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New Dodge CEO reaffirms commitment to NASCAR
Ralph Gilles, the new president and chief executive officer for Dodge cars, said that the change in leadership over the Dodge brand will not impact Dodge’s interest in NASCAR.

Mike Accavitti, a pro-NASCAR marketing executive, was named CEO of Dodge in June but resigned amid a Chrysler restructuring that separates the leadership of the Ram trucks from the Dodge cars.

“Dodge intends to remain involved in NASCAR competition,” Gilles said in a statement Tuesday. “Our brand-focused strategy for development and marketing of Dodge vehicles through the sport remains a good fit for the company.

“Dodge customers and NASCAR fans share the enthusiasm for performance on and off the track. We’re looking forward to strong performances for the remainder of 2009 and the foreseeable future.”

Dodge only has one organization – Penske Racing – signed for the 2010 season since Richard Petty Motorsports plans to move to Ford. After having no drivers in the 12-driver Chase For The Sprint Cup field in 2008, Dodge has two drivers (Penske’s Kurt Busch and RPM’s Kasey Kahne) in the Chase this year.

“I haven’t met Ralph,” Busch said Tuesday. “But I do know that this has changed hands and that this in the short term won’t affect the motor racing program for Dodge. I do enjoy the support they gave us, and they’re fully committed. They fully know about the details behind the scenes.

“One thing I’ve gathered [is] Ralph … is an avid car enthusiast. He spends time at the track and goes go-karting and likes Formula One racing. So it’s up to us to carry the NASCAR banner through these tough times.” Scenedaily.com

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