Photo: Chrysler

Photo: Chrysler

The 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit will pace the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races in Phoenix on March 3 and 4, Chrysler has announced.

"Phoenix marks our new track-proven Dodge Charger Pursuit's inaugural pace car weekend, while highlighting the fastback sedan's benchmark levels of performance and the Dodge brand's 62nd year of NASCAR racing heritage," said Peter Grady, Chrysler's vice president of network development and fleet.

Chrysler is offering its 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit to law enforcement in V-6 and V-8 models. With its 370-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI engine, the Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 model delivered the fastest lap time ever recorded (1:33.70) during the Michigan State Police 2012 Police Vehicle Evaluation tests last fall. In addition, the 292 horsepower Charger Pursuit V-6 models recorded the fastest average lap times for naturally aspirated (1:37.71) and E-85 capable (1:37.57) six-cylinder powered police cars.

The 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 also delivered the police sedan segment's fastest acceleration times.

In September, Dodge and Mopar introduced six all-new police equipment packages for the 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit. Chrysler and Mopar worked with Crown North America to develop the new packages.

The six factory-installed police packages are designed to provide law-enforcement officers with the best combination of tactical equipment and performance, according to the company. These police-equipment packages feature emergency lighting, audible warning, communications and safety equipment.

In addition to the six packages, 24 Mopar tactical accessories may be ordered, including light bars, LED lighting systems, push bumper, CAN-control siren system and more.

From the first Dodge Coronet, Carl Wilkerson drove in a 1950 Grand National race in Canfield, Ohio, the Dodge brand has more than 62 years of stock car history.