Fast-forward Dodge is leaving NASCAR at the end of this season after 13 years. Why? Primarily because the company failed to repeat its 1999 success of securing a top-tier NASCAR personality like Evernham to spearhead its project. Also, Dodge's participation in NASCAR became too expensive without generating enough profit.
When Evernham left for Ford in 2000, Dodge lost much of its enthusiasm for NASCAR. As a result, the company decided not to renew its contract after it expired at the end of 2002. Since then, Dodge has been associated with NASCAR only through its sponsorship of the #39 car driven by Greg Biffle.
Dodge withdrew from NASCAR before the end of its current contract so it could focus on other markets where it is more successful such as trucks and SUVs. However, it still sponsors several drivers including Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, and Kurt Busch.
Why did Evernham leave NASCAR for Ford? Money. He wanted to be able to compete with the big boys and earn more than what he could at Dodge.
Evernham believed that if he were to join Ford, his new team would be competitive right away since they were already working with some of the best engineers in the industry. He thought this would give him an edge over other new teams who would have trouble keeping up with them.
Dodge has previously announced that it is thinking about returning to NASCAR. Despite constructing a Gen-6 vehicle, Dodge exited the competition following Brad Keselowski's 2012 victory. Dodge is an American symbol, therefore it's only natural that it competes in America's most iconic motorsport.
However, there hasn't been any news of Dodge returning since then. It's possible that they may return at some point in the future if conditions are right. But for now, they have other brands that they can focus on instead.
Dodge confirmed on August 7, 2012, that it will withdraw from the series for the 2013 season, despite having won 55 races in the preceding eleven years. NASCAR upgraded the roll cage that protects the driver following extensive testing in the NASCAR Research and Development Center to boost driver safety. Without its namesake car manufacturer competing, viewership of the race fell by about 4 million viewers.
In 2014, NASCAR announced that Dodge would be returning to the series with Roush Fenway Racing. The announcement was made during the "Is Your House Ready?" festival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The festival also featured cars from Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
Dodge competed in five events in 2015, four with Roush Fenway Racing and one with Jack Roush Jr.'s team. They finished last in each of these events with no wins or top-five finishes.
In 2016, Dodge returned with RFR again. This time they were partnered with Henley Industries, who purchased a portion of Roush Fenway Racing. They ended up finishing last in the point standings with no wins or top-fives finishes.
After three seasons, Dodge withdrew from the series at the end of 2017.
Unfortunately, Dodge will not be returning to NASCAR anytime soon. Instead, the company is increasing its contribution for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
In 2001, Dodge entered into a partnership with Roger Penske to form a team called Dodge/Penske Racing that would run Dodge vehicles in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The first season was very successful as the team took home their first championship in 2002. However, financial problems caused the team to shut down at the end of 2003.
Dodge has returned to NHRA in 2012, and will be running four cars in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class. The team is still looking for its first win.
There have been rumors that Dodge could return to Nascar in 2019 but so far this has not happened.
Dodge will announce its return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series later this week, after years away. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will make the formal announcement on Thursday.
The automaker has not returned to the sport since 2001 when it withdrew its support following a corporate merger. It announced its return this year through a partnership with Gander Outdoors. The company will provide engines and chassis for Dodge's entries in the season-opening "Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series" event at Daytona International Speedway on February 14th. The automaker also plans to enter two trucks in the annual "NASCAR Camping World Truck Series" race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2nd.
Mopar, as Dodge is known among fans and industry insiders, competed in three events during the 1994 season. Its drivers included Geoffrey Bodine, Rick Masten, Steve Park, Paul Pratt, and John Andretti. The team finished 20th in points with $1.5 million in earnings.
Its only other appearance came in 1997 at the insistence of Chrysler when it merged with Daimler-Benz to form today's Daimler AG. At the time, Chrysler was using Ford engines in some of its vehicles including the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager.
The American carmaker withdrew its funding after failing to locate a marquee team to replace Penske Racing.
Dodge returned with Richard Childress Racing in 2013, but this time as a partner and not a competitor. Childress had been trying to find a way to bring back the brand since 2000, when he bought the last remaining factory-backed Dodge team - Rick Hendrick's Team Red Bull. But it wasn't until 2010 that he found a way to do so through RCR. The organization agreed to run Chevrolets if Dodge would provide funds for a new chassis that could also be used by other teams. This allowed Childress to keep his longtime affiliation with Chevrolet while still fielding Dodge cars.
In 2014, RCR switched to Ford as its primary sponsor. The team still uses Dodges though, which are driven by Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray.
Menard is the only driver to win races in both the Cup Series and Xfinity Series during the same year. He accomplished this feat in 2015 when he won the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and went on to claim the championship title in both divisions.
Front Row Motorsports (FRM) plans to introduce a fourth car in 2021, with more factory assistance from Dodge Mopar...
When Dodge returns to Nascar, it will do so with a car prepared by FRM, one of the most successful teams in Nascar history. The team has won five races and been nominated for six more over the last two seasons with driver Matt Kuchar. Dodge hasn't raced since 2014 when it fielded two cars for Ron Fellows and Mike Bliss. Before that, Dodge had three straight seasons from 2000-2002 with Mark Martin as its primary driver.
In addition to being one of the most successful teams in Nascar history, FRM has also proven itself as one of the most successful brands in American sports car racing. The team has won four Rolex Series championships (three with Martin, one with Kuchar) and two United SportsCar Championship series titles (one with Martin, one with Kuchar).
Kuchar is expected to remain with the team for at least one more season, which would make him Dodge's new driver. He currently sits fifth in the points standings. Martin, on the other hand, announced his retirement last month.