Chrysler has unveiled the new Dodge Charger SRT model that the company hopes will compete in the Sprint Cup Series next year, even though the automaker is currently without a racing team.
Penske Racing, which currently uses Dodge cars, announced it will be switching to new Ford models at the end of the season. That didn't slow down Chrysler or SRT Motorsports however, which introduced the brand-new Charger model at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The company says the phones have already begun ringing with regards to teams that want to use the new car next season, so it appears that Dodge will still have a home on NASCAR racetracks come 2013.
SRT Motorsports president Ralph Gilles acknowledged the team still isn't quite sure how it's going to proceed now that the relationship with Penske has come to an end. However, he's optimistic that race fans will see the new Dodge Charger on the track next year.
"The same questions you're asking me is what we're asking ourselves," Gilles told the NASCAR Wire Service. "So we're just putting it all down on paper and trying to figure out what's the next big move. That includes everything from getting out of NASCAR to investing in it three times as much. That's how radical these ideas are."
Dodge is not completely out of the competition just because Penske split. However, the only other team that currently uses the brand is Robby Gordon Motorsports, which only has one car. Thus, it wouldn't be worth it for the company to invest in a vehicle that would only take up one slot on the track.
One possible team that could be involved is Richard Petty Motorsports, which has been with Dodge in the past. The team's contract with Ford will expire at the end of this year, which would allow the team to switch to the new Dodge Charger.
"The good news is that the phone is ringing," Gilles told the news source. "There's a lot of people very interested to be part of what we've done. We're kind of putting a list together, setting up meetings in the coming months. We also have to look at the whole business strategy of how we approach NASCAR. We've been with Penske for over 10 years and it's an opportunity to look at the business model very differently and see where we go from here."