Of all the high profile individuals to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale this past weekend at Homestead in Miami, none have created a buzz like the appearance of legendary race car driver and head of Volkswagen’s motorsports department Hans-Joachim Stuck.
His attendance at the race and meetings with series officials has obviously led to the speculation that Volkswagen may be entertaining an entry into the high-profile series. Stuck discounted the rumors telling Autosport that, “I’m here number one because I’m a great NASCAR fan and I’m here on holiday. I’m enjoying my visit and I will report what’s going on. But in any way there has been nothing, no serious talks about coming here.” He did continue by saying that, “Of course we investigate everything, ” but then countered with a definitive statement that there is currently “zero” chance of VW joining the series.
That may all change when VW launches its new, made in America, mid-size sedan in 2011. Stuck said that the current NASCAR setup wouldn’t allow for VW to show its engineering expertise and that it would simply have to use the series as a marketing gimmick. That being said, he didn’t think it would fit with VW’s motorsports philosophy.
Then again, with the upcoming Passat replacement, VW has already thrown in the towel on its decades long approach to having American’s see cars the way Germans do and has decided to pander to the demands of the market, with a car that will be bigger, less premium and less expensive. Volkswagen is eager to take on Toyota in the U.S. market and doing so in NASCAR, which Toyota joined just a few years back in an effort to take on the Big Three domestic automakers, would seem a logical decision.
Stuck did, however, confirm that Volkswagen has been in talks with NASCAR over a possible entry into the Grand Am series, likely in the Daytona Prototype Class, using a V10 engine. The car would likely be branded as either an Audi (more likely) or as a Lamborghini.