It's Official, Dodge out of NASCAR in 2013

It’s official, Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports said today in a conference that Dodge will be leaving NASCAR effective of the 2013 season.

The US automaker will withdraw their name from NASCAR today.

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The automaker’s existence in NASCAR in 2013 became questionable earlier this year when Penske Racing – the lone team running Dodge cars – announced that they were joining Ford Motor Company at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Penske had run Dodge powered cars since 2003. Penske won 29 Sprint Cup races during that time.

ESPN’s Marty Smith first reported that Dodge was scheduling a press conference for Tuesday to announce it’s departure from the sport.

Dodge expressed optimism about 2013 and introduced a new car even as rumors that Fiat, Dodge’s parent company, were interested in keeping the brand in NASCAR.

Penske Racing announced on Monday that they would run Roush Yates Engines in 2013. That announcement coupled with this one leaves questions about what will happen to more then 60 employees of Penske’s motor department. Though some are expected to move over to Roush Yates Engines.

While the news is not a huge surprise it is interesting considering Dodge had been talking to Furniture Row Racing (FRR) and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) about the 2013 season. This news likely keeps FRR with Chevrolet and RPM under the Ford name plate.

Robby Gordon also fields Dodge cars, no word on what his future plans are as he plans to run a partial schedule in 2013 and 2014.