Archive for March, 2019

TEAM PENSKE & FORD PERFORMANCE FINISH 1-2 AT LAS VEGAS

Posted on: March 4th, 2019
Location: post
LAS VEGAS, NV- March 4, 2019 – It was a 1-2 Team Penske finish, as Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski finished first and second in the Pennzoil 400. Logano recorded his 22nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win, in the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang, as he took the checkered flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time.
“The cars are fast, we showed it last weekend and able to show it again this weekend,” Logano commented in Victory Lane. “Roush Yates’ motors, this is a big motor thing now. You’re on the gas so much, you don’t lift for the most part, you lift a little bit, that horsepower under the hood is a huge deal.”
“Congratulations Joey, Roger and Ford Performance,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Joey drove a great race today. The Ford Performance teams have started strong this year and we’re proud to be powering the new Ford Mustangs with Ford FR9 horsepower. It’s great to celebrate another win with Ford Performance and see Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Roush Fenway Fords finish in the top 10.”
The Ford Mustangs looked strong throughout the race with pole winner Kevin Harvick getting out to a fast start to win Stage 1 and lead the first 43 laps of the race. The Ford Mustangs went onto lead a total of 208 laps out of the 267-lap race by five different drivers; Harvick 89 laps, Logano 86 laps, Keselowski 17 laps, Daniel Suárez 12 laps, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 5 laps.
The No. 22 crew executed all day, putting Logano in great position to win Stage 2 and to contend for the win, but Keselowski would not go down without a fight. The No. 2 made a final lap charge and attempted to pass Logano on the last corner but could only get to Logano’s bumper. The teammates finished nose-to-tail, a mere .236 seconds apart. This win was the third consecutive win for Ford Performance in Las Vegas.
Team Penske is now the first team to secure two drivers in the 2019 Playoffs.

Five Fords finished the day in the top-10. In addition to Logano and Keselowski finishing 1-2, Harvick finished fourth with Stenhouse and Aric Almirola finishing sixth and seventh.

Cole Custer started from the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 23rd Annual Boyd Gaming 300 and finished 9th while Chase Briscoe finished 8th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday.
The MENCS and Xfinity 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. Reference the full 2019 schedule on www.roushyates.com.

23 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 356 WINS – 324 POLES!
*Images courtesy of NASCAR Media

Ford’s WEC Super Season Resumes at Sebring

Posted on: March 13th, 2019
Location: post
  • Sebring Raceway in Florida to host the “1000 Miles of Sebring”
  • Round six of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship is an eight-hour race into the night
  • Three more races to go in the 2018-19 Super Season: Sebring, Spa and Le Mans
  • 1000 Miles of Sebring gets underway on Friday, March 15 at 16:00 ET (21:00 CET)

SEBRING, FL, March 13, 2019– The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is going all out to claim the top results for the Ford GTs with just three races remaining in the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season.

New for 2019, the 1000 Miles of Sebring will see the WEC protagonists fighting for glory on the eve of the famous Sebring 12 Hour race in which the U.S. arm of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team will compete.

“Sebring is another big weekend for Ford,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “To have both the WEC and IMSA Ford GTs together but competing in different races makes for an exciting event for Ford Performance. As always our goal is to win so I am hopeful that all the work that has been put in recently in testing will pay off for us.”

The #66 Ford GT raced by Stefan Mücke (GER) and Olivier Pla (FRA) sits in second place in the Drivers’ World Championships standings. Having taken two pole positions so far this season, the duo will be pushing for pole at Sebring. Joining them will be Billy Johnson (US) who returns to the team for the first time since Le Mans last year.

 

“Sebring is a unique circuit, complete with bumps and a track layout that is partly on an old airfield,” Mücke said. “We had the chance to test there in February which was important as it gave us the first indication of what we can expect and showed us the areas where we need to improve. I have good memories of Sebring; it’s actually one of my favourite tracks. The race will be a challenge as it starts in the afternoon and finishes late at night so there will be a big temperature drop, which affects the balance of the car and tyre choice. I can’t wait to get back in the car and get the season going again on a great track like Sebring.”

The #67 GT of Andy Priaulx (GB) and Harry Tincknell (GB) has had a bruising season so far and currently sits in eighth place in the standings. Both drivers are born winners though, and will be out to remind everyone of this, ably supported by a new teammate for Sebring, U.S. racer Jonathan Bomarito.

“Sebring is a great track that always produces a demanding and challenging race,” Priaulx said. “It’s narrow, bumpy and hot and there is never enough room for everyone so you need to keep your concentration levels high. I was fortunate enough to win the 12-hour race there in 2011 (as teammate to Dirk Müller and Joey Hand) and it is a special event where the fans create a great atmosphere. It’s a tough track in the dark. You have to limit your mistakes and push hard to be competitive there but that’s what we do, right?”

The 1000 Miles of Sebring gets underway on Friday, March 15 at 16:00 ET (21:00 CET).

*Courtesy Ford Performance

 

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GTs Look to Add 12 Hours of Sebring to List of Major Race Victories

Posted on: March 15th, 2019
Location: post
  • Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSA series Ford GTs head to Sebring International Raceway for the historic 12 Hour of Sebring
  • With victories at Le Mans and the Rolex 24, the IMSA FCGR team would like to add Sebring to its list of historic endurance race victories
  • Sebring is round two of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship for the GTLM cars

SEBRING, Fla., March 15, 2019–In its three years of racing, the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSA team has taken its Ford GTs to wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

But one historic endurance race has eluded them so far, and they would like to change that this weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech Championship heads to the historic bumps and turns of Sebring International Raceway for the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday.

“There’s no question this Ford GT program was designed to go out and win the world’s top endurance races, and we have done that for the most part the past three seasons,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.  “But we need to add the 12 Hours of Sebring to that list of race wins, and we want to do that this weekend.  We’ve had a very good test there in the last month, and we hope that carries over to this weekend.”

The current Ford GT team has been close, with the No. 66 Ford GT of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais finishing runner-up in the GTLM class in 2017, and the No. 67 Ford GT team of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon finishing fourth last year.

The combination of getting a car to handle over the bumpy surface of Sebring, along with the change from the heat of day to a cool Saturday night finish is always challenging for the teams.

The other big change for the 2019 version of the race is that for the first time, the FIA World Endurance Championship will host a 1,000-mile race on Friday evening, including Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s two-car European-based WEC team.

“Sebring is one of those historic races on the calendar that everyone wants to win, and there’s extra motivation for us because we haven’t won there yet with the Ford GT,” said Briscoe.  “It will be a little different having our Ganassi European Ford GT team there for the WEC race, so hopefully we can all work together to help each other with set-ups and input as they race on Friday.

“But at the end of the day, the 12 Hours of Sebring always comes down to race strategy and being in position to win those last two hours.  We fortunately have some of the best in the business in terms of drivers and strategists, so we feel like we’re going to be one of the teams to beat for sure.”

“Sebring is always a challenge not just because of the distance, but also because of how difficult the track is,” said Hand.  “We’ve done a lot of testing there and feel good about how those tests have gone, but you have to be ready for a variety of different weather and track conditions during the race weekend.

“One of the keys is having a car set-up that can adjust from daylight into the night, so that you’re fast when the sun goes down.  I do know one thing… this is an endurance race that has eluded us in the Ford GT program, and we want to change that this year.”

The 67th 12 Hours of Sebring begins Saturday, March 16, with coverage beginning at 10:30 am ET on CNBC domestically, IMSA.tv internationally.

*Courtesy of Ford Performance

CALIFORNIA KID, COLE CUSTER WINS AT FONTANA

Posted on: March 18th, 2019
Location: post

FONTANA, CA, March 18, 2019 – The California Kid, Cole Custer returned home to win his third career NASCAR Xfinity Series race and his first win at his home track in Fontana, CA. Custer led the last 19 laps of the Performance Alliance Group 300, to edge out the competition, taking the checkered flag and marking the 60th overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Congratulations Cole, Tony, and Gene,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Cole showed great determination and patience throughout the race and we are proud to be part of SHR’s {Stewart-Haas Racing} milestone 60thwin.”
“This means a ton,” Custer commented in Victory Lane. “To win here, at home in Southern California – I grew up racing in San Bernardino and Irwindale. It means a ton. I am pretty pumped up.”

The No. 00 grabbed the lead from Christopher Bell on Lap 132 of 150 and gradually pulled away to beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by 1.927 seconds. Custer led four times for a total of 29 laps out of the 150-lap race.

Ford Performance teammates Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric finished P5 and P6 respectively.

On Sunday, five Fords finished in the top-10 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400. Joey Logano finished P2, Brad Keselowski P3, Kevin Harvick P4, Ryan Blaney P5 and Aric Almirola finished P9.

In Sebring, FL, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing road race teams secured two podium finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 12 Hours of Sebring and FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring.
The No. 67 Ford GT, driven by Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon, led the majority of the IMSA 12 Hour of Sebring race, on Saturday. After a late race incident, in the last five minutes of the race, dropped the No. 67 out of contention for the win to finish P6.

In turn, the No. 66 Ford GT with drivers Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais, continued pushing, working their way up to a second-place finish.

The FIA WEC No. 67 Ford GT scored a third-place finish in the 1000 Miles of Sebring Friday night at the historic track, with drivers Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito.
NASCAR heads to the first short track of the season for the MENCS this weekend in Martinsville, VA. In addition, IMSA will head to Long Beach, CA in April.

 

23 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 357 WINS – 325 POLES!
*Images courtesy of Ford Performance and NASCAR Media