Like Carlin Racing to IndyCar rumors, the Dodge to NASCAR rumors just will not die. Since the manufacturer left the sport after the 2012 season all NASCAR fans have heard is rumors of their return.
Adam Stern tweeted out a snippet this weekend that once again indicates Dodge is looking to rejoin NASCAR. Will they team up with Andretti Autosport this time only to have the deal squashed two days later? One other manufacturer is also interested in joining NASCAR as well.
NISSAN. NISSAN wants to join NASCAR? Nissan couldn’t succeed in V8 Supercars, they tried to revolutionize the WEC LMP1 class, they pulled out of IMSA. Now they might want to go NASCAR racing. A Nissan Altima would infuriate the diehard fan base, it’d draw in the inner city crowds. A Nissan Altima Cup car would do more for the sport than NASCAR could ever have imagined.
One thing NASCAR should mandate if both of these manufacturers want to join the Cup series they must also field truck series teams as well. Nissan Titan’s and Ram Ram’s (stupid Dodge spun off Ram into its own brand and just calls their trucks Ram, very confusing) those would look phenomenal fighting with Ford, Toyota, and Chevy.
Will either of these OEM’s join the series? Right now there’s a 70% chance Dodge rejoins and a 45% chance Nissan joins. Dodge knows what it takes and would likely have an easier time convincing an established team to switch manufacturers.
Hybrid Technology and NASCAR?
Fewer things will trigger a deep southern NASCAR fan than the words hybrid or electric in reference to race cars. That could be the future however for NASCAR and their competitors. Manufacturers are pushing for more uses for their hybrid technology despite how many threatening emails Jimmy Spencer sends them. Applicable road applications are big for OEM’s. It’s hard to look at the technology on a cup car and but that in a Camry. V8 Camry sedans simply don’t exist, hybrid Camry sedans do, however.
Formula 1 currently uses a hybrid engine system and while Mercedes has dominated the fight for reliability at the beginning was exciting and infuriating. Ultimately one manufacturer (Honda) won’t figure it out and be the storyline for the better part of three years. F1 is the perfect place for hybrid technology, NASCAR might not be.
Unless of course, they want to use the ARCA series as a hybrid series or an electric series. Imagine a world of Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, Ford whatever they make, and Toyota Prius pounding around short tracks across America. People in the sport are talking about it, the plans might not be in place yet but in the not so distant future electric tech will be in NASCAR. Goodyear is going to have nightmares trying to build slicks for electric stock cars.