Honda’s NASCAR Entry Is Looking Like More Than Just a Rumor

NASCAR wants and desperately needs a fourth manufacturer, but who was betting on Honda to potentially fill that role?

byCaleb Jacobs|
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Talk about a fourth manufacturer joining NASCAR is nothing new. Dodge has typically been the fan favorite to join Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota, though we've been burned by those rumors enough over the last few years. Likewise, there have long been discussions about Honda potentially entering the top-flight Cup Series, but I've always considered that as likely as a snowstorm in Daytona on the Fourth of July. Maybe I shouldn't be so dismissive, though, because multiple recent reports point to Honda seriously weighing its decision to go stock car racing.

These rumblings were given more credence when veteran motorsport reporter Marshall Pruett mentioned Honda and NASCAR on his podcast earlier this week. Pruett mainly focuses on IMSA and IndyCar, not NASCAR, though Honda and its sub-brand Acura are hugely prominent in both series. He has arguably the closest relationships with these manufacturers of any journalist in the paddock, so when he talks about this stuff, it's worth paying attention to.

"I have a list—I wish I could tell you what's on it—of things that I know are in the works, could happen, are being discussed," Pruett said. "I would say for anybody who's followed the Honda thing a little bit in however many years past and seen it pop up here, keep following. If you're a Honda fan and you like NASCAR, you're probably going to be really happy in the future."

The Drive has reached out to Honda for comment and will update this story with the manufacturer's response.

Pruett's comments come just a couple of weeks after an interesting report from ace NASCAR writer Adam Stern. He penned a story for the Sports Business Journal in February about the sanctioning body's relationship with Honda, citing NASCAR COO Steve O'Donnell as saying talks are "heating up" with a potential fourth manufacturer. Stern then went straight to Honda and Acura Motorsports Manager Chuck Schifsky, who said, “As part of our role managing American Honda’s motorsports programs, we need to investigate all forms of motorsport here in the U.S., and as a part of that process, educate ourselves on what race fans are looking for. With that said, we have nothing new to report in terms of our future motorsport direction.”

Major brand reps like Schifsky know better than to reveal a huge move like Honda to NASCAR over email. Of course, that doesn't mean it's a done deal. But Honda was much more direct when questioned about NASCAR in 2020, when former Honda Performance Development boss Ted Klaus told Pruett that the brand had its hands full with IndyCar and IMSA. Now, HPD has been brought into the Honda Racing Corporation fold, which handles IndyCar, IMSA, Formula 1, and even a potential Le Mans entry all under one roof. Perhaps they're interested in turning left in a tin-top racer?

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