Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger Headed to NASCAR in 2010

Forget the Fusion and Avenger, the 2010 Ford and Dodge NASCAR racers will be mean street machines and real pony cars. That’s right, the Mustang and Challenger.

Both cars are expected to be closer to stock than any car in recent history, but that’s not saying much.

The move was made by the NASCAR governing body in an effort to help the series. In the past both GM and Ford warned that the current Cup cars would turn NASCAR into a spec-racing series with every car not only being similar but looking the same. This, they argued, would in turn lead to a lack of brand identification and, therefore, a loss of interest in the series.

It seems they were right.

NASCAR has suffered a significant drop in not only attendance figures and souvenir sales, but also in TV ratings – indicating that the problem is in fact a lack of interest and not a lack of funds.

The new cars actually won’t be all that different, but they will look different, something that NASCAR is most likely hoping will be of interest to manufacturers looking to capitalize on some marketing.

Despite the move by Ford and Doge, GM will continue to run the Impala rather than the 2010 Camaro. Also, Toyota is continuing on with its Camry, mostly because it doesn’t have anything else. The sole Japanese automaker in NASCAR recently dropped the two-door Solara from its lineup.

More: Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger Headed to NASCAR in 2010 on AutoGuide.com