Thursday, March 1, 2012

Deuces Wild: Penske moves to Ford in 2013

Raise your hand if you saw the unveil of the 2013 Ford Fusion last month and thought, “Wow! that’s a sexy car.” *Hand raised*

Raise your hand if you saw the images of the 2013 Dodge Charger and started thinking IT might be even sexier than the Fusion. *Hand raised*

Raise your hand if you thought that Penske Racing would make the decision to return to the Ford camp after a decade with Dodge.

Me neither.

a-j-allmendinger-nascar-daytona-500-practice
Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images
On Thursday morning, news broke that Penske Racing would return to the Blue Oval beginning in 2013, ending its relationship with Dodge after 10 successful seasons. While the news shocked many Penske Racing fans, it’s not as unlikely a move as one might think.

Penske has been the lone ranger in the Dodge camp for several years and while all of Dodge’s resources have gone to the two-car team, it’s lonely out there on race weekend. Where teams under the Ford and Chevy manufacturer have others to turn to for feedback, the Dodge team just has itself and a handful of part-time teams to trade notes with. Pooling the resources of Roush-Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports will most likely help with Penske’s continued growth and success, but at what cost to the other teams and to the Dodge brand in NASCAR?

Will we see the 2013 Charger on the track? Will another team in the Ford or Chevy camp jump ship and move to Dodge? Not likely, but anything can and will happen in NASCAR, so we’ll have to wait and see. For Dodge this is a huge blow considering the company had made plans to publicly unveil the 2013 Charger next weekend when the Sprint Cup Series returned to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This won’t be Penske Racing’s first trip around the track in a Ford. After a hugely successful 1993 season which saw Rusty Wallace win 10 races and compete for the title, Penske moved from the Pontiac brand to Ford. Racing the Ford Taurus from 1994 to 2002, Wallace earned 23 victories and 97 top-5 finishes. Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman also saw success with Penske Racing under the Ford brand.

About the move Roger Penske said, “"Our organizations have experienced many great memories together and our teams are committed to produce wins and championships with Dodge this season. We look forward to rejoining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport.”

@keselowski’s middle of the night tweet makes sense now, eh?
Well, guess I best go to bed. I just got off the phone with the boss and some big news is coming tomorrow...#GonnaNeedSomeRest #Nascar

0 comments :

Post a Comment