A long circulating rumor was confirmed Tuesday when Ford announced that the Mustang will be racing in NASCAR’s top tier Cup series starting in 2019.
The iconic American sports car will replace the Fusion which debuted in the Cup series in 2006. Ford has raced the Thunderbird and Taurus in NASCAR’s modern era which dates from 1972.
“It’s always great to have the newest, greatest performance vehicle representing your team and your racing efforts,” Team Penske driver and 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski said “To bring on Mustang to do that is great. I think it showcases what NASCAR is all about with having some really cool cars on the race track, and I think it shows the commitment that Ford has and the belief structure it has in NASCAR.”
Mustang has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011, winning championships in all but one season. It has taken Team Penske to four owner’s championships in the last five years and carried Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to consecutive driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012.
“This announcement makes me very happy,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors. “Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it’s only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR’s most visible series. I can’t wait.” Ford has six organizations and 13 teams in its NASCAR lineup, including Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Go Fas Racing.
Mustang is still going through initial testing and will be formally submitted to NASCAR for approval this summer. A public unveiling of the finished product will soon follow. The first series points race for Mustang will be during Speedweeks for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.
“Bringing the Ford Mustang into the NASCAR Cup Series next season is big news for everyone,” Stewart-Haas Racing driver and 2014 Cup champion Kevin Harvick said. “Just for the fact that it’s the iconic muscle car with such a rich tradition in the history of Ford. From style to performance, the Mustang has it all. It’s been successful in the Xfinity Series and now we’re excited to bring it to the Cup Series to compete for a championship in 2019.”
Chevy is in the first season of racing with its Camaro in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. Toyota has raced its Camry in the series since 2007.
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) April 17, 2018