Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Penske Dumping Dodge for Ford: A Fan’s Reaction
To the surprise of many, Roger Penske and his Penske Racing announced a switch from Dodge engines to Ford for the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske has been the standard bearer of Dodge for the past decade but as Penske said: "We thought it was time to evaluate other options … and I think at the end of the day we felt this was an option we couldn't turn down."
Penske mentioned often that it was great having the full attention of a car manufacturer, considering no other full-time team operated with Dodge powerplants. But not having a yardstick or standard to compare against left their operation unsure of whether they were reaching their target or not. The switch also includes his Nationwide cars.
Said Penske: "We needed to have a benchmark. And I think having that additional technical information flow through the process, as Ford has outlined it to us, I think was very important to us." But whether the Penske organization will have their own engine program or go with Roush Yates (who builds all the Ford engines) is still a question.
No more soloing
Going solo, Penske has been unsure whether he was getting the most out of their engine program. Said Penske: "When we weighed the plusses and minuses of the opportunity, it was apparent we need to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, and we've been trying to do it alone." (Source - Yahoo! Sports) Penske has never won a Sprint Cup championship and this move just might be what puts him and his race team over the top.
Brad Keselowski, who drives the #2 Miller-Lite Dodge, seemed happy with the announced change: "When Ford made the announcement on their '13 car a month and a half ago, I think that's obviously at least a month and a half or two months ahead of every other manufacturer, and I think that shows the spirit that they have for this sport and the commitment that they have for NASCAR."
Penske started his NASCAR program back in 1972 when you may remember; he called the operation Penske South. At that time, he ran AMC's. After a handful of years, he called it quits and didn't return to NASCAR until 21 years ago. He was with Ford for many years starting from 1994 until he changed over to Dodge in 2003.
There does seem to be another question and that is: What will Dodge do next year without a major team representing them? It would seem like a healthy situation, having four manufacturers represented every time there's a NASCAR event, but it would appear that could change. Dodge was getting ready to announce their new car for 2013 next week so …
Well, so in the mean time, Ford adds a formidable race team to its stable. Whether Roush Yates gets more engines to produce remains a question but for certain, Ford makes out in its goal to be number one. Said Ford Racing Director Jamie Allison: "Indeed, this is an historic day for Ford Racing. We are so delighted to have Roger and Penske Racing back to our NASCAR program."
Source - Penske Racing, ESPN
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus blogged about every type of racing for several years.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.