On Sunday, we explained why you might have seen a Dodge Challenger in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race since Dodge, you know, left the sport years ago. The post had a screenshot of 2014 manufacturer standings that didn’t even give poor Ram trucks its own logo, which NASCAR has since changed.
In an illustration of just how far out of the NASCAR spotlight the Chrysler brands have fallen since it pulled factory support from the series, we included the screenshot to the left in the original post. It seems as if it was, in fact, an oversight, and we received an email from NASCAR Digital Media on Monday thanking us for the heads-up and to inform us that the 2014 Camping World Truck Series manufacturer standings had been updated to include the logo of the Ram truck brand.
Chrysler pulled out of NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season, in which then-Dodge driver Brad Keselowski won the manufacturer’s first Sprint Cup Seres title since 1975. The manufacturer unveiled a beast of a car for the 2013 season and the new era of Sprint Cup cars—the Gen-6, which replaced the Car of Tomorrow—before getting the news that its flagship Penske Racing team would drop it to become a Ford team at the start of that era.
Unable to find another powerhouse Sprint Cup team—where the money is at—for its NASCAR efforts, Dodge waved goodbye to the the sport as a whole. But there are still a few Dodges that lurk around in the shadows of the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series, and our post explained just how that comes about: lower-funded teams purchase four-year-old Dodge bodies without any factory support, and NASCAR keeps the template around so that they can pass through tech and make it onto the track.
Since those teams tend to be on the lower end of funding, they don’t get much TV time. Thus, it can be news to even the most frequent of NASCAR viewers when a Dodge logo comes up on the screen. That was the case in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, as NASCAR Next and Whelen Euro Series driver Alon Day got in one of the cars and ran around the third position for much of the race.
Day finished the race in 13th position, putting a lot of attention on both himself and the Challenger body that, just like it did four years ago, puts the rest of the field to shame in the looks category. He brought some of the spotlight back on Dodge—even if not a factory effort—and it looks like the manufacturer got a little bit of love on the NASCAR website, too.