Dodge is reportedly pulling out of NASCAR at the end of this season. According to NASCAR.COM Dodge is expected to make an announcement formalizing the decision Tuesday afternoon. Once a supporter of four teams on NASCAR's premier circuit, the automaker entered this season with only one, Penske Racing, which will move to Ford beginning in 2013.
ESPN.com reports Dodge was faced with a rebuilding phase beginning in 2013, after Penske Racing -- the lone NASCAR organization to field Dodges since 2009 -- chose to leave the manufacturer in favor of Ford Motor Company beginning next season.
Penske has fielded Dodges since 2003, winning 29 Sprint Cup races to-date and a Nationwide Series championship with driver Brad Keselowski. But in March Penske announced the return to Ford, which it had fielded from 1994 to 2002. Ford announced Monday that Roush-Yates engines would provide motors for Penske beginning in 2013, leaving questions about what may become of Penske's motor department and its 60-plus employee staff.
This isn't the first time Dodge has chosen to leave NASCAR. The manufacturer pulled out of the sport in 1977 and didn't return until 2001. Since that time, Dodge has accumulated 55 Sprint Cup victories.