By admin | March 11, 2012
By Richard Allen
Next year, cars raced in the Sprint Cup Series will take on more brand identity than the current Car of Tomorrow. On Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dodge set about the task of unveiling the car their teams will use in the 2013 NASCAR season. However, the problem for the manufacturer is that they have no major teams lined up for 2013.
Last month when Penske Racing announced they would switch to Ford at the end of this current season, it left the Dodge brand with no significant team to carry its banner. As of now, only struggling Robby Gordon Motorsports looks to remain with Dodge.
Obviously, Dodge plans to move ahead in 2013 or else they would have called off their long scheduled unveiling. So, who will drive that recently revealed Charger for the suddenly jilted manufacturer?
One somewhat persistent rumor throughout NASCAR has centered around the Las Vegas native Busch brothers starting a Sprint Cup operation and taking up the discarded Dodge banner.
If that rumor were to prove true, it wouldnâ€™t be the worst idea ever for all those involved.
Kyle Busch Motorsports, which announced plans to run a full Nationwide Series entry in 2012 during the past off season, currently has backing for its Toyotas from Monster Energy Drink with both Kyle and Kurt Busch sharing the driving chores for the team.
Of course, there would be a number of obstacles in the way of moving a single-car Nationwide Series team up to a fully functioning two car Sprint Cup operation. However, one of those barriers that would seem easy to overcome would be landing the two drivers. Kurt Busch is in the midst of a one year deal with Phoenix Racing after having departed Penske Racing at the end of last season.
And after his troubles of last year, it would seem as though a release from Joe Gibbs Racing would be obtainable for Kyle Busch as well. That organization appeared to be highly frustrated with their often controversial driver after his actions during a Camping World Truck Series event caused him to be benched from the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races in Texas.
Sponsorship might also be already in place should KBM look to expand. Monster Energy apparently enjoys the relationship with their highly volatile and outspoken representatives. And further, it would seem as though Dodge would be willing to contribute to the cause in order to keep its brand on the track.
But just because a couple of potential stumbling blocks could be overcome doesnâ€™t mean every issue would be easily dissolved.
One major question for whoever takes up the Dodge banner will be, who will build the engines? When Penske announced its intentions for 2013, the one powerful Sprint Cup engine builder for Dodge was lost.
So, whatever organization competes in Dodges next year will have to either build its own power plants or contract with someone who has the capability of doing such. And as anyone who has followed this sport knows, building Sprint Cup engines is an expensive and difficult undertaking.
If it were to be KBM that keeps Dodge involved in Sprint Cup racing, the manufacturer would have to arrange the building of the teamâ€™s engines.
Of course, there would also be the issue of hiring crew members but with the recent wave of unemployment in the NASCAR industry, this would likely be solved despite the brothersâ€™ reputation for difficulty.
What would Dodge gain from all of this effort? Kurt Busch is a former Sprint Cup champion who can win on virtually every type of track used in Sprint Cup racing. Kyle Busch has won a combined total of 104 races in NASCARâ€™s top divisions.
These are two of the most talented drivers in NASCAR and each would be capable of putting the manufacturer in victory lane on any given weekend.
Even though there would be significant obstacles to overcome, the Busch brothers driving for Dodge is an interesting rumor and one in which the pieces could be made to fall into place. And when the amount of exposure such a high profile match up with two of the best drivers in the sport would generate, this wouldnâ€™t be the worst idea ever.
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