Why The Dodge Deal Isn’t Done Yet

One of the biggest Silly Season moves that we are waiting to hear a resolution for is ¬†just where Dodge will end up. Since it was announced that Penske would be moving to Ford for the 2013 season, there have been a ton of rumors and speculation, but no real solid information. And the reason why we haven’t heard anything substantive, is because this is a very complicated deal with so many moving parts.

The major problem Dodge is running into with the available pool of teams is a lack of infrastructure. As NASCAR teams have consolidated because of the economy, the major functions of engine and car building have fallen on only a few organizations. The engines for most of NASCAR are provided by either Roush Yates, Hendrick, Earnhardt Childress, Penske, or TRD. The same is true for bodies and chassis. Only the very top teams have full-fledged, completely self-reliant operations. And the teams that have been linked to the new Dodge deal are tied in some way to other organizations.

Take Richard Petty Motorsports and Furniture Row Racing for example. Both have been mentioned as possible destinations for Dodge, but both currently lean heavily on other teams. RPM gets all it’s cars and engines from Roush Fenway, and Furniture Row Racing is tied to Richard Childress Racing for cars and technology, and Stewart-Haas for its pit crew. Neither have the legions of fabricators, body hangers, painters, and the like to be self-reliant. And where would they get engines?

The oft-rumored move by Michael Andretti to NASCAR team ownership presented an intriguing option for Dodge, but the IndyCar owner recently told the Indianapolis Star that such a move was “highly unlikely.”¬†Even with money and support from Dodge, Andretti would need a major sponsor and a serious outlay of his own cash to get a Cup team off the ground. Running a NASCAR team is drastically more expensive than what Andretti deals with in IndyCar, as Roger Penske recently said to Sports Illustrated, and it appears Andretti isn’t ready for that yet.

Dodge is, for all intents and purposes, completely starting over. It’s the year 2000 all over again, only this time they don’t have Ray Evernham and a boat load of cash. And therein lies the major problem. The new Fiat run Dodge wants a NASCAR program, but it doesn’t have an unlimited budget to make it happen. And a significant investment is what will be needed to turn one of the available candidates into a full-blown, self-contained Cup operation.

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23 Responses to “Why The Dodge Deal Isn’t Done Yet”

  1. RA Eckart says:

    If Dodge really wants to be there, they’ll be there, even if it is in 2014. Sergio Marchionne has done an incredible job turning around Chrysler. He asks all the right questions, and people will explain that if you want to be in America, you have to make NASCAR part of your activation.

  2. Rusz says:

    Fiat has some experience in racing as they are a majority owner of Ferrari.
    But if sponsor money isn’t available,the question is why? Maybe they feel it’s not worth the money.

  3. windowlicker says:

    What is Penske going to do with all his in-house engine & car building? Switch over to Ford or will Penske use Roush engines? Could Penske be an alternative to Roush as a supplier for some Ford teams if he builds his own engines?

  4. grumpiestoldman says:

    The whole deal hinges on the urine of AJ Allmendinger. If the B sample tests for whatever the first did, and AJ loses his job, Matt Kenseth will take that job next year.
    If AJ passes and keeps the seat, Kenseth is ready to head to Dodge and and a two car team with Andretti. And with his friend Kurt Busch as a teammate.
    Or so I heard.

  5. Kentuckynascar1 says:

    Kenseth is NOT going to Roush. Ford has said their goodbyes to him. He is going to go to Gibbs, which is basically what Roush said in the announcement indirectly.

  6. Ric says:

    I thought Kenseth was already a done deal with whoever. And it was a done deal way before AJ even took the test.

  7. Joe says:

    The infrastructure (buildings) exist in Level Cross, NC. They should have been loyal to the King back in 2000 instead of going with the “sexier” pick in Ray – you see what that got them. In any case I hope they are around I’m a Dodge guy at heart.

  8. ATS says:

    The reason teams don’t align with Dodge is because the manufacturer does not give the adequate support needed to compete against Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Not to mention that Dodge continues to hire knuckleheads to handle their motorsports program.

  9. eric hanaway says:

    @Kentuckynascar1 and @ric, grumpiestoldman’s comment was sarcasm

  10. Just Another Racer says:

    I know for many this would seem like the most unlikely option for Dodge, but if you look at the infrastructure it really is one of their best options. But we all know it will not happen. I dont know if either party would care to make it happen?

    Robby Gordon Motorsports! I know it seems if RGM is out of the NASCAR business and for the most part they are. Current projects for RGM are Speed Energy, The new Stadium Super Truck series and all the off-road desert programs including Dakar that he has working.

    But looking at it from a business infrastructure RGM has what Dodge needs in a team. RGM owns their own building, Builds their own chassis, bodies and components. Their shop has all the tools to build, repair and prep a fleet of NASCAR’s. They have everything needed to show up to the track.

    RGM’s North Carolina NASCAR shop is currently building a fleet(30+)stadium trucks that will be used to compete in the new Stadium Series starting in 2013. If RGM is capable of doing that then I cant see how with the right financing and backing from a manufacture that they could not run two car NASCAR team and also build cars for other teams at their facility. On top of this RGM also has a shop in California which mostly houses the desert program and is used as a distribution warehouse for Speed Energy.

    Is Robby Gordon a Rick Hendrick or Jack Roush? Nope! But with the right backing he could be closer to that they lets say a RPM or Front Row that have no infrastructure to be able to support a team on their own with no outside support from one of the top power teams.

    What most dont seem to know is RPM rents a shop on the Roush compound. If RPM was to jump to Dodge they would have to move and find a new shop on top of everything else required to buid the Dodge team. Jack Roush is not going to allow a competitive manufacture to be building cars, on his property using his equipment. And that building is not big enough to house everything RPM would need to make it happen anyways.

  11. MattieK27 says:

    Just Another Racer,

    As a RG fan since his indy car days with AJ, I can tell you the #1 reason Dodge will not go with RGM; Robby Gordon owns it. He is a good racer and a character, but anyone can see how he run RGM into the ground since it’s 2004 inception running a partial Busch schedule. He was able to sign up sponsors during a time when he was competitive in Cup with RCR, but every single one of those is gone. (Except Menards in an extremely limited capacity)

    He is his own worst enemy, and many former employees at RGM will back me up on that. He has not had competitive cars in cup since bers the adoption of the COT, and that was 2007. I do not count plate cars with high drag numbers that draft well and road course events in that statement. If he would only let people do what he hired them for and not play the know-it-all role, he might have a chance. But thats not Robby…

  12. Jordan says:

    I agree with ATS. The manufacturer doesn’t give the support that the others do. I for one would like to see Honda in NASCAR.

    Go Jimmie!

  13. Woogeroo says:

    Well, that’s all folks, Dodge is leaving the party!


  14. ATS says:

    There is your answer. No surprise really.

  15. Paul says:

    Writers cramp or vacation?

  16. Murray says:

    Guys, it’s Nearly September, where ya been?

  17. Goober22 says:

    BTW, the Dodge deal is done. It’s Over! Maybe post a damn update if you are still alive here!

  18. Doug in CA says:

    Talk to us! We miss you!

  19. Mike in Boston says:

    I think they were laid off!

  20. Michael in SoCal says:

    Hello… hello… hello…
    Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me
    Is there anyone at home?

    Hope all is well. You guys have lots of fans who miss your input and perspective.

  21. ATS says:

    You should do a right up on how stupid the #78 team is for putting a choad like Kurt Busch in the car. Do these teams ever learn anything?

  22. MFORSP says:

    I love this site, Just wanted to say keep it up!!!!
    Have you seen this awesome fan NASCAR Parody?

  23. Kevin says:

    The irony is that NASCAR is the ideal place to promote the Challenger & Charger. Unlike the other marques, the race car is the same layout as their street going versions. Front mounted injected V8′s driving the posi trac rear wheels. The Challenger is available with a manual trans to boot. Talk about win on Sunday, sell on Monday. To top it all off, they finally won a championship. Now they are going away? Makes no sense. NASCAR is the best way to promote these two cars as well as their trucks. They need to put it back together..

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