Give credit where credit is due. Dodge is attempting to bring back the philosophy of “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” to NASCAR with the introduction of the 2013 NASCAR Charger. Ford has also recently jumped in backing this philosophy with its introduction of the all-new Fusion stock car that will share a similar external design to its production car sibling.
The decision to unveil the 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger comes at an unusual time. Roger Penske, the only owner with teams in both the premier and minor-league circuits, had a significant role in designing the new NASCAR Dodge Charger. However, he recently (and abruptly) switched teams to Ford.
Sam Hornish, one of Penske’s NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers, appeared quite pleased with the new Charger. Currently Dodge runs a Challenger variant in NASCAR’s minor league circuit, but Hornish was still impressed with the Charger nonetheless.
“The car looks the best out of any of the new cars, that’s for sure—nice, sharp lines—and you can see a lot of the street car in the race car,” Hornish said. “It brings the Charger’s identity back onto the racetrack.”
NASCAR prevents automakers from sharing parts between a street car and race car (although SRT may have something to say about that) but it has recently lightened up on that stance, sort of. In 2010 NASCAR held a meeting with all four brands that are represented in the respective racing circuits to discuss how all involved can return to their roots.
Both NASCAR and the automakers who enter cars and trucks into competition came to an accord on how to return brand identity to the track. The first initiative taken from this agreement was last season when Dodge entered the Challenger stock car into competition. NASCAR has also allowed automakers to use more “glass” and solid body pieces. This allowed the area above the stock car’s doors, trunk, and hood to resemble its street legal sibling much more. As it can be seen in the picture above this has also allowed Dodge designers to include more character lines that can be seen on the street car. It is also expected that the hood will share the same sheet metal crinkles as the latest street Charger.
Now the only question remaining for Dodge is: Can it find a team to race with full-time next season when the NASCAR Charger is ready for action?
Only time will tell.
The “all-new” Charger is slated to be unveiled to the public at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 11 at 10:30 a.m.