NASCAR 'confident' of finding fourth manufacturer for Cup Series

Tom Errington
Autosport
NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers
NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers

NASCAR is "confident" that it can add a fourth manufacturer to the Cup field sometime after 2020, and has not ruled out finding a fifth.

The top-level series currently has three manufacturers in Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota.

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It last had four manufacturers in 2012, Dodge's final season before it pulled out of NASCAR.

Rumours of Dodge returning have been ever-present since its exit, although earlier this year a source told Autosport the firm was not currently looking to make a comeback.

Other manufacturers, including Nissan, which has a sizeable presence in the American automobile market, have been linked to the series.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps said there is a "tonne of interest" in the paddock in adding new manufacturers.

"The great news is that the three OEMs that we have - Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota - are all interested in having another one. Maybe even two," Phelps told NASCAR digital media.

"But the process is long. We won't see something obviously for 2019, we won't see something for '20.

NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers
NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers

"I'm confident that in the future we will have a fourth OEM and if we're lucky enough to have a fifth, that's great.

"I do think we'll have some success there, but it will be, I would say, years down the line."

In NASCAR's yearly address to the media, Phelps also discussed the idea of alternative power in its championship.

Penske's Brad Keselowski has previously advocated hybrid power in the Cup series.

NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers
NASCAR 'confident' of finding new manufacturers

Should NASCAR have a hybrid future?

"Is electrification on the [agenda] in the future potentially? Yeah, it certainly is," said Phelps.

"Can I see a time in the future that we will have that? I definitely do.

"When we get there, how we get there, what it looks like, there's a lot of work to do between now and then.

"But I can assure you that we are looking at it right now."

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