Ferrari held its annual Finali Mondiali customer racing final at Daytona International Raceway this past weekend. The event was jam packed with all sorts of Ferrari action and news, but the real headline maker to come from the weekend was perhaps related to Dodge and its presently defunct NASCAR endeavours.
NASCAR is headquartered in Daytona, which gave Fiat Chrysler CEO and Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne the opportunity to catch up with NASCAR CEO Bill France this weekend. Marchionne admitted he was the one that pulled Dodge out of NASCAR back in 2012 after it won the championship with Team Penske and Brad Keselowski and said he would consider a possible return for the automaker.
“I talked to Jim France about this last night,” Marchionne told The Daytona Beach News Journal. “I was the one who made the decision to pull out of NASCAR. I am the guilty party at the table. In 2009 we came out of bankruptcy and tried to race NASCAR (but) with the big bills and (trying to) make payroll was a stretch.”
“We are in a different place now. I think it is possible we can come back to NASCAR. I think we need to find the right way to come back in, but I agreed with both Jim and Lesa (France) we would come back to the issue.”
France confirmed he and Marchionne had “a good discussion,” during the weekend’s Finali Mondiali festivities and called the Italian-Canadian CEO a “very intelligent man.” The NASCAR boss the series continues to “to have ongoing dialogue with a number of auto manufacturers about their interest in joining our sport,” but wouldn’t elaborate on the subject any further.