero given the industry is moving away from ICE and toward electric.

Second part is in 2001 Nascar's audience was HUGE and was expanding. Today's popularity is a shadow of that. In the last decade just about every track on the circuit has ripped out tens of thousands of seats and entire grandstands. For example: Las Vegas Motor Speedway went from a capacity of over 140,000 to now around 80,000. TV ratings are also a fraction of their former heyday. Also given that most of the sport's biggest names and stars have retired over the last 5 years and they've got a fan retention problem.

So frankly it's not a wonder no other manufacturer will touch Nascar. I'd much rather see Stellantis invest in strengthening the extremely thin product lines for Dodge and Chrysler than dump a pile of money into Nascar where the return on investment is dubious at best.
Ya we know your right .. but can't we still hope, or maybe something new to challenge NASCAR to there expensive ways could change things too, but it would have to be exciting new and fresh change.
 

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Ya we know your right .. but can't we still hope, or maybe something new to challenge NASCAR to there expensive ways could change things too, but it would have to be exciting new and fresh change.
I used to be a DIE HARD fan too. I have spent thousands of dollars planning vacations and travel to Nascar race weekends. I hadn't watched a race in probably 3 years but I actually tuned into to the LVMS race back in March and I was stunned to see all the missing seats and grandstands. Especially since I went to that race back in 2009. There's many reasons I lost interest but I'm one of the fans that Nascar figured they didn't need anymore when they started chasing casual and "stick and ball" fans. I won't list off all the things that have turned me off over the years, but suffice to say it's death by 1000 cuts.
 

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I have to agree that the NASCAR ship has sailed. NASCAR would be an after thought if it wasn't for Toyota. They feel exposure is a good marketing tool for them. I wouldn't be that surprised if GM or Ford say enough is enough, but people still do watch F1 and the Mercedes parade. Go figure.
 

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NASCAR was very popular when their cars were more similar to street cars, they can't do that now it seems, but I feel if they COULD, and had STOCK BLOCK engines, like in the '70s, I'm sure people would be more interested.
 

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For myself, Dodge's return to NASCAR Cup competition in 2001 came at the perfect time to create a lifelong superfan. 10 years old, the son of Dodge Dealer, glued to the TV every weekend they were on track. Constantly filling sketch books with drawings of the Dodge Boys hotrods. Twenty years later, I'm doing the same thing, just digitally. That's why I wanted to share these concept designs with the Allpar community.

It's an absolute bummer and a total shame that "America's Performance Brand" has zero presence in America's top racing series. So I wanted to start a discussion. Next Gen is set to bring brand identity back to the sport and we'll find out what that means for the other three on May 5. Street car looks, lower costs, and general excitement around the future of the sport. It's a major opportunity, sitting right in front of us.

So, what would it take for a return to NASCAR? Who leads the charge this time? Besides Gilles and Trostle, who's Stellantis eyes do these need to get in front of? Lets get back to racing.

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I love your concepts and would watch again in a heartbeat! I got into NASCAR similarly to you, started in 2001 with the return of Dodge, and decided to watch until I saw the first Dodge modern NASCAR win. Of course, by then, I was hooked and watched every Cup race from then on. Right up to 2012 when Dodge pulled out (again), and I stopped. I've flipped by the races on TV a few times, but have not watched a race since Brad K won the Cup at the end of 2012. I don't see it happening again, as times have changed too much. As stated, NASCAR has dropped in popularity way too much for this to be feasable. in 2001, Nascar was on it's way up, but peaked around 2007 or so and has been in steady decline ever since. Factors like streaming services, people dropping cable and network TV shows, fanbase falling after Dodge left, classic fans leaving after the multiple format changes and not enough new fans to make up for them leaving. That, combined with industry changing from ICE to Electric and lack of further development for ICE, pressure from environmentalists to stop wasting fuel and causing pollution, pressure from Americans wanting to ban enemy flags at tracks, pressure from Vegans to stop grilling meat at racetracks, etc. Lots of things going on that make it very hard to compete. And, I didn't even get into the fact that (again, already mentioned) we would have to sign a team that has an engine building program to even make this work (and, there are not many of them left anymore).

JS
 

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NASCAR was very popular when their cars were more similar to street cars, they can't do that now it seems, but I feel if they COULD, and had STOCK BLOCK engines, like in the '70s, I'm sure people would be more interested.
At NASCAR's peak and even the time frame around it the cars were nothing like their street counterparts. Even if brought back stock blocks that wouldn;t help with peoples wanting or even watching. It's just like any other sport, most people watch for the players/drivers, not the manufactures/teams. Yes there are people that will watch for the teams/manufactures but that is the minority in today's world, even more so when they're having a down time
 

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I agree about the NASCAR ship has sailed. Former fan and not motivated by whats out there today. Live in SC and Darlington has always been top of conversation but not any more. Even before covid hotel rooms filled (not may in
Darlington) all the way to Myrtle Beach. Those days have past and probably will not be back. Old crowd (me) just don't care anymore and the younger crowd just don't give a ...........hoot. So where will the new fans come from? Travel time, hotels, food, gas all take a toll. More roadcourse's won't help; I don't think. Nascar like NFL, MLB, NBA all about the Benjamin's and lots of them.
 

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More roadcourse's won't help
I beg to differ. There were criticisms of NASCAR that it had too many cookie cutter 1.5-2.0 mile ovals - Kansas, Chicago, Michigan, Charlotte, California, Las Vegas - and not enough road courses. Now they add 5 road courses (7 total this year) and they still get criticized? Give me a break. At least NASCAR is trying something different. As far fan attendance you really have to throw out 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and the limitations many states have on attending large events. Yes, I know attendance is down from the hay days, but there are still fans out there.

Many have criticized some of the "gimmicks" that NASCAR has put in place. Well, guess where they got them? From the small tracks that run races every Saturday night. Things like stage racing and double file restarts. I'm not crazy about the playoff structure, but again, NASCAR was trying to find an answer to the fan's complaint that drivers weren't always racing hard to win. Doesn't seem to matter what NASCAR does there is always a complaint.
 
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