Dave Bailey, Howard Comstock - Dodge interview 2009-10-31

DAVE BAILEY (Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports Engineering) "Dodge is the performance brand of Chrysler LLC and the Challenger is the production vehicle that went out to market in 2009. We see this as the perfect opportunity to come in and...

DAVE BAILEY (Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports Engineering)

"Dodge is the performance brand of Chrysler LLC and the Challenger is the production vehicle that went out to market in 2009. We see this as the perfect opportunity to come in and launch into this (Nationwide) series the look of the car and get that connection back with the fans of this high-horsepower performance car. We're real happy about the Nationwide Challenger's design and characteristics and can't wait for it to hit the track."

HOWARD COMSTOCK (Manager, Dodge Motorsports Engineering)

TALK ABOUT BRINGING THE DODGE CHALLENGER TO THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES?

"We were pretty excited that NASCAR decided to go with a new look for the Nationwide Series. We feel it gives Dodge the opportunity to get another of our car lines out to the public. It's a win-win deal. It's certainly a win for NASCAR because these cars are so good looking and the fans, I'm sure, are going to take to them. It's also a win for Dodge because we get to showcase our Dodge Challenger on Saturday and our Dodge Charger on Sunday. It's perfect."

TALK ABOUT THE UNIQUE LOOK OF THE NEW NATIONWIDE DODGE CHALLENGER? "The look is definitely unique. Dodge worked with NASCAR and wanted brand identity for these cars. We were the first manufacturer to make a decision on the car and we felt like the Challenger would be the right fit. There certainly is brand identity to it. I think we have done a nice job in bringing to NASCAR the uniqueness of the Dodge Challenger."

HOW TOUGH OF A DECISION WAS IT FOR DODGE TO MAKE THIS INVESTMENT INTO THE NATIONWIDE SERIES WITH THE DODGE CHALLENGER? "Our management has told us that we're committed to racing in NASCAR and this is part of that commitment. It is a big commitment to build a new car for the Nationwide Series and we're excited to expand our relationship with Penske Racing next year and beyond."

DOES RACING THE DODGE CHALLENGER TRANSLATE INTO ACTIVITY IN DODGE SHOWROOMS? "I think there is unmistakably brand loyalty in NASCAR. NASCAR fans have proven that loyalty over the years to brands that race in NASCAR series. We like what NASCAR has done in that we can showcase the Challenger on Saturday and showcase the Charger on Sunday."

WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET FROM THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE TEST SESSION ON MONDAY AT TALLADEGA? "I understand that they're looking at gearing and the restrictor-plate. We'll have Justin (Allgaier) in the car to get the feel of the car and we'll get feedback on drivability, comfort, handling and such."

IS THERE A GOAL IN MIND FOR THE TEST? "NASCAR called the test and they want to look at speed ranges which will determine gearing ranges which will determine restrictor-plate ranges. It's just the first shakedown for real (Nationwide) cars which starts the process for next July to work this car out."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR XFINITY