Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dodge Exec Debunks Internet Report

Another round of baseless internet speculation was been laid to rest Friday evening when Dodge released a statement on the status of its plans for the 2013 NASCAR season.

In an unattributed blog post last week, the website reported that Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti will form a NASCAR team next season to compliment his existing IZOD Indy Car Series operation, fielding Dodges for former series champion Matt Kenseth. Dodge Director of SRT and Motorsports Marketing and Operations Beth Paretta denied that report, saying in a written statement that the manufacturer has not yet signed any NASCAR teams for next season.

"While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time,” said Paretta. “We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time.”

Paretta said Dodge, “(has) not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."

Penske Racing President Tim Cindric denied a report by the same internet source that Andretti had purchased the team’s engine shop, saying, "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."

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