Archive for March, 2018

HARVICK DOUBLE DOWNS AT VEGAS

Posted on: March 5th, 2018
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LAS VEGAS, NV, March 5, 2018 – Stewart-Haas Racing and Kevin Harvick double down to win their second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in a row, winning the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Recording his fourth MENCS race win with Ford Performance and fifth time winning back-to-back races in his career.
“Congratulations to Kevin on his 100th career NASCAR win,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Kevin, drove a great race and the Ford Fusions ran strong all day. Ford Performance teams have started strong this year and we are proud to power the Ford Fusions with the Ford FR9 engines.”

From the second lap of the race the No. 4 Harvick, with the Ford FR9 horsepower, took control to win both Stages. Harvick led the most laps by a winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a total of 214 laps out of a 267 laps, on his way to recording his 13th win on a 1.5-mile track.

In achieving his 100th career win, Harvick has recorded 39 MENCS wins, 47 NASCAR Xfinity wins and 14 Camping World Truck Series wins. He is only the fourth driver in NASCAR history to accomplish the feat, joining Richard Petty (200 wins), Kyle Busch (184 wins) and David Pearson (106 wins).

Harvick commented on his 100th win in victory lane, “I think as you look back and you look at all the different wins and the wins that we have had here and at KHI and Richard Childress Racing and Junior Motorsports. All the different vehicles I have been fortunate to drive, and there have been a lot of good ones. I know how hard it is to get to victory lane and to know we have been there 100 times is something I almost can’t fathom.”

Ryan Blaney recorded his first MENCS pole of the season at Las Vegas and third career MENCS pole.
Blaney finished fifth and fellow Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano finishing in sixth and seventh respectively, while Wood Brothers Racing driver Paul Menard finished ninth and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola finished tenth.
The Fords will travel to the second stop on the west coast swing at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend to see if they can make it three in a row.
14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 318 WINS – 283 POLES!

2019 NASCAR HALL OF FAME NOMINEES

Posted on: March 7th, 2018
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MOORESVILLE, NC – March 6, 2018 – NASCAR announced the 20 finalists for consideration as part of the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Class . Nine of the men have Ford Motor Company ties, including seven repeat nominees and two newcomers in John Holman and Ralph Moody.

Those back on the ballot from last year are current Ford team owners Jack Roush and Roger Penske; 1992 NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki; 19-time Ford Cup winner Davey AllisonBuddy Baker, who had 19 wins for a variety of teams including Bud Moore and the Wood Brothers; two-time champion engine-builder for David Pearson in 1968-69 with Holman-Moody, Waddell Wilson; and Ricky Rudd, the sport’s Iron Man, who had 23 wins in more than 900 starts, including stints with Bud Moore, the Wood Brothers and as an owner/driver.

 

DAVEY ALLISON

Davey Allison made 191 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts and all but eight of them were behind the wheel of the No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford. He ran six full-time seasons when the series consisted of 29 races while running in parts of three others, and wasted little time in grabbing headlines. After car owner Harry Ranier hired him for the 1987 season Allison took off, qualifying second for the Daytona 500 and then grabbing the pole one week later at Rockingham.

Allison won 19 times overall, four of those with Ranier and the rest under ownership from fellow Hall of Fame Nominee Robert Yates, who purchased the team in 1989.  They won the 1992 Daytona 500 together and were in a battle with fellow Ford drivers Bill Elliott and Alan Kulwicki for the season championship, but an accident during the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway ended that bid.

Davey, the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, won his last race on March 7, 1993 at Richmond International Raceway. He died on July 13, 1993 from injuries suffered in a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

BUDDY BAKER

Buddy Baker’s best season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series came in 1975 when he and NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Bud Moore teamed up to win four times, which included a season sweep at Talladega Superspeedway. Baker extended his Talladega win streak to three the following season with Moore, but saw his bid for four in a row end with a second-place run in the fall of 1976.

Baker, who won 19 races overall during a 33-year career, made it back to Victory Lane with Ford six years later when he won the Firecracker 400 at Daytona in 1983 with the Wood Brothers. He drove two seasons for the family-owned operation, posting one win, two poles, and 24 top-10 finishes in 42 starts.

 

ALAN KULWICKI

Alan Kulwicki may have won only five races in his shortened Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, but in winning the 1992 series championship over fellow Ford drivers Bill Elliott and Davey Allison, he established a legacy that continues to shine today. As an owner/driver, Kulwicki changed the thinking of how a race team could be successful as he took a small underdog race team and beat the bigger organizations through hard work and determination.

After an accident at Dover with only six races remaining put him 278 points behind, Kulwicki clawed his way back into the title hunt.  Entering the season-finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kulwicki found himself second in the standings, but ended up taking the title in his No. 7 Hooters Ford ‘Underbird’ after leading one more lap than Elliott, who ended up winning the race. The fact Kulwicki led the most laps gave him the necessary bonus points to win the championship by 10 over Elliott.

Kulwicki, who is one of only seven drivers to win a Cup title with Ford, didn’t have a chance to defend his championship after the plane he was flying in crashed on approach to Tri-Cities Airport on April 1, 1993, killing him and three others on board.

 

ROGER PENSKE

Roger Penske has won 104 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in his career and 58 of those have been with Ford. Since returning to Ford at the start of the 2013 season, Penske has put together a three-car operation that has won 31 times on the Cup side, and an equally successfully NASCAR XFINITY program that has 34 wins and four owner’s championships.

Penske made an immediate impact with Ford when he first joined the manufacturer in 1994, winning eight times with driver Rusty Wallace. The duo ended up winning 23 races from 1994-2001 and finished in the top-10 of the point standings every season. Penske has one Cup championship, winning that with current driver Brad Keselowski in 2012, and has made it to the playoff finals with Joey Logano twice.

 

JACK ROUSH

No owner has won more stock car races in NASCAR’s top three touring series than Jack Roush, and he’s done it all with Ford. Since becoming involved in the sport as an owner in 1988, Roush has gone on to post 324 victories in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series combined. In addition, he has won at least one championship in each series and eight overall (2 Cup, 5 XFINITY and 1 Truck).

He made MENCS history in 1998 by becoming the first owner to expand to five teams, and proved that model could work as evidenced by the fact that each of them qualified for the Chase in 2005. That gave Roush half of the playoff field, which was only 10 at the time. He and NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin are regarded as one of the top owner-driver combinations of all-time, having amassed 82 victories in NASCAR’s top three series together.

 

RICKY RUDD

There may be drivers who have won more races, but when it comes to pure toughness it’s hard to put anyone above Ricky Rudd. Whether it was putting tape over his eyelids after a harrowing crash at Daytona or surviving burns to his backside during a sweltering day at Martinsville, Rudd continually showed what made him a NASCAR staple from 1975-2007.

He set the sport’s all-time record for consecutive starts at 788 – starting every race from 1981-2005 – until Jeff Gordon broke it in 2015, and ranks second on NASCAR’s list for career starts with 906. Rudd registered 23 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories and went to victory lane 15 times with Ford. His biggest win undoubtedly came in the 1997 Brickyard 400 during a stretch where he filled the dual roles as owner and driver. His success and consistency are also remembered by the fact he had a streak of at least one series triumph for 16 consecutive seasons (1983-98).

 

WADDELL WILSON

One of the legendary operations in Ford Performance’s NASCAR history is Holman-Moody, and Waddell Wilson had a front row seat as a key contributor with that organization. He made his reputation as one of the top engine builders upon joining the team and producing the power that took Fireball Roberts to victory lane in the 1963 Southern 500 at Darlington.

As the sixties wound down, his stature grew even more as he was part of the Ford crew that helped Mario Andretti win the 1967 Daytona 500. Wilson, who also worked with current NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen during his Holman-Moody days, closed out the decade in grand fashion as he built the power that took David Pearson to consecutive Cup championships in 1968 and 1969. That marked the second and third titles for Ford overall, and the first time the manufacturer captured consecutive crowns.

 

JOHN HOLMAN AND RALPH MOODY

Even though they are on the ballot individually, it seems appropriate to write about them together because they were synonymous with Ford in the 1960s as co-owners of the manufacturer’s main factory-backed organization.

It’s the place where NASCAR Hall of Famer Robert Yates got his start and where fellow nominee Waddell Wilson honed his engine-building skills. It’s also where legendary drivers like Bobby Allison, Mario Andretti, Jim Clark, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Junior Johnson, Parnelli Jones, Fred Lorenzen, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Bobby Unser, Joe Weatherly, and Cale Yarborough took turns behind the wheel.

They were responsible for providing the engines that powered the fast Ford of Pearson to consecutive championships in 1968 and 1969 in what is now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Overall, the organization won 96 races and in 525 all-time starts finished in the top 5 a total of 284 times (54 percent).

Voting Day for the 2019 class will be Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

*Courtesy of Ford Performance

FORD GTs PREPARE FOR THE 12-HOURS OF SEBRING

Posted on: March 12th, 2018
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MOORESVILLE, NC, March 12, 2018 – Ford Performance looks to make it two consecutive wins for the Ford GT this weekend. At this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, it was their time to shine for the No. 67 Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Indy car driver Scott Dixon earning the top spot on the podium, while No. 66 teammates Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Indy car driver Sébastien Bourdais clinched P2. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will try to keep the momentum going at the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday.

The Ford GTs used smart pit and tire strategy, not to mention heads-up driving, to get the lead early on in the 24 Hour race and kept it. Will this be the same strategy for the 12-hour race this weekend?

“We’re only one race into the season, so there’s a lot of work ahead of us,” commented Briscoe. “The competition is going to be tough. I think Sebring as always is going to be a true test. It’s one of the toughest tracks on the circuit for a lot of reasons. The racing is hard; it’s a long race. I hope we’ll be prepared enough to compete well, but I have no expectations it’s going to be easy.”

The win in Daytona was the second in a row for the team at the Rolex 24 and the 200th overall for team owner Chip Ganassi. Ford has only one historic race left to win with the new Ford GT – the 12 Hours of Sebring – and that has made the team hungry.

“We’re fortunate in that we have the smartest people in the business at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “They make smart decisions and it’s proven again and again on the track.”

At last year’s race in Sebring, Ford nearly finished p2-3 at Sebring after a penalty sidelined one of the leaders, until a last-lap crash put the No. 67 out of podium position. The No. 66 finished second, ending its attempt to win class titles in the Le Mans 24, Rolex 24 At Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring in nine months.

“We really just put everything on the table,” Hand said. “If you finish second, the one thing you want to make sure of is that you did everything you could to win the race. We’ve tested at Sebring a few times since then and added to the data we have from that track, we’re confident we can give it another shot this year.”

* Courtesy Ford Performance

HARVICK & FORD PERFORMANCE WIN BACK-2-BACK-2-BACK

Posted on: March 12th, 2018
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AVONDALE, AZ, March 12, 2018 – Kevin Harvick made Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history by winning three Cup races in a row. A feat only accomplished 23 times in the NASCAR Series. No. 4 Harvick, in his Ford Fusion powered by the Ford FR9 engine, recorded his 40th career MENCS win and fifth win with Ford Performance.

“Congratulations to Kevin, Tony, Gene and Ford Performance on the win,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This win showcases all the dedication and effort that was put into the off-season building winning race cars and engines. We take great pride in partnering with Ford on the design and development of the Ford FR9 engines and this weekend we were blessed with two big wins. It’s an honor to work with the employees of Ford Motor Company, all of our Ford Performance Race Teams and our dedicated staff at Roush Yates Engines.”

In Victory Lane Harvick made the following remarks, “To come here to a race track that is so good for us is a lot of fun and everyone was just determined this week and we just wanted to just go stomp them. We didn’t stomp them, but we won. That’s all that really matters. Just proud of this team.”

Harvick did what had not been done since 2015 by Ford teammate Joey Logano and won three MENCS races in row. Coming off back-to-back wins in Atlanta and Las Vegas, Harvick took the checkered flag in Phoenix .774 seconds in front of Kyle Busch to record his third consecutive win of the 2018 season.

“We’ve been really fortunate that everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing is building us really good cars and the guys at the engine shop are giving us good engines, everyone is just doing their jobs and flowing good,” commented Rodney Childers in Victory Lane. “It means a lot to me to be in Victory Lane. To have three in a row is incredible and is something I never really dreamed about.”

The No. 4 drove a patient, but aggressive race, pacing the Ford Fusion with the field to make the right moves at the right time. After a late race run of green flag pit-stops the No.4 was in fifth place. Harvick then retook the lead with 22 laps to go and never looked back to record his ninth win in the desert at the TicketGuardian 500.

It was a stellar race for Stewart-Haas Racing. All four of the SHR cars finished in the Top-10; Harvick P1, No. 14 Clint Bowyer in P6, No. 10 Aric Almirola in P7 and Stage 2 winner No. 41 Kurt Busch in P10.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Brad Keselowski weathered a rain delayed race in the desert to win the DC Solar 200 in his first NXS start of the season. Team Penske No. 22, Keselowski picked up his second victory at the one-mile track and the 37th NXS of his career.

Keselowski, starting from the inside of the front row, driving the Ford Mustang, gained the lead from the pole sitter, Justin Allgaier for the first time on lap twelve. The No. 22 leveraged the Ford FR9 Carbureted engine to win the race after working his way back through the field after serving a pit-road speeding penalty and waiting out two rain delays. Keselowski retook the lead for the final time on lap 179 on his way to leading 63 out of the 200 lap race at ISM Raceway.

“Brian Wilson made some great adjustments to the car and the weather kind of came to us with what we needed for how our car was handling,” Keselowski commented after the race. “It is good to see that work out for everyone at Team Penske with the Fitzgerald Glider Ford Mustang. It was a solid team effort. I am really proud of them.”

Stewart-Haas Racing, Cole Custer finished P8 and NXS newcomer, Kaz Grala from JGL Racing finished an impressive P12.

The NASCAR Western Swing will make its final stop at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA this weekend. Reference the full 2018 schedule on www.roushyates.com.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 320 WINS – 283 POLES!

OFF TO THE RACES with Sage X3

Posted on: March 16th, 2018
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MOORESVILLE, NC  March 16, 2018 – In the auto racing world, everything moves a little faster. The cars move fast. Engines need to be built and rebuilt every week. And any delays – whether days, hours, or even minutes – can cost precious seconds at the track. Read the full story.

 

How Roush Yates Engines Keeps the Focus on Winning with Sage X3

Off To The Races

 

 

LOGANO & TEAM PENSKE WIN AT FONTANA

Posted on: March 19th, 2018
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FONTANA, CA, March 19, 2018 – Joey Logano raced to the front of the field, in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Roseanne 300, leading 139 of the 150 lap race. Powered by the Ford FR9 Carb V8 engine, Logano drove the Ford Mustang across the finish line to record his 29th career NXS win and Roger Penske’s first win in the Xfinity series at Fontana.
“Congratulations to Joey and Roger,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “The team was well prepared and the car was fast from the first practice. Joey showcased the talent of Team Penske and drove up 15 positions within two laps to put himself in position to win.”
“It’s one of those races where you feel relieved when you win. It wasn’t a cheerful one—you’re supposed to win when you have a car that fast,” Logano commented in Victory Lane. “I’ve got to just thank Discount Tire, Ford and Roush Yates Engines, amazing.”

Logano took command of the race five laps into the race, when he took the lead for the first time on his way to winning all three Stages of the race and leading 278 miles of the 300-mile race.

The seventh caution of the day came out with 11 laps to go. The No. 22 restarted second on the inside of the front row, with nine to go and dialed up the Ford FR9 horsepower to take the lead one final time and pulled away from the field to win by 1.429 seconds over Justin Allgaier.

Team Penske’s Ford Mustangs won back-to-back races to close out NASCAR’s Western swing with fellow Penske teammate Brad Keselowski winning at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Stewart-Haas Racing Xfinity driver Cole Custer and JGL Racing Kaz Grala also had a solid day finishing P6 and P14 respectively.

NASCAR heads to the first short track of the season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this weekend in Martinsville, Virginia.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 321 WINS – 283 POLES!
* Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media

FORD MUSTANG GT4 WINS CONSECUTIVE SEBRING RACES

Posted on: March 19th, 2018
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SEBRING, FL, March 19, 2018 – The No. 60 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 won their second consecutive Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport race title at Sebring International Raceway on Friday in the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120.

Drivers Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli picked up the teams fourth win and their first as co-drivers in the No. 60. Following in teammates, Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford’s footsteps who won the esteemed race in 2017. This marked Ford’s 45th victory in the Grand Sport (GS) class.

“Congratulations to KohR Motorsports,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “To win at Sebring is special and to win two years in a row is a tribute to the team’s hard work and dedication.”

The modified two-hour sprint race allowed for an aggressive strategy call from the pit box, going to a one stop race plan with the 5.2L Mustang V8 engine to complete the 175.78-mile race. As the race unfolded, it would be the one stop call that would allow the No. 60 to inherit the lead and then it came down to managing the Continental tires for the last 20 laps.

“It feels great,” Stacy said. “The team worked flawlessly. We had a really good strategy, I’m really glad it worked out. It was kind of a gutsy move, but it worked out in the end. With these Continental Tires, it was just crazy good at the beginning. I had a bit of a push toward the end there, but it got hot and sticky. It was great all around.”

Six Ford Mustang GT4s started in a field of 37 cars, including KohR Motorsports sister car No. 59 with drivers Jack Roush Jr. and Joey Atterbury. They finished the race P6 followed by AWA Ford Mustang No. 80 in P14.

This weekend’s results provides great  momentum for the Ford Mustang program as they head to Mid-Ohio for the first time on May 5th.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 322 WINS – 283 POLES!
* Images courtesy of Ford Performance

CLINT BOWYER WINS AT MARTINSVILLE!

Posted on: March 27th, 2018
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MARTINSVILLE, VA, March 27, 2018 – Clint Bowyer won his first race at Martinsville Speedway, leading a race high 215 laps in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500. The No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion powered by the Ford FR9 engine, recorded his first win for Stewart-Haas Racing and a new Grandfather clock. Ford Performance now has 28 career MENCS wins at the famed “Paperclip”.

“Congratulations Clint, Tony and Gene on a fantastic win” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Clint drove a great race, showcasing his talents leading 215 laps in his Ford Fusion. Ford Performance continues to provide the technology and resources to keep our cars running up front.”

“This is a place where I’ve gotten so close,” an emotional Bowyer commented in Victory Lane. I wanted to win this grandfather clock so bad. Let me tell you something, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, to give this old dog a fresh chance and fresh blood with a new opportunity. Finally, to get the 14 in Victory Lane is just a weight off the shoulders. It’s been a long time. To have it come at this place meant a lot.”

After a snow delayed start to the STP 500, Bowyer came out strong, his car was perfectly set up for the cooler conditions in Martinsville. The No. 14 took the lead over Ford teammate Ryan Blaney (Stage 2 winner) on lap 285 and never looked back. Bowyer managed his race car and equipment throughout the 500-lap event to take the checkered flag 1.146 seconds in front of Kyle Busch, marking consecutive Ford Performance spring race wins at Martinsville.

Ford Performance teammates led a race high 361 lap total out of the 500-lap race; Clint Bowyer 215 laps, Ryan Blaney 145 laps and Brad Keselowski 1 lap.

It was a stellar day for Ford Performance racing with eight Ford Fusions finishing in the top-15; Bowyer P1, No. 12 Blaney in P2, No. 4 Kevin Harvick P5, No. 22 Joey Logano in P6 and Team Penske teammate Keselowski in P10, No. 41 Kurt Busch, No 21 Paul Menard in P13 and No. 10 Aric Almirola P14.

NASCAR heads to the longhorn state, to the Texas Motor Speedway after Easter break.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 323 WINS – 283 POLES!

* Images courtesy of NASCAR Media