Penske Racing grabs life by the horns; Wallace and Newman to Race Dodge Intrepid R/Ts in 2003. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 13, 2002) -- Dodge Motorsports announced today that Penske Racing South will join the Dodge family of NASCAR Winston Cup...
Penske Racing grabs life by the horns; Wallace and Newman to Race Dodge Intrepid R/Ts in 2003.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 13, 2002) -- Dodge Motorsports announced today that Penske Racing South will join the Dodge family of NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams for the 2003 season.
Legendary team owner Roger Penske will field the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid R/T and No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid R/T with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman driving the respective cars, beginning at the 45th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, 2003.
"This is yet another great moment in Dodge's quest for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship," said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing. "The addition of Penske Racing South brings even more championship-caliber talent to what is already a first-class group of teams that make up the Dodge Motorsports family. We've had many highlights in our return to NASCAR, and with Roger, Rusty and Ryan ready to contribute to the Dodge One Team Approach, you can bet we'll be an even greater force next year."
No stranger to the Chrysler Group's racing heritage, Penske visited victory lane five times in the early 1970s with AMC Matadors, courtesy of drivers Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison. Since returning to NASCAR's Winston Cup Series in 1991, Penske Racing South has compiled an impressive 37 wins and 32 pole positions in more than 400 team starts. The team's consistent level of performance will blend well with the talented, dedicated and winning teams that make up the Dodge Motorsports family.
"Joining forces with Dodge Motorsports for 2003 is a natural extension of our existing business relationship with DaimlerChrysler," Penske said. "In less than 24 months, Dodge has become a major player in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. They've won key races. They've led the drivers' points standings most of the year. And just as importantly, they have incredible resources and an enviable, unique approach."
State-of-the-Art engineering, performance.
The resources are all those available at the DaimlerChrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., including a new state-of-the-art, full-scale wind tunnel. Each of the Dodge race teams works closely with Dodge product engineers and technicians who possess extensive knowledge and experience, and have advanced software and world-class engineering tools at their disposal.
Penske Racing South joins the Dodge Team not long after the Chrysler Group formed Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO), which is responsible for the company's motorsports engineering, as well as the engineering and development of limited-volume, high performance niche production vehicles. The all-new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 hits Dodge showrooms later this year, while the new 2003 Dodge SRT-4 and Dodge Ram SRT-10 arrive next year. As Dodge SRT (Street and Racing Technology) vehicles, they will be the fastest in their segment.
"Performance is clearly a major focus at DaimlerChrysler," said Jim Schroer, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing. "We were the first manufacturer to combine our motorsports and specialty vehicle resources, and the result will be the best performance on and off the track. And make no mistake, that's one of the primary reasons Roger Penske has switched to Dodge."
More top drivers join Dodge.
Also enthused about the move to Dodge are Penske drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Wallace, now in his 13th year with Penske and in his 19th full season in NASCAR's Winston Cup series, boasts 54 victories, and is in the hunt for his second driver's title. Wallace has finished in the top-10 16 of the past 17 years.
"I'm excited about the move to Dodge," Wallace said. "Our team is completely committed to finding the best race cars to keep us running at the front. Dodge has earned a great deal of respect in the NASCAR garage since returning last year. We're pleased to be part of a program that's found such a fast road to success. It's a great move."
Rookie sensation Ryan Newman has provided more than his fair share of racing excitement in 2002. Last month, he became the fourth driver -- following Donohue, Allison and Wallace -- to take the checkered flag for Penske in NASCAR's premier series. Newman leads the 'Raybestos Rookie of the Year' battle through 30 races.
"The switch to Dodge has me looking forward to 2003," said Newman, who has an engineering degree from Purdue University. "Their on-track success in such a short time has been commendable, but we're equally excited about the resources available to all of the Dodge teams from the DaimlerChrysler Technology Center. It means a lot to have that much support."
The 2002 season marks Dodge's second year in its return to NASCAR's Winston Cup Series racing after a 25-year hiatus, and the Dodge One Team Approach has paid big dividends quickly. Dodge Intrepid R/Ts have reached victory lane a total of 10 times - with six victories this year including wins at this year's Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 -- courtesy of Sterling Marlin, Ward Burton and Bill Elliott. Penske Racing South joins Evernham Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Bill Davis Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Ultra/Evernham Motorsports in the Dodge lineup.