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NASCAR Cup: in pursuit of more manufacturers

The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch (18) and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. (78) during the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on July 8, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch (18) and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. (78) during the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on July 8, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said during his weekly visit to “The Morning Drive” show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday morning that NASCAR is in “aggressive conversations” with manufactures with the hopes of adding to the lineup of manufacturers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Currently, three manufacturers — Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota — compete in the sanctioning body’s top series.

“We are aggressively pursuing new (manufacturers),” O’Donnell said. “We want to make sure that they come in similar to how Toyota did, and it’s really changed the sport. They’ve done a tremendous job and really helped the industry. Those conversations are ongoing. It’s a tough process. There’s a lot to consider doing this, but that is a huge goal for the sport right now.”

Toyota was the latest manufacturer to enter NASCAR’s top series, doing so in 2007 after years of competition in the Goody’s Dash regional series and the Camping World Truck Series. The manufacturer joined the Xfinity Series the same year it entered the Cup Series.

When Toyota joined NASCAR’s top division, it became the fourth manufacturer in the series, joining Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford. Dodge, though, left NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season, despite Brad Keselowski winning the Cup championship in a Dodge that year.

In December, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne publicly hinted at a Dodge return to NASCAR, but he didn’t say exactly when, and nothing has been said publicly by chief executives from Dodge’s parent company in the time since.

“I’ve agreed with both Jim (France, NASCAR board member) and Lesa (France Kennedy, NASCAR board member) to come back to the issue in short order,” Marchionne said.

During a recent appearance on FOX Sports 1’s “Race Hub” show, Keselowski said adding another manufacture was one of the most important things the sport could do at the present time.

“Everyone wins with the increased competition, the increased investment and the return to our fans and to the sport, in general,” Keselowski said.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on July 13, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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