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The History of Dodge

12 April 2012

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Dodge holds a strong heritage of racing that is based upon the founding brothers’ obsession with engineering excellence and a love for speed and competition. Dodge has a motoring pedigree that few other manufacturers can match. They engineer racing vehicles that compete successfully across a range of events, circuits and conditions that demonstrate the versatility, speed, reliability and design prowess of Dodge vehicles. Dodge has established itself as a major motor racing force across the world having competed and won such a vast range of events that include dirt tracks; the high endurance speedways of NASCAR, the ¼ mile burst of the NHRA drag strips; the salt flats of Bonneville and the high speed racing circuits of Europe, such as the Le Mans and Spa courses. It is the ability of the Dodge brand to compete within such incredibly diverse and technically challenging events that make it the stand out sports car brand of the US.

Drag Racing

Dodge holds a long and incredibly successful history within the NHRA ever since its inception in 1950. Dodge quickly established itself as the NHRA’s leading competitor and the legendary Hemi engine retains iconic status - rightly so given its domination of events. Dodge was pivotal in the design of rear engine drag strip cars, the benefits of which were ably demonstrated by the fire-breathing ‘Swamp Rat’ that reigned supreme with the iconic Don Garlits at the wheel. This vehicle established rear engine design as the standard within drag strip racing.

NASCAR

Dodge has not only designed, manufactured and competed within the world famous NASCAR series for many decades, but has also held a high profile within the organization and sponsorship of NASCAR events during the past 10 years. NASCAR races include the legendary Daytona 500 amongst its 36 scheduled events and there are specific Dodge motorsports facilities at all events. With its proud and unrivalled tradition of keen competition, huge crowds follow the continued success of Dodge within this series.

Le Mans

The stunning and enduringly popular Dodge Viper GTS V10 has now won the most famous and glamorous 24-hour endurance motor race on three occasions. Initially using the Le Mans race as an opportunity to develop a car that would have increased appeal within the general consumer market, it soon became apparent that the Dodge Viper was in fact a seriously competitive sports car. Over a three-year period of racing dominance the Viper outstripped all of the world’s most iconic sports cars to take the checkered flag in 1998.1999 and 2000.

Other racing events

Such is the Dodge commitment to racing that it continues to support and sponsor events and racing teams, not only within the NASCAR and NHRA but also in motorsports such as motorcycle Supercross and the Dodge Viper Cup, a series of road races that not only celebrates the manufacture and development of Dodge’s most iconic vehicle but also assists in the development of racing drivers of the future. A Dodge team also competes within the innovative Formula DRIFT racing series and Dodge is also the major sponsor and competitor within the TORC off-road truck racing series.

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