Ok, on one board I read that the NASCAR Dodge's are Stratuses, however Evernham Motorsports lists the vehicle as a "Dodge RT". So what is this thing? Is it a sneak peek at the Charger? I know for sure it does not look like any Intrepid I have ever seen!
In fact, Dodge produced a 2001 (?) Intrepid with a special NASCAR package which applauded Dodge's return to NASCAR. A red Intrepid with the yellow lettered Goodyears and some motor mods, the package was only produced for this year (am I correct on this?).
I didn't know they existed until I attended a local car show and saw one on display. Again, like GM's Monte, the car is nothing like the one on the track.
Actually, to correct the above posts, Dodge used the Intrepid body style for the previous years NASCAR Winston Cup Racers (2001-2003). However, for 2004 and the Nextel Cup, they changed the body style to the Stratus. This was due to the Intrepid not being produced for the full year. This is probably just a short-term fill until the Charger comes out next year, with the NASCAR Nextel cup racers adopting this body style.
Does it really matter...I mean..I like racing, and I will always watch the Daytona 500.
But what in the word do these cars have in common with anythin on the road?
At least the Monte Carlo is a coupe!
Do they make Taurus and Intrepid coupes? Nope...how come they allow them?
And how come Dodge gets to add to extra slots to the nose of the car in between the headlights? It looks like a Pontiac Grand Prix! The production versions dont have that? It's true they could have called it a Caravan, who would have cared?
I agree that the cars have nothing in common with their stock counterparts. However, to give them a name of an existing car line, there will always be some people that associate the stock and the Nascar racers and say "I want to buy that car." Name recognition is a good thing to have, even if nothing is in common. Same thing goes for other forms of racing. People just want to be able to associate with a brand / nameplate, nothing more, nothing less.
While the new Dodge NASCAR racers do look more like the Stratus than the Intrepid in the nose, I can find no official evidence that Dodge has changed their model car from the Intrepid. Unless rules have changed, NASCAR allows a defunct model to be raced (okay, in this case the STYLING of a defunct model can be used on the racer) for three years after the demise of the production vehicle. That's why the Imperial raced after it had ended production.