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Dodge had a deep stable of teams and drivers until the economic downturn left it with Penske as its only major team since 2009. The automaker has stabilized financially since parent company Chrysler was taken over by Fiat three years ago and had been working on new strategies for its NASCAR program.

Gilles didn’t provide many details on why Penske left, but said Dodge wasn’t willing to agree to a five-year commitment because the company wanted to stay flexible.