Over the past several years, we have heard numerous rumors and speculation about a possible return to NASCAR for the Dodge brand. After Tony Stewart’s decision to start an NHRA program with Dodge factory backing came to the forefront, Stewart who is the co-owner of NASCAR’s Stewart-Haas Racing has become a key figure in a possible return to the sport for the 108-year-old automaker.
With a new race car, new race courses in both new and old markets, as well as the possibility of adapting some sort of electrification in the near future, it looks like it could be a great time for another manufacturer to join the stock car bandwagon alongside Chevrolet (General Motors), Ford (Ford Motor Company), and Toyota (Toyota Motor Corporation) in NASCAR’s top series.
In November, NASCAR President Steve Phelps held a “State of the Sport” address to inform the public about the direction NASCAR is heading towards going into the 2022 season. Taking questions, Phelps was asked about recent rumors about Dodge and other manufacturers entering the sport. “Our three existing OEMs are happy about that,” Phelps said. “Our race teams are happy about that. We’re happy about that. It’s been widely rumored that Dodge is one of those or closest. I won’t confirm or deny that. It is important. We’ve made no bones about the fact that we want to have a new OEM in our sport. I think we got delayed with the pandemic.”
“With that said, we are an attractive place I believe for OEMs to come into the sport. Now is an important opportunity for them to do that because of the Next-Gen car. I also believe the fact that the sport is growing and has a relevance that it hasn’t had in decades is causing some real interest from other OEMs,” he concluded.
Last month, NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer, Steve O’Donnell, suggested a fourth manufacturer may be announced very soon.
“We are in daily dialogue with one (OEM) in particular that’s close to the finish line, depending on who you ask,” O’Donnell said. “It’ll be terrific for the sport if we can get that. But I think ideally if we could ever get to five, that’d be awesome.”
The rumors have the NASCAR and Mopar community excited for what could be in the not-too-distant future.
With that being said, we have seen a number of NASCAR Next-Gen Dodge renderings over the past couple of months. But the one that really caught our eye was done by Noah Sweet, known as “Lefty” (@leftydesigninsta). He designed a Challenger-based Next-Gen Cup car for Stewart-Haas Racing’s own Chase Briscoe. The No. 14 Dodge Challenger rendering features a very clean look with Mobil 1 colors, and many of the associate sponsors who sponsor both the Stewart’s NASCAR and NHRA operations.
We totally dig it and can’t wait for some type of announcement from the automaker, a race team, or NASCAR.
What is your take on the renderings? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.