Report: Chrysler CEO: ‘Possible we can come back to NASCAR’ after 2012 departure
During the Ferrari Finali Mondiali at Daytona International Speedway, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told The Daytona-Beach News Journal he thinks “it is possible we can come back to NASCAR.”
Chrysler owns the Dodge brand, which left NASCAR’s top three series following the 2012 season after having returned to the sport in 2001. The departure came right after Brad Keselowski and Team Penske won Dodge a Cup championship.
Currently, only Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota are in NASCAR’s top circuits, though some small Xfinity Series teams still use old Dodge bodies and the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is still supported by Dodge.
Marchionne told the News Journal he met with NASCAR vice-chairman Jim France and International Speedway Inc. CEO Lesa France Kennedy Saturday night and discussed the possibility of Dodge returning to the NASCAR fold.
“We are in a different place now,” Marchionne said, also noting it was his decision to leave the sport after the financial crisis that began in 2008. “I think it is possible we can come back to NASCAR. I think we need to find the right way to come back in, but I agreed with both Jim and Lesa we would come back to the issue.”
Dodge won 57 races in the Cup series from 2001-2012.
NASCAR spokesperson David Higdon said in regards to the report: “There is increasing excitement around NASCAR. We continue to have on-going dialogue with a number of auto manufacturers about their interest in joining our sport. We look forward to exploration with them on this topic.”