More than just a rumor, Fiat Chrysler Chief Sergio Marchionne is reported to have had dinner with both NASCAR Vice-Chairman Jim France and International Speedway Inc. CEO Lesa France Kennedy to discuss Chrysler’s return to NASCAR, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The dinner took place on December 3, 2016 while Marchionne was in town for the Ferrari World Finals and Formula One exhibition. Says Marchionne about a possible return, “Yes, I talked to Jim France about this Saturday night. I was the one who made the decision to pull out of NASCAR — I’m the guilty party at the table.” He went on to say that the decision was due to Chrysler coming out of bankruptcy in 2009 and needing to remain able to pay their bills and payroll. Continued Marchionne, “We are in a different place now. I think it is possible we can come back to NASCAR. I think we need to find the right way to come back in, but I agreed with both Jim and Lesa we would come back to the issue.” France confirmed the meeting, saying, “He’s a very intelligent man — we had a good discussion.” Wow!
Keeping our fingers crossed for a NASCAR Chrysler Christmas comeback in the very near future.