Archive for the ‘2020 Press Releases’ Category

NXS FORD MUSTANGS FINISH TOP-10 AT PHOENIX

Posted on: March 9th, 2020
Location: post

AVONDALE, AZ –  March 9, 2020 – Brad Keselowski drove himself through the field late in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix Raceway, finishing fourth to lead Ford.

Team Penske teammate Austin Cindric was eighth and Chase Briscoe finished sixth to put all three Mustangs inside the top-10.

All three Ford drivers dealt with issues that forced them to work their way back into the top-10 late.

Keselowski recovered from an off-sequence pit stop and a brush with the outside wall. Briscoe recovered from a pit road miscommunication and Cindric with late race contact from Ross Chastain.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series continues next Saturday afternoon with the EchoPark 250 from Atlanta Motor Speedway. Green flag coverage begins at 4 pm (ET) on FS1.

FORD FINISHING ORDER
4th – Brad Keselowski
6th – Chase Briscoe
8th – Austin Cindric

BRAD KESELOWSKi, No. 12 XPEL Ford Mustang — Finished 4th
“We started off and we were really tight. We made some adjustments and got to that next to last restart and got wrecked. Recovered from that and drove through the field. I think we would have had a shot to win if we didn’t have to come from so far behind. The team on the XPEL Ford worked pretty hard and got us in position there at the end. We gave it our all. I gave it all I had, it just wasn’t enough.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang — Finished 6th
“I think we were definitely better than a sixth place race car. We just had a miscommunication when the whole field pitted. My crew chief told me to do what the 7 and the 9 do but the 9 pitted and the 7 stayed out, so I stayed out. Then we were at a disadvantage tire wise. I restarted last and was able to drive to sixth. Overall, it is a good learning weekend for November.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang — Finished 8th

 

*Courtesy Ford Performance

ARIC ALMIROLA ENJOYS SEEING RED IN HIS DRIVEWAY

Posted on: May 5th, 2020
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC – May 5, 2020 – It seemed to be a rather odd question in the aftermath of just winning the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

“What’s your favorite color?”

Huh?

“What’s your favorite color?”

Red.

That brief exchange between Aric Almirola, who had just led the final four laps to win the 2017 Sparks Energy 300 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Talladega Superspeedway, and co-owner Bill DenBeste was pretty much forgotten in the midst of high-fiving crew members, conducting interviews, and posing for pictures in victory lane. 

Until…

“It was about a month later and I looked out in the driveway and there was this black Shelby Cobra with red racing stripes,” recalled Almirola, who is in his third season driving the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. “Bill is really big into the restoration and re-creation of the Shelby Cobras. He’s got lots of them in a warehouse, so he went back to California and basically picked out one that was already restored.

“That’s kind of my date night car with Janice,” added Almirola, who says the 1965 two-seater resides in his garage, but is ominously surrounded by a variety of bikes, scooters, and other toys that children Alex and Abby play with on a daily basis. “When the weather is nice and it’s a beautiful day, we’ll go for an afternoon cruise or go get lunch, or I’ll take the kids to go get ice cream in it.”

It is also a major departure from what he normally drives, which has also changed over the years. At first, he had an Expedition, which was understandable with a young and growing family, but when it came time to get something new Almirola opted for an F-150 with one specific reason in mind.

“I decided to go with the F-150 because I enjoy doing projects around the house and when I’m cleaning up I just like being able to take things and throw it in the bed of the truck,” said Almirola. “Whether you go to get lumber from a home improvement store or you’re going to the dump it’s just nice having the bed of the truck. With the Expedition I just always felt bad throwing things in the back and messing up the carpet.”

One such project Almirola recently completed was totally rebuilding the deck on the back of his house. We’re talking everything from tearing the old one down to putting the new one up.

“I love working with wood, so that was something I really enjoyed,” said Almirola, who welcomes the many challenges that come along with the actual build more so than the relatively mindless task of taking something apart. “But over the course of rebuilding it there were many trips to get materials, and then when you demolish the old one there is plenty of stuff that needs to be hauled away, so my F-150 came in handy throughout the whole project.”

While he loves the enjoyment that his vintage sports car brings and appreciates the versatility his truck provides, Almirola talks like a fisherman who let the big one get away when it comes to one specific vehicle.

“I’m very envious of the people that have the Ford GT,” said Almirola. “I think that is an incredible vehicle and I wish I had one, but I just was not courageous enough to make that financial investment.”

Then again, you never know what could end up in his driveway the next time he wins a race or, even better, a NASCAR Cup Series championship.

*Courtesy of Ford Performance

FORD HISTORY AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Posted on: March 10th, 2020
Location: post

HAMPTON, GA – March 10, 2020 – This weekend the NASCAR series shifts to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where the Blue Oval has won three straight Cup events, defending winner Brad Keselowski also won in 2017 and Kevin Harvick 2018 winner.

 FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT AMS

  • Ford has 33 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins at AMS.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen won the Atlanta 500 three straight years (1962-64).
  • Brad Keselowski (2017/2019) and Kevin Harvick (2018) have Ford wins at the track.
  • Georgia native Bill Elliott is Ford’s all-time leader at AMS with five wins.
  • The Wood Brothers rank second with 12 series wins at AMS.

 FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT AMS

  • Ford has 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at AMS, all but two by Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Kevin Harvick is the defending champion of this event.
  • Jeff Gordon won his first series race, and the first one ever held at AMS, with Ford in 1992.
  • Harvick leads all drivers with five series wins.
  • Mark Martin has the most Ford wins with three while Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards have two each.

 FORD IN THE GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT AMS

  • Ford is still looking for its first series win at AMS.
  • Matt Crafton has one win (2015) and leads all drivers with 10 career Top-10 finishes.
  • Ford has 100 all-time series victories.

 KESELOWSKI GETS FIRST CUP WIN FOR MUSTANG

Brad Keselowski gave Mustang its first NASCAR Cup Series victory as he held off Martin Truex Jr. at the finish to win last year’s Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Keselowski, who was battling an illness all weekend and had Austin Cindric standing by in case he needed relief, led the final 33 laps to post his 28th career victory.  In all, Ford led 177 of the 325 laps and won for the third straight year at the 1.5-mile track.

HARVICK DOMINATES

Kevin Harvick led eight times for a race-high 181 laps in winning the Fold’s of Honor 500 in 2018 and completing a sweep of the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY races.  After winning all three stages the day before in his Ford Mustang, Harvick took the first stage in the Cup race and then led the final 25 laps to post his 38th career victory and third with Ford.  Brad Keselowski finished second and Clint Bowyer third to give Ford a 1-2-3 sweep.  Ford dominated from start to finish as four drivers combined to lead 272-of-325 laps.  Harvick became the first Ford driver to sweep a Cup/XFINITY weekend since Joey Logano did it in 2015 at Watkins Glen International.

KESELOWSKI CAPITALIZES

Brad Keselowski took advantage of a pit road speeding penalty by Kevin Harvick to pull away from the field in the final 14 laps to win the Folds of Honor 400 in 2017 and snap a 10-race Ford Performance draught in the NASCAR Cup Series.  The win was Keselowski’s first at AMS, but it didn’t look likely because Harvick dominated the afternoon, winning the first two stages in convincing fashion.  He appeared headed to victory, but on his final stop he was hit with a speeding penalty on pit road and didn’t have enough time to recover.  That proved to be a major storyline on the day as NASCAR handed out a total of 11 speeding penalties.

EDWARDS DOES BACKFLIP FOR THIRD TIME

When Carl Edwards beat Jimmie Johnson to the finish line by 2.684 seconds in 2008, it marked his third at the track and first since sweeping both events in 2005.  In addition, it moved Edwards up two spots into second-place in the point standings, but he was still a distant 183 points behind Johnson with only three races to go.  Edwards eventually finished runner-up in the Chase that season by 69 points.

SNOW DAYS

Morgan Shepherd capturing Ford’s 400th series victory in 1993 when snow delayed the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 for nearly a week.  The original race date was Sunday, March 14, 1992, but a blizzard that would eventually be called the ‘Storm of the Century’ pounded the Atlanta area with 6-8 inches of snow.  An estimated 82,000 fans came back the following Saturday, where they were greeted by souvenir rigs that sports t-shirts proclaiming ‘I Survived the Atlanta Blizzard 500.’  When the race started Mark Martin had the dominant car as he led 140 of the first 225 laps, but engine problems put him out of the running and Shepherd took advantage as he stretched his fuel mileage to the finish, leading the final 12 laps and winning by a whopping 23.50 seconds.  The win for Shepherd, who was 51 at the time, was his fourth and final victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

SWEEP DREAMS

Marvin Panch was the first driver to sweep both AMS races in a single season when he did it in 1965 with the Wood Brothers.  Georgia native Bill Elliott posted a pair of season sweeps (1985 and 1992) and won five times overall while Carl Edwards registered the first win of his career at the speedway in 2005 and matched it later that fall.

LORENZEN LAPS THE FIELD

Ford went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in 1961 when NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen captured the Festival 250 on July 9 while driving for Holman-Moody.  He did it in dominating fashion as well by lapping the field.  Lorenzen, who led 52 laps on the day, beat runner-up Bob Welborn by one lap in his 1961 Ford.  Richard Petty finished third that afternoon, but was three laps down.  That victory served as a springboard for Lorenzen’s future success at AMS, which included becoming the first driver to win the Atlanta 500 three straight years (1962-63-64).

FORD’S ATLANTA CUP WINNERS

1961 – Fred Lorenzen

1962 – Fred Lorenzen

1963 – Fred Lorenzen

1964 – Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett

1965 – Marvin Panch (sweep)

1967 – Cale Yarborough and Dick Hutcherson

1968 – LeeRoy Yarbrough

1969 – LeeRoy Yarbrough

1975 – Buddy Baker

1978 – Bobby Allison

1981 – Neil Bonnett

1985 – Bill Elliott (sweep)

1987 – Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott

1990 – Morgan Shepherd

1991 – Mark Martin

1992 – Bill Elliott (sweep)

1993 – Morgan Shepherd

1994 – Ernie Irvan and Mark Martin

1997 – Dale Jarrett

2002 – Kurt Busch

2005 – Carl Edwards (sweep)

2008 – Carl Edwards

2017 – Brad Keselowski

2018 – Kevin Harvick

2019 – Brad Keselowski

FORD’S ATLANTA XFINITY WINNERS

1992 – Jeff Gordon

1997 – Mark Martin

1998 – Mark Martin

2000 – Mark Martin

2004 – Matt Kenseth

2005 – Carl Edwards

2008 – Matt Kenseth

2011 – Carl Edwards

2012 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2018 – Kevin Harvick

Sunday, Mar. 15 – NASCAR CUP SERIES
2:00 P.M. Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on FOX, PRN

Saturday, Mar. 14 – NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
4:00 P.M. EchoPark 250 on FS1, PRN

*Courtesy of Ford Performance and NASCAR Media

NASCAR GETS BACK TO RACING

Posted on: May 14th, 2020
Location: post

DARLINGTON, SC – May 14, 2020 – NASCAR returns to racing this weekend with a 400-mile event at Darlington Raceway on Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX), marking the first of four Cup Series races in the span of 11 days. The last time the circuit came to Darlington in the spring was 2004 when it also hosted the fifth race of the season. Here’s a quick recap of the 2020 season to date and a look at Ford’s success at this historic oval.

2020 SEASON RECAP

Sunday’s Darlington 400 will mark the fifth race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Ford is the only manufacturer to win more than once after Joey Logano registered victories in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Despite those two wins, Logano finds himself second in the point standings by one point to fellow Ford driver Kevin Harvick, who is the only man to post a top 10 finish in all four events. Overall, Ford has six drivers among the top 10 in the point standings as Ryan Blaney sits sixth, Aric Almirola eighth, Matt DiBenedetto ninth, and Brad Keselowski 10th.

In the Xfinity Series, Ford holds two out of the top three spots in driver points standings with Chase Briscoe P2 and Austin Cindric P3.

FORD DARLINGTON FACTS:

  • Ford has 29 all-time series wins at Darlington.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner won Ford’s first race at Darlington in 1966.
  • Brad Keselowski is the last Ford driver to win at Darlington, capturing the Southern 500 in 2018.

 DARLINGTON MASTER

David Pearson holds the record for most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Darlington Raceway with 10 and eight of those came in Ford Motor Co. products. He won six times driving the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Mercury (1972,’74,’76-2,’77), winning the Southern 500 twice in that span (1976-77), and two more times in a Holman-Moody Ford (1968 and ’70). Pearson won three Southern 500 titles overall, capturing his third in 1979.

 FIELD OF 70

The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway was when Curtis Turner took the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 1956. Unlike today, where the field is set at a maximum of 40 cars, there were 70 vehicles in the race that saw Turner lead 224 of the 400 laps. He beat Speedy Thompson to the finish line by more than two laps, and did it in record fashion with an average race speed of 95.167 mph.

MILLION DOLLAR BILL

Bill Elliott earned the nickname “Million Dollar Bill” after winning the Winston Million Bonus in its first year of existence on Sept. 1, 1985. Needing to win three of the four “crown jewel” races in order to claim the $1 million bonus from series sponsor Winston, Elliott won the Daytona 500 and Winston 500.  His chance to claim the prize in the Coca-Cola 600 failed, so that left it up to the Southern 500, which Elliott immediately set the tone for by qualifying on the pole. He led the first 14 laps, but Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough served notice that they were going to be contenders. Earnhardt led a race-high 147 laps, but a blown engine forced him out of the race while Yarborough suffered a power-steering problem that derailed his chances. Elliott passed Yarborough when he had his problem with 44 to go and held on to win by three car lengths.

RECORD WIN

No race exemplifies Darlington’s toughness better than the Southern 500 that took place on Sept. 6, 1965 in which only 15 of 44 cars finished the race, and was highlighted by Cale Yarborough flying over the guard rail and down an embankment in turn one. The attrition that day may have been partly responsible for Ned Jarrett winning by a NASCAR-record 14 laps, but it wasn’t the sole reason. Jarrett and his No. 11 Ford were competitive all day, running up front and leading two times for 23 laps during the middle stages.  But when Fred Lorenzen and Darel Dieringer both encountered mechanical problems on lap 325 of the 364-lap event, Jarrett was there to capitalize and cruise to his 12th victory of the season. He won by a NASCAR-record 14 laps and clinched Ford’s first NASCAR Cup Series driver championship in the process.

DALE AND BUD

The first of Dale Earnhardt’s three NASCAR Cup Series wins with Ford and car owner Bud Moore came on April 4, 1982 when he won the CRC Chemicals Rebel 500 at Darlington Raceway.  Earnhardt, who drove two seasons for Moore in 1982 and ’83, dominated a race that saw 20 of the 37 cars not finish due to a variety of issues. Earnhardt led 181-of-367 laps and beat Cale Yarborough to the finish line for his seventh career victory.  Earnhardt eventually went on to win two more races with Moore the following season at Nashville and Talladega.

FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE WINNERS AT DARLINGTON

1956 – Curtis Turner

1960 – Joe Weatherly (1)

1961 – Fred Lorenzen and Nelson Stacy

1962 – Nelson Stacy and Larry Frank

1963 – Fireball Roberts (2)

1964 – Fred Lorenzen (1)

1965 – Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett

1968 – David Pearson (1)

1969 – Lee Roy Yarbrough (2)

1970 – David Pearson (1)

1981 – Neil Bonnett (2)

1982 – Dale Earnhardt (1)

1985 – Bill Elliott (Sweep)

1988 – Bill Elliott (2)

1992 – Bill Elliott (1)

1993 – Mark Martin (2)

1994 – Bill Elliott (2)

1997 – Dale Jarrett (1)

1998 – Dale Jarrett (1)

1999 – Jeff Burton (Sweep)

2001 – Dale Jarrett (1)

2005 – Greg Biffle

2006 – Greg Biffle

2018 – Brad Keselowski

* Courtesy Ford Performance

NEWMAN’S FIRST INTERVIEW WITH THE TODAY SHOW, SINCE DAYTONA

Posted on: March 11th, 2020
Location: post

March 11, 2020Ryan Newman said Wednesday morning that he’s “thankful for so many people” as well as the safety enhancements made during his time in NASCAR as he recovers from his last-lap wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500.

Newman’s appearance on NBC’s TODAY show in New York City marked his first sit-down interview since suffering serious injuries Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. The 42-year-old driver briefly answered questions on his way through the garage last weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

“It’s still humbling to watch (the wreck) and know that I am sitting here without a headache, which is amazing,” Newman said Wednesday. “It’s just a miracle on so many levels. I’m thankful for so many people for prayers, and for all the things that went into me being safer in that situation. … The angels aligned and held a really good grip.”

“It’s not just me,” Newman added when asked about his personal commitment to safety over the years. “There’s a whole group at NASCAR that’s done a great job, from the tracks to the safety personnel, the drivers inside the cars, the cockpits, the containment seats that we have. There are so many levels of things that happened in the last 20 years that I’ve been part of the sport that helped me be able to sit here today.”

Newman was starting his 19th full-time season in NASCAR’s top division at the time of his crash. He spent less than two days in the hospital before his release, walking out of Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with his daughters by his side.

Newman has missed the last three NASCAR Cup Series races and was not on the initial entry list for this Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM). Xfinity Series regular Ross Chastain is currently scheduled to drive the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver said Wednesday that he’s been diagnosed with a bruised brain and was unconscious in his car for a period after the wreck. While his timetable to return to the track remains uncertain, Newman reiterated he hopes to return as soon as he is cleared.

“I love it,” Newman said of his desire to race. “It’s been a little bit painful to be out of the race car and to not be doing what I’ve done for so many years. I’ve been racing since I was 4, 4-and-a-half years old. It’s just kind of who I am.”

*Courtesy Roush Fenway Racing & NASCAR

HARVICK REACHES MILESTONE, 50th CUP RACE WIN

Posted on: May 18th, 2020
Location: post

DARLINGTON, SC – May 18, 2020 – Ford Performance restarts the 2020 season right where they left off, in Victory Lane. They captured their 30th win at the historic Darlington Raceway in The Real Heroes 400, representing all the first responders and front-line workers. Kevin Harvick drove the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang to his 50th NASCAR Cup Series win while marking Doug Yates’ 200th NASCAR Cup career win with Ford Performance.
“Congratulations to Kevin, Rodney, Tony, Gene, and the No. 4 crew,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Congrats to Kevin on his 50th career Cup win, what an amazing accomplishment. Our entire team has been looking forward to the return to racing. To see all the hard work and dedication our teams have put in and to see them win, is truly special. We’re proud to be part of this milestone win with Kevin, SHR, and Ford Performance.”

When asked what it meant for him to win his 200th Cup race, Yates commented, “These last thirty years have been a blessing. To achieve this milestone in the Cup Series is surreal. I am so proud of our team at our shops, they put their hearts into building these engines with Ford Performance and I’m proud of the team we have built together over the years.”

Preparation was key for running well at Darlington especially without any practice before the race. Harvick and the No. 4 crew came out firing on all cylinders. The car set-up and team strategy were in sync throughout the race. The team took full advantage of the number one pit stall, but none so important as the last pit stop of the race. Harvick was able to win the race off pit road, to control the restart. Lining up on the outside, next to Alex Bowman, it became a drag race at the drop of the green flag. Harvick prevailed and never looked back. Harvick took the checkered flag 2.154 seconds ahead of Bowman.
“Hell ya’ boys,” commented Harvick over his car radio. “Great job, great car, thank you guys. Awesome job. Awesome, awesome, awesome.”

Harvick said, when asked about his 50th win, “It doesn’t seem real and I think as you look at Darlington I think as you look at the things that happened this weekend, I really thought that it would definitely play into our hand just because our guys are so good at hitting (the setup of) the car off the truck for the most part. We put a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of studying, a lot of meetings and just have to thank everybody at the shop who has built all these cars and just, man, I’m excited. I’m speechless.”

Harvick became the fourteenth driver to win at least 50 Cup Series races and passes his boss, Tony Stewart, who won 49 during his career, on the all-time list. Harvick now ties NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for twelfth in wins.

The Ford Mustangs led 239 out of the 293-lap race. Led by Harvick with a race-high of 159 laps followed by  pole-sitter and Stage 2 winner, Brad Keselowski with 80 laps.

John Hunter-Nemechek, driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports car, also delivered a stellar ninth place finish for the first time Rookie.
It is also important to think about the first responders, hospital workers and grocery store workers, trucker drivers and everyone that has stepped up to help get our country through this unprecedented time. We are very THANKFUL!

NASCAR Xfinity Series will return to Darlington on May 19th for their fifth race of the 2020 season and on May 20th for the second race in 4 days for NASCAR Cup racing.

27 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 383 WINS – 357 POLES!

* Images courtesy of  NASCAR Media, Jared C. Tilton & Chris Graythen photographers

TONY STEWART ‘FREE WHEELING’ WITH FREE TIME

Posted on: March 19th, 2020
Location: post

KANNAPOLIS, NC – March 19, 2020 – Born in 1971, Tony Stewart grew up in a robust era of car culture, where manufacturers catered directly to the consumer with unabashedly loud graphics splashed across premium versions of its cars and trucks.

One of the most prominent and iconic graphics packages came from Ford, and it’s one that caught the eye of NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart when he was an 8-year-old racing go-karts in and around his hometown of Columbus, Indiana.

Ford’s Free Wheeling package featured a bright, kaleidoscope color palate that oozed 70s-era swagger. The limited-edition run was available on the F-100, F-150, Bronco, Econoline van and Courier, and even the Pinto Cruising Wagon. But the Free Wheeling version that resonated the most with Stewart was the one on a black Ford Bronco.

“Every year when we went down to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, I would join Edsel Ford and on race morning and we’d judge the Mustang show,” said Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “This past year they had a bunch of Ford Broncos there too, and that got me thinking about those Broncos with those cool graphics packages I remember seeing back when I was still racing go-karts. I started looking around on the internet and when I finally found it, I knew I had to have it.”

It is a 1979 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT. The year prior, the Bronco migrated to the F-series chassis, giving it full-size proportions. The big, tall sides and wide hood provided the ideal canvas for those vivid stripes that signified the Free Wheeling edition. The Bronco, in particular, amplified those bright graphics with blacked-out bumpers and mirrors. And the sharp looks were more than skin deep, as the Bronco came with a rumbling, 400 cubic-inch V8 that made its presence known even while sitting idle as it rode on quad, heavy-duty shocks and big, 15-by-8-inch wheels. It was this look that Ford featured prominently in its ads, and has since become a cult classic.

“It looks badass,” Stewart said, “but it’s also pretty simple, especially under the hood. I can work on it, and that’s the fun part. There’s an Advance Auto Parts not far down the road from where I went to high school. I can pick up a case of Mobil 1 synthetic, a filter, and do the oil change myself. I can work on it and tinker with it and, you know, I’ve got plenty of time now.”

Stewart, like the rest of the sporting world, is sidelined due to the coronavirus outbreak. Even after retiring as a fulltime NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season, the Hoosier has filled his schedule with nearly 100 sprint car races a year. He’s won 23 of those races across a variety of series since his last NASCAR race at Homestead on Nov. 20, 2016. But not being tied to a schedule for the first time in seemingly forever has provided a glimpse of what resides outside a racetrack.

“The rear roof of the Bronco comes off and, honestly, once the weather gets nice, it’ll probably stay off,” Stewart said. “It’s got captain’s chairs up front, but a big bench seat in the back, and with the roof off, that’ll be awesome. I’ve always thought being able to remove the roof was the coolest thing about these Broncos, and now I’ll get to actually enjoy it.”

As much as Stewart relishes his retro Bronco, he’s acutely aware that a new-generation Bronco is getting ready to debut.

“I’m really looking forward to what the new Bronco will look like,” Stewart said. “We kind of got an idea of what it’ll look like when it ran in the Baja 1000 late last year, but that was more of a prototype than anything. I want to see the real deal.”

Would Stewart like to see that real deal with some retro Free Wheeling stripes?

“I’m sure my ’79 Bronco would make a really good big brother,” Stewart said. “Seeing the new one decked out in black with those retro stripes, it would fit right in.”

*Courtesy Ford Performance

RETURN TO DARLINGTON – FORD GOES FOR THE SWEEP

Posted on: May 20th, 2020
Location: post

DARLINGTON, SC – May, 20, 2020 – The NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled to continue tonight with its second event at Darlington Raceway in four days after Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400, marking the sport’s return to active competition.  Following Wednesday night’s primetime feature, the series shifts to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the annual Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, 24th .

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT DARLINGTON

  • Ford has 30 all-time series wins at Darlington.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner won Ford’s first race at Darlington in 1966.
  • Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are the only active Ford drivers with Darlington Cup wins.

FORD STARTS 2020 WITH THREE WINS IN FIVE RACES
This marks the second time in three years that Ford has won three of the first five races to start a NASCAR Cup Series season.  Joey Logano registered two wins during the western swing, taking the checkers at Las Vegas and Phoenix, while Harvick followed up at Darlington.  Ford is the only manufacturer with more than one victory this season and leads the manufacturer standings by 15 points.

FORD DRIVERS DOMINATE TOP 10 IN POINT STANDINGS
Kevin Harvick was already the points leader going into Darlington, so his victory only increased his lead, which now stands at 28.  Overall, there are seven Ford drivers in the top 10, including three each from Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.  Following Harvick in the standings are: Joey Logano (3rd), Brad Keselowski (5th), Aric Almirola (7th), Ryan Blaney (8th), Matt DiBenedetto (9th) and Clint Bowyer (10th).

HARVICK JOINS SELECT GROUP
Kevin Harvick’s victory Sunday marked his 50th in Cup competition, becoming only the 14th driver to achieve that milestone.  He joins NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett with that many wins.  Harvick will move into 12th-place on the all-time list with his next Cup victory and needs four more to catch Lee Petty for 11th and five to tie Rusty Wallace for 10th.  Of the 20 Cup races Stewart-Haas Racing has won since joining Ford in 2017, Harvick was won 15.  In addition, Harvick is the only driver on the circuit who has recorded a top 10 finish in all five events this year.

NEMECHEK RECORDS FIRST TOP 10
John Hunter Nemechek registered his first top 10 career NASCAR Cup Series finish on Sunday.  Making his eighth career start, Nemechek drove his No. 38 Scag Power Equipment Ford Mustang to a ninth-place finish after starting the event 34th.  The top 10 finish was the first for Front Row Motorsports at a speedway other than Daytona or Talladega since Chris Buescher finished fifth for the organization in the Bristol Night Race on Aug. 21, 2016.

FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE WINNERS AT DARLINGTON
1956 – Curtis Turner
1960 – Joe Weatherly (1)|
1961 – Fred Lorenzen and Nelson Stacy
1962 – Nelson Stacy and Larry Frank
1963 – Fireball Roberts (2)
1964 – Fred Lorenzen (1)
1965 – Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett
1968 – David Pearson (1)
1969 – Lee Roy Yarbrough (2)
1970 – David Pearson (1)
1981 – Neil Bonnett (2)
1982 – Dale Earnhardt (1)
1985 – Bill Elliott (Sweep)
1988 – Bill Elliott (2)
1992 – Bill Elliott (1)
1993 – Mark Martin (2)
1994 – Bill Elliott (2)
1997 – Dale Jarrett (1)
1998 – Dale Jarrett (1)
1999 – Jeff Burton (Sweep)
2001 – Dale Jarrett (1)
2005 – Greg Biffle
2006 – Greg Biffle
2018 – Brad Keselowski
2020 – Kevin Harvick (1)

*Courtesy of Ford Performance

IMSA Announces Updates to 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Schedules

Posted on: March 25th, 2020
Location: post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – March 24, 2020 – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced schedule updates for three 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge events.

  • The Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 25-27, 2020. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of May 1-3.
  • The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has been moved up one weekend to run on Sept. 4-6. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11-13. This date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA competitors planning to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now will run on Sept. 19-20.
  • The 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has been moved back one week and now will run Oct. 14-17 to provide teams a more balanced schedule as the season comes to its conclusion. The original dates of the event were Oct. 7-10.

These three event date changes are in addition to the previously announced reschedule of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, which now is set for Nov. 11- 14.

Previously purchased tickets for all four events will be valid on the new dates. IMSA will provide additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules as they become available.

* Courtesy of IMSA

BRISCOE WINS AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020
Location: post

DARLINGTON, SC – May 22, 2020 – The NASCAR Xfinity Series got back to racing in a big way last night. Chase Briscoe left everything on the track; he would not be denied his second Xfinity win of the season and first at Darlington Raceway. Briscoe also brought home the second win of the week for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Congratulations to Chase, Richard, Tony, Gene, and the No. 98 crew,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “I am so proud of this wheelman and pray for his family during this difficult time. This has been a special week for our sport, and we are very fortunate to have the leadership of Ford Performance, great teams, fans, and our partners.”
After a rain delay moved the restart of the Xfinity series to later in the day, developing the right game plan proved to be critical, with no practice nor qualifying, the Ford drivers strapped in for their first race in over two months. The Ford Performance teammates proved they had done their homework, competing in the top-10 for most of the race.

It all came down to the last restart of the race. Briscoe and Austin Cindric lined up in the outside lane, first and fourth, respectively. Cindric gave Briscoe a good push at the restart and after a brief battle with Justin Allgaier, Briscoe was able to clear the field and take the lead. But veteran driver, Kyle Busch would work to reel Briscoe in over the course of the last six laps. Briscoe drove with grit and true determination to defend the lead, as he and Busch traded paint on the final two laps of the race. Coming off the final corner, Briscoe squeezed his No. 98 Ford Mustang between Busch and the wall and drag raced Busch to take the checkered flag.

“This has been the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with, and God is so good,” commented Briscoe in his victory interview. “Even when I took the lead with 50 to go, I was crying inside the race car and just emotionally I wasn’t there at all. There’s nothing else to say other than God is just so glorious. Obviously, I’m happy to get HighPoint.com and Ford Performance Racing School in victory lane, but this is more than a race win. This is the biggest day of my life after the toughest day in my life, and to be able to beat the best there is so satisfying.”
Cindric, Team Penske’s No. 22 driver, also drove a great race and finished P4. Briscoe is on top of the driver’s leader board with Cindric in third.
The Cup series capped off their two-race stint at Darlington Wednesday night with Clint Bowyer leading a race-high 71 laps while winning Stage 1 and Stage 2. Although the race was cut short due to rain, the Ford Mustangs finished strong with five Fords in the top-10: Kevin Harvick (P3), Brad Keselowski (P4), Joey Logano (P6), Aric Almirola (P7), and Matt DiBenedetto (P9).

Harvick remains the points leader after Darlington with a 34-point advantage over second place Logano.

NASCAR heads to Charlotte, NC for the historic Coca Cola 600 on Sunday and the Xfinity series will take center stage on Memorial Day in the Alsco 300.

27 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 384 WINS – 357 POLES!
*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images

About Roush Yates Engines 
Roush Yates Engines is a leading-edge engine development company based in Mooresville, NC consisting of two state-of-the-art facilities – Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions, a world class ISO 9001 / AS9100 certified CNC manufacturing facility. The company’s core business includes designing, building and testing purpose-built race engines.

Ford Performance in partnership with Roush Yates Engines is the exclusive engine builder of the NASCAR FR9 Ford V8 engine and Ford Mustang 5.2L V8 engine, used in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.

With an unparalleled culture of winning and steeped in rich racing history, Roush Yates Engines continues to follow the company’s vision to lead performance engine innovation and staying true to the company’s mission, provide race winning engines through demonstrated power and performance.

3 Series – 22 Teams – 81 Races