To commemorate the introduction of the Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), Dodge Motorsports will be giving away a customized 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T. That 2009 is no typo as Dodge will be giving away a custom version of the Challenger. Starting with the July 2, 2010 NNS race at the Daytona International Speedway, Dodge drivers will be using the Challenger body instead of the current cars that use the Dodge Charger for inspiration. The Challenger Chase to Win sweepstakes runs from now until Nov. 30, 2010, and the winner will be selected at random on Dec. 14, 2010.
Like Dodge, Penske Racing has a long and storied legacy in NASCAR racing and is one of the teams that will be using the NNS Challenger. Although no pictures were released of the car that is being given away, the street-legal Dodge Challenger R/T will get an black and orange paint scheme to match that of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless racecar (pictured above) that is driven by Justin Allgaier. It is unclear if any other modifications were made to the car, but Dodge lists the retail value of the car at $40,000 - about $10,000 more than a standard Dodge Challenger R/T. A regular 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T has a starting MSRP of $30,220, while the 2010 model starts at $30,860. Like all Challenger R/T models, this car will feature the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that produces 376 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, but it is unclear whether this car is equipped with the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
'We're excited to offer one lucky winner a Dodge Challenger R/T that is truly one of a kind,' said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Chrysler's Dodge brand. 'Following the on-track debut of the Dodge Challenger this summer, seeing a custom No. 12 Penske Racing Challenger on the street is going to be very cool.'
Dodge first announced that it was switching to the Challenger body back in November shortly after Ford Racing unveiled its Ford Mustang NNS racecar. Both cars should add more excitement to the series with a styling that is very similar to an actual street car rather than the bland, boring, cookie-cutter cars that are currently used. There are no plans for these cars to ever be used in the Sprint Cup Series, which could help drum up new fans and sponsorship for NASCAR's 'minor league' series.
Participants can enter to win only once, but they can do so either online at www.dodgemotorsports.com or in person at the Dodge Motorsports display at any of the 2010 NASCAR races around the country. As is the case with any giveaway, there are always some rules, and Challenger Chase to Win entrants must be legal residents of the United States, at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver's license.