Hyundai considering joining NASCAR, report says

Hyundai builds about half of the cars it sells in the U.S. in Alabama, and now it’s thinking about taking its Southern cred up another notch.

According to a new report, the South Korean company has been in talks to join NASCAR, possibly in just a couple of years.

Hyundai currently competes in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Bryan Herta Autosport

Hyundai currently competes in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Bryan Herta Autosport (Hyundai)

Hyundai’s head of global product strategy, Thomas Schemera, told Autoweek that “it is something we are looking at closely,” and confirmed that several high-level discussions have already happened.

NASCAR is planning to introduce an all-new rules package for its cars in 2021 aimed at making them more relevant to production cars and improving the competition, and the sanctioning body has been trying to recruit new automakers to join Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota in the Cup series. Sports Business Journal reporter Adam Stern reported in May that NASCAR officials were seen meeting with Honda representatives on the sidelines of the Indy 500 amid rumors that Richard Petty Racing will team up with Andretti Autosport to develop a Honda-powered car.

The so-called Gen-7 design is still a work in progress, but NASCAR has already tested some of its potential elements in competition at this year’s all-star race. No decisions have been made yet on what type of powertrains will be used.