Screw You, Roger Penske and Penske Racing

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fusion brad car.jpg

While my opinion may or may not be shared by the majority of
Dodge loving NASCAR fans who read this – I want to extend a hearty “Screw You”
to the folks at Penske Racing.  Mind you,
I am not directing that at the guys who build the Penske cars or the guys on
the Penske pit crews who work on the cars during the races or the drivers Brad
Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr and even AJ Allmendinger or Ford…I’m directing that
at Roger Penske, his management team and the bean counters that made the call
to switch to Ford for the 2013 season – effectively killing the Dodge NASCAR

As if Penske’s decision to jump to Ford in a championship
winning season wasn’t bad enough – but Penske offered up pictures of Brad
Keselowski’s #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion just a few weeks after his Dodge
Charger claimed the title.  If nothing
else, my “Screw you” is a reply to that picture, which served as a slap in the
face to NASCAR Dodge fans who were still celebrating the NASCAR championship.  The image in question is shown above.

Now, I understand that NASCAR is a business and money
talks.  I also understand that lots of
other manufacturers have left NASCAR but in the case of brands like Hudson, Pontiac,
Buick, Oldsmobile, Plymouth and even Dodge in the 1980s – those brands
disappeared because they just weren’t competitive enough to give teams a reason
to race their cars.  However, considering
that Brad Keselowski and his #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger won the NASCAR Sprint
Cup Championship this year, won 5 races (tied for the most with Denny Hamlin), grabbed
13 top 5s (third most behind only Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin) and 23 top
10s (second to only Johnson), it is clear that being competitive was not a
problem for the Dodge Charger.  Teammate
AJ Allmendinger wasn’t exactly in the hunt for the championship but until his
drug suspension was handed out, he had also been pretty competitive throughout
the 2012 NASCAR season.  Over in the
NASCAR Nationwide Series, Sam Hornish Jr finished the season in the third spot
while Brad Keselowski (who did not run for points) was able to bring home 3
wins, 11 top 5s and 14 top 10s in just 21 starts – so being competitive wasn’t
really a problem for the Penske Dodges in the Saturday races either.

Early in the 2012 season, the Chrysler Group’s NASCAR
engineers had worked out a great looking Dodge Charger stock car for the 2013
NASCAR season that would improve on the current Charger in terms of
aerodynamics while also giving the race car more of a production look…just like
the folks at Ford did with the new Fusion and similar to what GM is doing with
the new Chevrolet SS.  Unfortunately, that
came as too little, too late as the people at Penske had already made the
choice to go with the big Ford money.

For Roger Penske and his team, the decision to leave Dodge
and run off to join the Ford flock had nothing to do with a desire to be more
competitive – this move was all about money. 
After all, what more can a team owner ask for than winning the NASCAR
championship.  Roger Penske could have
continued on into 2013 with the new Dodge Charger in the Sprint Cup ranks and the
Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series and there is a good chance that the
Penske teams would have been just as competitive in 2013 as they were in 2012.  Instead, Roger followed the big money and
knowingly left Dodge behind to die.

That being said…I wish all the best to Brad Keselowski
throughout his NASCAR career and as a Dodge fan; I will always owe him a debt
of fan gratitude for bringing Mopar a NASCAR championship.  However, I will not cheer for him or any
other driver behind the wheel of a Penske Racing stock car and I hope that the
same is true of other faithful Mopar lovers who are left without a proper
NASCAR team to side with since Roger Penske and his team of business people
jumped on Ford’s money.

Shame on you, Roger Penske, for making a move that emphasizes
the fact that in NASCAR – having more money is more important than having the
best car.  Penske Racing and Brad Keselowski
routinely had one of the best cars in the field so the jump to Ford wasn’t a
racing decision…it was a business decision…and as a Dodge fan I plan to hold a
grudge for a very long time against that wrinkly old man and his millions of
Ford dollars.

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