Dodge committed to NASCAR, even if only 1 team UPDATE Dodge president and CEO Mike Accavitti showed up Sunday in the Big Three’s backyard, Michigan International Speedway, to reiterate the company’s commitment to stay in the sport for the “foreseeable future”—albeit on a smaller scale than its competitors.
“We don’t have to sell it to anybody but myself,” Accavitti said. “And I have to believe that this is a wise investment. And as I have stated before, we feel that we are involved in NASCAR at the appropriate level.” “We want to continue to talk to the fans in NASCAR,” Accavitti said. “And we want to continue to provide them with good performance and exciting days at the races, which is what the Dodge drivers have been doing for us this year.”
In a sense, Dodge’s racing program faces some of the same big-picture questions the U.S. auto industry is coping with. Big, bold budgets are a thing of the past, so they have to figure out how to become leaner and meaner.
“We’re not a big organization,” Accavitti said. “We haven’t really been. We need to start acting like the organization that we are. We’re nimble and we’re smaller than the other guys. And we feel like if we focus our resources on fewer teams, that we can produce better results.”
Dodge currently backs only two major teams, Penske Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.
Its NASCAR presence almost certainly won’t be expanding next season, and might even be shrinking from two major Dodge-backed teams to one. There is widespread speculation that the Petty team will defect to another manufacturer next season.
Accavitti said Dodge tried backing more teams in the past, but it spread their resources too thin.
“You really only need (about) three good drivers—good cars, I should say, good teams—and that would be sufficient for us,” Accavitti said.
Penske driver Kurt Busch said Dodge teams simply have to work harder.
“Richard Petty Motorsports and our team at Penske Racing, we’re not the powerhouses like you see with the Hendricks and the Gibbses and the Roushes,” Busch said.
Busch described Dodge’s support as “consistent,” noting that there have been cutbacks. But Busch added that he met a new engineer over the weekend, an indication that resources aren’t being cut to the bone.
“They shaved some positions here and there, and not sending people on the road,” Busch said. “But there’s still phone calls that are being made and communication lines that are open, and it helps everybody really got into more detail when you’re required to be on teleconferences on Tuesdays instead of, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll see you at the track.”’ More at Yahoo08/17/09 Dodge doesn't plan to disappear from the Sprint Cup series in the near future even it is reduced to one team, the CEO of Dodge Brand said on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. "We're committed to this sport,'' Mike Accavitti said. "It's a match made in heaven.'' Accavitti, who was promoted to CEO after Chrysler filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, declined to speculate on whether Dodge would lose Richard Petty Motorsports. RPM has been in discussions with other manufacturers and reportedly is headed to Toyota in 2010, although team officials deny a decision has been made. If that were to happen Dodge would be left with the three-car Penske Racing organization. Accavitti would only say that he values RPM as a partner. He added that RPM has been mailed a check for services that were past due after the bankruptcy was filed. "You really only need a couple of good cars,'' he said. ESPN