As has become tradition during the season-opening Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s three manufacturers address the press corps and share their expectations for the upcoming NASCAR racing schedule.
On Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, joined NASCAR Cup Series owners Jack Roush, Tony Stewart, Eddie Wood and Team Penske executive Walt Czarnecki to take questions and discuss the 2020 season.
It’s the second year Ford has used its Mustang in the Cup Series ranks, and Rushbrook was especially optimistic about having a year under the belt with the new model, which won 10 of the 36 races and put Kevin Harvick in the Championship 4 that ultimately decided the 2019 title.
“Now to be back in the second year with that Mustang, the teams have all been working really hard through the off-season, taking advantage of the tools and advancing the aerodynamics of that Mustang, the chassis setup using the simulator,” Rushbrook said. “I think we’ve had more time in the simulator in this off-season than we have had ever before.
“From what we’ve seen so far at Daytona, it’s early, but saw a lot of speed in the cars, teams working across the Ford drivers, communication across the teams. We’re excited about that.”
Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying race Thursday night. And there are five Fords in the top-10 starting positions – tied with Chevrolet for most among the three makes.
These owners discussed the approach they expect for much of the season with Ford competitors working as smaller teams working for a common manufacturer – and common goal.
“The thing that all of our drivers think about each weekend if it’s not our day, we can’t win, how do we help another one of these Ford teams win the race each weekend,” said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.
“If it’s not our day, we can’t win, how do we help another one of these Ford teams win the race each weekend. That’s how dedicated and passionate we are to put that blue oval in Victory Lane every week. That’s something that’s a major priority to all of our drivers and organizations, is making sure we all work together.
“We’re at a track here this weekend that’s a very, very huge priority for all of our Ford teams to work together. Even on the races outside of the restrictor plate races, we think that way as well.”