Roger Penske has run a NASCAR operation off and on since 1972, and continuously since 1991. In that time his drivers have piloted cars from AMC, Mercury, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Ford and, for the last nine years, Dodge. Penske announced this week, though, that 2012 would be his team's last year with Dodge and that 2013 would inaugurate a new partnership with Ford. There's another Dodge in the Sprint Cup field driven by Robby Gordon, but Penske has been Dodge's marquee and development team.

Autoweek reports that the move isn't over money, but Penske's desire "to 'benchmark' his team's position against some same-brand competition, and that the association with Ford would make that possible. To us that sounds like excessive chivalry. Had Penske Racing been winning with Dodge, would it really swap makers just to make closer comparisons? In the last eight years Penske took the Nationwide series in 2010 with Brad Keselowski, but in the Sprint Cup, the team has won just 18 times in 764 starts.

The 2013 Dodge Charger Sprint Cup car is set to be revealed next week at the race in Las Vegas. The question now is, who will run the new car?

Both Penske and SRT CEO Ralph Gilles say they're focused on winning this year, and in a statement Gilles added, "We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward."

Follow the jump for the press releases from Dodge and Ford on the latest events.
Show full PR text
In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement:

March 1, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future.

"We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season.

"Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."

Penske Racing Returns To Ford For '13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season
MARCH 01, 2012

* Roger Penske returns to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, starting at the 2013 Daytona 500
* Penske most recently ran a two-car Ford operation for nine seasons (1994-2002)

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Penske Racing is coming back to Ford.


After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about.

Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts).

The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series).

"This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels."

Penske Racing officially takes the track with Ford in the 2013 season, and the organization will be part of the competition debut of the 2013 NASCAR Fusion, which was first shown in Charlotte on Jan. 24, as part of the Charlotte Media Tour.

"It was important to get this agreement in place early so that we can plan ahead for the debut of the new 2013 NASCAR Fusion," said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director. "We will work with Roush Fenway on the final development of the new car during this season, but we want to be able to have our teams building their new cars for the 2013 season before the end of the year, as the transition to the new body is taking place.

"With the operations and technology resources Penske brings from all forms of racing, we know they will be a strong addition to our program, and we look forward to working with them and all our teams to create a stronger Ford NASCAR program with even greater depth."

Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."

Penske Racing was instrumental in bringing the first four-door sedan to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the Taurus in 1998. As one of the teams responsible for getting Taurus on track, Penske worked closely with Ford and Roush officials in designing the car. They were rewarded immediately as Rusty Wallace won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona in the car's debut race.

Wallace was Penske's lead driver throughout his initial time with Ford, and it didn't take long for them to find victory lane as they won at Rockingham in only their second start. That was the first of 23 wins for Wallace, which ranks eighth on Ford Racing's all-time list. Wallace, who finished in the Top 10 in points every year during that stretch, also dominated in qualifying, as he won 21 poles -- including a series-high nine in 2000.

The 1994 season was memorable as Wallace won a series-best eight times, including three straight in June at Dover, Pocono and Michigan. He also won back-to-back events at Dover and Martinsville in September en route to a third-place finish in the point standings.

After expanding to a two-car team in 1998 through the purchase of the No. 12 team from Michael Kranefuss, Penske oversaw the first series wins for Jeremy Mayfield (Pocono, 1998) and Ryan Newman (New Hampshire, 2002). Newman turned in one of the best rookie seasons in NASCAR history as he won the All-Star Race and captured six poles while winning top rookie honors and finishing sixth in the final point standings.

"Penske Racing contends for the Sprint Cup title every year, and our goal, with the addition of this program, is that Ford will compete for the manufacturers' title every year as well," Allison said.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      a.gothe
      • 2 Years Ago
      NASCAR should be like the Australian V8 Super Car series. You know... working doors, headlights/taillights/windshield wipers, the doors OPEN, etc. And gee, with that "exotic" equipment they'd be able to race road course's in the RAIN.
        breakfastburrito
        • 2 Years Ago
        @a.gothe
        you mean North American STOCK Car Racing should have some STOCK parts? why yes. i do believe you are right.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @breakfastburrito
          It's actually the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. By the way, they've been called NASCAR well before they started using silhouette racers. Some 40 years after the fact. It's not like they're going to just change the name after all those years.
        aussie Justice
        • 2 Years Ago
        @a.gothe
        Exactly Real RACING cars based on REAL cars, not some body shell bolted on a Spaceframe chassis. and they go left and right like REAL CARS. The 'Good Ole Boys' couldn't handle driving in a race that involved using the steering, gears and pedals all at same time. Aussies build Awesome V8 Supercars race cars.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aussie Justice
          You do realize they steer on the ovals, right? They also have manual transmissions. Oh and NASCAR as a whole runs on 4 road courses throughout the season. 1 of them being a Formula 1 track, the other being a ALMS/Grand Am frequented track.
      Timothy Carey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why are they running with an ecoboost decal? Car isn't boosted or economical.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Timothy Carey
        Never heard of the road courses called Infineon, Watkins Glen, Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, and Road America?
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Timothy Carey
        Probably pure advertizing purposes. The Ecoboost stickers mean about as much to the car itself as the Fusion graphics themselves. But who cares? It looks a lot better with a couple subtle Ecoboost words than the inevitable barrage of corporate sponsor decals that would cover every square inch.
          LeSaint
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Ever heard of Sonama and Watkin Glen?
          Afterhours227
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          I wonder if Little Timmy Carey knows anything at all about NASCAR? I guess we know he hasn't a clue.
          Timothy Carey
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          I wonder if it can turn right? I guess we'll never know.
      cmcilroy35
      • 2 Years Ago
      How much do Dodge, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, NASCAR cars actually differ? What's the difference?
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cmcilroy35
        Next year, they'll be quite different in looks and aerodynamic properties.
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ooohhh, new stickers.
      capn233
      • 2 Years Ago
      To do so, a whole new set of stickers was required for the cars.
      jbm0866
      • 2 Years Ago
      NASCAR needs to get back to it's stock car roots and stop fielding an entire lineup of cars that are virtually identical underneath the paint and decals..
      freeride197t2
      • 2 Years Ago
      Penske switches NASCAR team from Dodge (decals) to Ford (decals)
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @freeride197t2
        They still use Dodge and Ford engines...
        Brex
        • 2 Years Ago
        @freeride197t2
        Right. It's like saying they switched from Lowe's to Home Depot.
      Good Looking
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why this Ford car has an Aston Martin grill?
        Oscar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Good Looking
        Come on, how about some original thought yourself.....yawn.
      amerifight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Give nascar a break folks. Its a pretty popular sport in the US. I agree that it would be cool if the cars were more like production vehicles but lets be honest, they would be boring.
      Travisty
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Ecoboost" on the outside, carbureted push-rod V8 inside.
        j3studio
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Travisty
        They're running throttle body fuel injection now ... ... plenty to criticize about NASCAR, but that's just incorrect.
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @j3studio
          Mmm throttle body fuel injection...late 80's technology woo!
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nascar is the reason we don't get better motorsports coverage in the US... It takes a truly dull mind, to enjoy watching hours of roundy round. Half the people there are just watching to see crashes, and now drivers are purposefully wrecking each other for ratings- like that wrestling nonsense!
      fiveltrdave
      • 2 Years Ago
      NASCAR started out with "stock" cars but like any form of racing it evolved. A lot of the changes were for safety, durability, etc. Why I rarely watch it myself anymore these cars are out through a lot of stress racing the amount of time they do. Plus "driving in circles" is not so simple or all the ex Formula One, Indy, etc. drivers that made the change over all the years would have had more success. There are no electronic devices to aid in traction or stability and I urge anyone that thinks it looks easy or takes no skill to attempt it or ride in one at like the Petty Driving Experience or similar. Everyone I know that has been to it changed there opinion on what it's like.
    • Load More Comments