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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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Move along, nothing to see here
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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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Move along, nothing to see here
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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.
That was never a fan complaint. That was however, a SPONSOR complaint. The original gimmick (the Chase) was created because Winston was leaving the sport as title sponsor and Nascar was trying to court a new cup series sponsor. Enter NEXTEL. They wanted to do two things: 1) Differentiate the "NEXTEL Cup" from the "Winston Cup". 2) Generate more interest in the back half of the season. They typically saw TV ratings in the latter stage of the season wane because other "stick and ball" sports all started up around those months (NFL). Nascar wanted a "game 7" moment for every season's championship and they've steadfastly refused to give up on this manufactured drama concept. Never mind that sports with playoffs don't always have it come down to a game 7 moment. How many times is the Superbowl a blowout that's over by halftime? How many times is the Stanley Cup a 4 game sweep? You don't see other leagues blowing up or tinkering with their championship format every few years because the title wasn't decided in the final moments of the final game.

The real problem is the season is about 6-8 weeks too long. They over expanded during the boom years and they'd rather bulldoze entire grandstands than admit they need to contract and knock some races off the schedule.

All of these other gimmicks are attempts to undo the damage they did in the first place. Brian France is the worst thing that ever happened to Nascar.
 
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