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Is It Time for a New Manufacturer in NASCAR?

December 31st, 2013 at 12:07 AM
By Clayton Caldwell

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a series known as one of the most competitive racing organizations in the world. At most tracks there are upwards of 20 cars that could win the average Sprint Cup Series race. However can that number increase if NASCAR allows another manufacturer into the sport?

Count me as one of the naysayers when Toyota came into the sport back in 2007. NASCAR had a fan base that prided itself on the old school American way. For years NASCAR was a sport dominated by General Motors. From 1976-2002 a General Motors product won the championship all but three seasons. It was a sport built by Americans, with American drivers and had a great American feel. Many NASCAR fans liked it that way.

'No. 20 Subway Toyota' photo (c) 2008, Valli Hilaire - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

If you scroll back to 2006 many fans boycotted the 500 mile race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte because NASCAR had just announced that Toyota, a non-American automaker, would be introduced into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the 2007 season. It was a very controversial moment that many fans to this day stand by. However, without Toyota in NASCAR where would we be today? How different would the sport be with just two manufacturers?

Sure Dodge would have probably had to expand from a two car program had Toyota not been around but Dodge seems to have little interest to get back into NASCAR. With three manufacturers in the sport now, it seems like there is something missing. I am sure many of the race fans would love to see Dodge Motorsports get back into NASCAR but again, little interest has been shown by Dodge. Dodge does not have the desire to spend the amount of money it would take to get back into the sport. 

Adding another manufacturer into the sport would mean huge things for some smaller teams, but would cost the company a boat load of money. It would most likely take the company to build their own engine program since there are only four other engine programs besides Toyota's own engine company in the sport. 

However, if a company is willing to spend the money and there are teams willing to make the jump it could mean monumental things to the sport of NASCAR. If a team like Richard Petty Motorsports makes the jump to a company like Kia that is willing to spend a significant amount of cash in NASCAR it could mean huge things for Richard Petty Motorsports just like when Michael Waltrip Racing came in with Toyota back in 2007. 

As the cash gets dispersed throughout an auto company the smaller teams get less cash and less information than the bigger teams in the organization it is less likely for a smaller team to be competitive. If another manufacturer is added into the mix it would make more competitive teams and one smaller team could align with a company and it could mean big things. 

With the lack of American car companies out there in 2013 it most likely would have to be a foreign automaker coming into the sport. While many old school fans would hoot and holler about that, it would significantly help NASCAR in the long run just like Toyota has. It's time for us old school fans to put away our old morals and accept the new times and while it won't be the perfect storm it would be better to have a competitive sport than a boring sport right? 

It's an interesting time in NASCAR and adding a manufacturer into the sport could make it a much more competitive sport and that in the long run would be a great thing for NASCAR

Tags: Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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