Archive for the ‘2022 Press Releases’ Category


Posted on: July 6th, 2022
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC – July 6, 2022 – Roush Yates Engines and WTO announce a technical partnership to expedite machining of engine components to support internal design, development, and build of NASCAR and Road Racing engines.

WTO, a German-based company, designs and manufactures technological top-quality precision toolholders and tooling systems for turning centers, Multi-axis mill turns, and Swiss type lathes. In addition, WTO’s CoolSpeed ultra-high speed spindles can run up to 80,000rpm and are designed to optimize high speed machining. WTO USA out of Charlotte, North Carolina has been providing professional after sales service and qualitative superior products for Roush Yates Engines (RYE) and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions (RYMS) to increase productivity and tool life.

“WTO is a technology-driven organization and their employees continue to provide invaluable solutions to our team,” said Todd English, VP Strategic Partnerships & Marketing at Roush Yates Engines. “As a global market leader, WTO develops state of the art technology to maximize productivity for manufacturing facilities across the globe. It is critical that we align our organization with world class companies to support our internal engine component machining as well as machining for other forms of motorsports, aerospace, defense, space, and medical markets at RYMS, where failure is not an option.”
WTO’s new generation of Smart Driven Toolholders with intelligent online process monitoring for high process reliability will allow RYE and RYMS to monitor online critical data:

  • All monitoring data (speed, temperature, vibrations, run time) will be transferred live during operation
  • Permanent monitoring of production parameters
  • Display of the operating time and remaining time until the service interval
  • Clear status presentation of all assigned driven tool holders
  • Condition monitoring of the assigned machines
CoolSpeed® mini is a new, high-speed, turbine-driven spindle. You can efficiently turn any machine into an ultra-high-speed machining center. WTO’s CoolSpeed® Ultra High-Speed Spindles for micro machining applications provides:

  • Up to 80,000 RPM
  • Driven by coolant, cutting oil, or air mist
  • Bearings are easily replaced with each cutting tool change
  • Dynamic run-out of 4 microns or better
“We have used WTO’s innovative products for many years and look forward to leveraging the new Smart Driven Tool Holders” Dan Keenan, VP of Engineering and Quality at Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions. “This new smart technology will provide significant data to optimize the life of the tool holder and minimize machine downtime.”
“WTO is proud to partner with Roush Yates, a world-class race engine company competing at the highest levels of the Motorsports Industry,” said Vice President, Patrick Diener. “We are committed to providing our latest manufacturing solutions to Roush Yates to supporting them in their continuous improvement process.”
About WTO:

WTO is specialized in the design and manufacture of high precision static and driven tool holders for Turning Centers and Swiss type lathes. As recognized pioneer and leader in its industry, WTO has always set the benchmarks of driven tool technology with its inventions and new developments.WTO products are known for achieving higher productivity and longer tool life. Their tool holders are used worldwide in the metal cutting industry where high precision parts are required to be manufactured with efficiency.

WTO is a family-owned enterprise with its headquarters in Ohlsbach, Germany and subsidiaries in North America & Asia. The US Sales & Service Center located in Charlotte, NC provides the highest level of customer service and support for the North American market. Their in-house service center provides both preventative maintenance and complete rebuilds to exacting factory standards.

For more information about WTO, visit 

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. The company’s core business includes designing, building, and testing purpose-built race engines.Roush Yates Engines (RYE) in partnership with Ford Performance 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.

Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions is an AS9100 Rev D/ ISO 13485 high precision machining division of RYE. Our expertise is in the CNC machining of complex geometry parts for critical applications that require robust process control and post machine surface treatments. We provide an array of automated CNC manufacturing on 5 and 4 axis mills. In addition, we offer Multi-axis mill turns, turning, Swiss Turn, and waterjet machining. We also offer post machine surfacing, secondary treatment processes, and sub-assembly services in-house and through a network of validated and approved process suppliers. We produce machined components for the motorsports, aerospace, defense, space, and medical markets.

For more information about RYE, visit


Posted on: August 8th, 2022
Location: post

BROOKLYN, MI, August 8. 2022  – Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines won their eighth straight NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick in the FireKeepers Casino 400. This was Harvick’s 59th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his series-leading sixth at Michigan. Ford retained the Michigan Heritage Trophy, presented to the winning manufacturer at the 2-mile track.

“For sure there is a lot of extra attention when we come here from the executives in our company, having all the employees here so we’ve spent a lot of time with the teams this week leading up to this weekend to let them know how important it is and to ask our Ford teams to work together, whether it’s the drivers or the crew chiefs, but Doug Yates has also been working really hard in the engine shop. This is definitely a horsepower track and he brought a little extra this weekend and it definitely paid off,” commented Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance.

“Congratulations to Ford Performance, Gene, Tony, Rodney, Kevin, and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the strong finish to make it 8 wins in a row at Michigan,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “We have always strived to finish strong at Michigan and this year was no exception. We are thankful for the continued leadership and commitment from Ford Motor Company and honored to power these Mustangs.”

“I’m just really proud of everybody on our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang. They’ve been digging all year long trying to make these Mustangs run faster. Our guys have done a good job in trying to take what we have, maximize it and do the things that we need to do. I’m just really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. Everybody who doubted us doesn’t know us,” commented Harvick.

After a brief rain delay, Ford Performance teammates Joey Logano and Austin Cindric from Team Penske started the FireKeepers Casino 400 from P4 and P5. There were seven caution periods for a total of 36 laps and twenty-two of the 37 drivers finished on the lead lap. A nine-car pileup on lap 25 damaged or eliminated several of the leading cars. The 4 leaders underwent a huge shakeup in the final stage of the race when 2 of the front-leading cars made contact and another received a penalty on pit road. Harvick took the lead on the race’s final restart on Lap 163 and did not relinquish it, finishing the race 4-seconds in front of second place. With 3 regular season races remaining, Harvick adds to the list of 15 different drivers in the playoffs.

Ford Performance teammates Joey Logano with Team Penske finished in P4 while Ryan Blaney with Team Penske finished in P5.

Riley Herbst with Stewart-Haas Racing finished P9 in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250 at Michigan.

Nate Stacy and Luca Mars with Kohr Motorsports started Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Road America from the pole, while Sheena Monk and Kyle Marcelli from JG Wentworth Racing by PF Racing finished P6. IMSA returns August 27th with the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway.

NASCAR Cup returns next week with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway while the Xfinity Series takes a one week break and returns to action on August 20th at Watkins Glen. 

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images



Posted on: August 15th, 2022
Location: post

RICHMOND, VA August 15. 2022  – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick secured his second consecutive victory this season by winning the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, becoming the first driver to win back-to-back races so far this season. This victory marked Harvick’s 60th career win in the NASCAR Cup Series, fourth at Richmond, and Stewart-Haas Racing’s 95th win overall.

“Congratulations to Gene, Tony, Rodney, Kevin, and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing on the win at Richmond,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Kevin and Rodney carried the momentum from last week’s win at Michigan and executed their plan throughout this race for the win!”

“The cars have been running good week in and week out, and you see that we have a lot better understanding of what’s going on with how we adjusted on the car after the first run and were able to get our car handling a lot better. I think as it got dark, the racetrack really came to our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang. Just got to thank Mobil, Busch Light, GearWrench, Hunt Brothers, Rheem, Ford, Xfinity, Morton Buildings, E-Z-Go, everybody who helps Stewart-Haas on this 4 car,” commented Harvick.

Sunday’s 400-lap race saw a battle between strategy and execution on long green flag runs. There were five cautions in the race for a total of 28 laps. Team Penske’s Joey Logano took charge in the middle of the race, leading a total of 222 of 400 laps and winning Stage 2. Stage 3 started with an incident involving four cars, bringing out the fourth caution of the race. Logano held off the lead early in the stage until Harvick completed the race-winning pass on Lap 334. Harvick was able to hold off a hard-charging Chris Buescher who was looking for his first win of the season along with Christopher Bell. Harvick fought through lapped traffic on the final lap of the race and crossed the finish line 0.441 seconds ahead of second place, securing his second consecutive win this season.

Ford Performance teammates Chris Buescher with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing finished in P3, Joey Logano with Team Penske finished in P6, Aric Almirola with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P8, and Ryan Blaney with Team Penske rounded out the top-10 finishing in P10.

NASCAR Cup returns to action next weekend with the Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 21st while the Xfinity Series returns from a one-week break and races at Watkins Glen on Saturday, August 20th.

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images



Posted on: September 19th, 2022
Location: post

BRISTOL, TN – September 19 2022  – Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s Chris Buescher claimed his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory following Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol, closing out the first round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and becoming the 19th different winner this season. This win marks the 138th win with Jack Roush as car owner, and first under newly formed Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing with Brad Keselowski as driver/owner.

“Congratulations to Jack, Brad, Chris, Scott, and everyone at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing on the win at Bristol,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Chris and Scott executed their plan throughout this race, including the last 2-tire stop for a well-deserved checkered flag.”

“We had a really fast Fastenal Mustang. Just so proud of everybody. We knew we had a good race car after practice and didn’t quite get the job done in qualifying, but what a race car. It’s just special. Get RFK in Victory Lane for the first time, and we had great race cars. Brad had really good speed, too,” commented Buescher.

Aric Almirola with Stewart-Haas Racing started Saturday’s 500-lap race from the pole with teammate Chase Briscoe beside him on the front row and 4 other Ford Performance drivers in the top 10: Ryan Blaney with Team Penske in P6, Kevin Harvick with Stewart-Haas Racing in P7, Austin Cindric with Team Penske in P9, and Brad Keselowski with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing in P10. Brad Keselowski won Stage 1 of the race to score his first stage win of the season, leading a total of 109 laps. The race, one of the season’s toughest, saw mechanical issues across the playoff grid and made the cut line for the playoffs a movable target throughout most of the race. Buescher made a 2-tire pit stop on lap 439, moving him from fourth to first and maintained the lead for the final 61 laps of the race. Buescher took the checkered flag with a .458 second lead over second place.

Ford Performance teammates Cole Custer with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P8, Kevin Harvick with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P10, Michael McDowell with Front Row Motorsports finished in P11, Brad Keselowski with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing finished in P13, and Chase Briscoe with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P14. Moving on to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 are Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, and Chase Briscoe.

Riley Herbst with Stewart-Haas Racing finished P5 and Ryan Sieg with Ryan Sieg Racing finished P10 in Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol. Both drivers will move on to the Xfinity playoffs.

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue next Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway with the first race of the Round of 12 while the Xfinity Series begins its first playoff round on Saturday.

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images



Posted on: October 17th, 2022
Location: post

LAS VEGAS, NV – October 17, 2022  – Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, becoming the first driver to secure a spot in the Championship 4. This victory marked Logano’s third win of the season and the 30th of his career.

“Congratulations to Ford Performance, Roger, Paul, Joey, and everyone at Team Penske for the race win at Vegas,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Joey was fast throughout the race and Paul’s late race pit strategy set them up for the win and now they are locked in to the Championship 4.”

“We’re racing for a championship! Let’s go! Man, what a great car. Penske cars were all fast. All of them were really fast today. Oh, man, all you want to do is get to the Championship 4 when the season starts and race for a championship, and we’ve got the team to do it. I don’t see why we can’t win at this point. Things are looking really good for us, awesome Pennzoil Mustang, this bad boy, and man, just a lot of adversity fought through the last 50 laps or so,” commented Logano.

Sunday’s 400-mile race started with NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Mark Martin leading the field to the green flag in his Las Vegas Motor Speedway inaugural race-winning Ford Taurus. 3 Ford drivers started in the top 5: Austin Cindric in P2, Ryan Blaney P4, and Joey Logano in P5. In Stage 1, an early race incident took out several front runners, but Logano and Blaney finished up front to capitalize on critical stage points. At the end of Stage 2, there was a battle between Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain. Blaney secured the Stage 2 win with a 1.6-second lead over Logano. The final stage of the race saw several cautions and Logano was shuffled throughout the field. After making a late race pit stop for new tires, Logano gained six spots immediately and started in eighth on the final restart with 16 laps remaining. Chase Briscoe led the pack on the restart while Joey Logano continued to power through the field, battling with Ross Chastain for the lead with just 3 laps to go. Logano completed the race-winning pass and finished with a 0.817 second lead, securing a spot in the race for the championship at Phoenix.

Ford Performance teammates Chase Briscoe with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P4, Kevin Harvick with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P12, and Chris Buescher with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing finished in P15.

Hailey Deegan made her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 302 with SS Greenlight Racing, finishing in P13.

The NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 continues for both the Cup and Xfinity Series next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images



Posted on: January 10th, 2022
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC – January 7, 2022: SS GreenLight Racing (SSGLR) announced today major changes for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Among the changes for the Mooresville, N.C.-based team, including a manufacturer change, a new technical alliance and additional drivers within the team’s footprint.

The team will switch from Chevrolet to Ford which includes a technical alliance with Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) and Ford Motor Company’s Ford Performance program. Ford Performance is the high-performance division of the Ford Motor Company and the multinational name used for its motorsport and racing activity.

SHR will supply the organization with race cars while Roush Yates Engines will provide the legendary Ford horsepower.

In addition to providing race cars to SSGLR, SHR will also provide technical support for the entire 33-race season.

The new partnership was orchestrated by fgrACCEL, a full-service sports marketing and management agency.

“We are thrilled to be part of this new relationship with SS GreenLight Racing,” offered Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer. “The team is very eager to raise their competitiveness to the next level and with this technical arrangement, they are going to be in a great position to accomplish all of their goals and more next season, as well as position themselves for future growth.”

With their agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, nine-time Xfinity Series winner Cole Custer will also join SS GreenLight Racing for a minimum of four Xfinity events over the course of the 2022 season. 11-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner Chase Briscoe will also take the wheel for one race in 2022.

“The addition of Cole and Chase driving a limited schedule for SS GreenLight Racing will also be an added benefit to help evaluate the team’s transition,” added Joe Custer. The team’s technical support with SHR should allow SS GreenLight Racing the opportunity to showcase a performance peak in the series on a consistent basis.”

A fixture in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 1995 and a full-time commitment to the series since 2017, team owner Bobby Dotter is elated about the next chapter for his organization.

“I am excited to be joining the Ford Performance group this season,” he said. “I know they have a proven winning product, and I am looking forward to working with them and the other Ford teams.

“I have had a great working relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing for a number of years on other various racing projects, so it’s great to see this relationship come full circle of this magnitude. Having that prior relationship with SHR, I have seen what Ford does for its team and having an alliance with them should speed up our learning curve and result in better on track performances next season.”

The team also confirmed that Joe Graf Jr. will return to the team next season to pilot one of the two full-time entries.

“I am so stoked for the new opportunities in 2022,” said Graf Jr. who joined the Bobby Dotter-owned team at the beginning of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. “Our new relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford will allow us to continue to grow and improve as a team and hopefully give us the opportunity to showcase our ability in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at our highest level yet.

“This new relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing is more than about a technical alliance, it’s about being a part of a new family and a team that has enjoyed monstrous success in the Xfinity Series for the past several seasons.

“Joe Williams will return as my crew chief next season, and I know we both feel like this new opportunity not only has the potential to bring SS GreenLight Racing to new heights, but hopefully elevate this team to a highly competitive perennial organization.”

Added Dotter, “This is a huge move for us, but it would not have been possible without fgrACCEL, Joe Graf Jr., Stewart-Haas Racing and our marketing partners. Joe has found a home at SS GreenLight Racing and with his team already having success in landing partnerships for next season, the opportunity to strengthen not only his team but the entire SS GreenLight Racing foundation is pinnacle for our future.

“We have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks and months ahead, but I believe with Joe’s continued focus, determination and outlook, he’s ready to make a giant step forward and we want to give him all the right equipment for his third year with SS GreenLight Racing.”

Additional details on Joe Graf Jr.’s 2022 program, including an expanded partnership lineup, will be announced at a later date.

Further announcements on SS GreenLight Racing’s second full-time team are forthcoming.

For more on Joe Graf Jr. visit, like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.), follow him on TikTok (@JoeGrafJr), (Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and Instagram (@joegrafjr).

For more on SS GreenLight Racing, please like them on Facebook (SS GreenLight Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@SSGLR0717) and visit their website at

About SS Green Light Racing:

As one of the most tenured teams in all of NASCAR, SS GreenLight Racing led by team owner and former driver Bobby Dotter has been a mainstay in the sport fielding entries in either the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or the Xfinity Series competition since 2001.

SS GreenLight Racing will continue with a two-car program in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022.



Posted on: November 7th, 2022
Location: post

AVONDALE, AZ – November 7, 2022  – Joey Logano won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race on Sunday, securing his second career title with Team Penske. The driver’s championship is Ford’s tenth overall and seventh in the modern era (1972-present). The victory marked Logano’s fourth points win of the season, third at Phoenix, and the 31st of his career in 507 Cup Series starts.

“Congratulations to Ford Performance, Roger, Joey, Paul, and everyone at Team Penske on the race win and the 2022 driver’s and owner’s championships,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “To see all of this year’s hard work come together is a proud moment. That was an intense race in which Joey and Paul executed flawlessly. We are blessed to be a part of the Ford family, providing the horsepower to win with these fast Ford Mustangs.”

“It’s been a great season for the sport, I think, just with the Next Gen car coming in and it definitely mixed things up a lot. We did start out well in many ways with the win in the Daytona 500. We were fast at some of the early races. Chase Briscoe won here, but then we seemed to struggle a lot and a lot of it was just coming to grips with the new car and really optimizing. It’s different at every track and we found that we could get the setup right across our teams at some of the different tracks, but not at all of them. It’s part of learning the new car and I think definitely in the second half of the seasons, the last third of the season came on really strong. There was a lot of extra work from Doug Yates and Roush Yates Engines and some extra power that they’ve been bringing these last couple races and it all came together and really strong today,” commented Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Motor Company.

“Race wins are nice, but championships are what it’s all about. We worked so hard the last couple weeks trying to put ourselves in position. And everything that happened in 2020, I knew we just wanted to have a solid run and do this today. I can’t thank Ford and Shell-Pennzoil enough for supporting me over the last 10 years and getting us a couple championships,” commented Logano.

Joey Logano began the 2022 season by winning the inaugural Clash at the LA Coliseum, marking the competitive debut of the Next Gen Ford Mustang. Ford Performance went on to sweep both duels at Daytona with Chris Buescher and driver/owner Brad Keselowski from Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. Rookie Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500, marking his first NASCAR Cup Series win. In another first, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe claimed his first Cup Series win at Phoenix. Team Penske’s Joey Logano won again at Darlington and Gateway while teammate Ryan Blaney took home the All-Star Race win in Texas. Kevin Harvick claimed two back-to-back wins at Michigan and Richmond to retain the Michigan Heritage Trophy for Ford, while Chris Buescher took home his first win at Bristol.

Joey Logano started Sunday’s battle for the Championship from the pole position and carried the momentum throughout the race. A total of six Ford Performance drivers started in the top 10 with Logano including teammate Ryan Blaney in P2, Chase Briscoe with Stewart-Haas Racing in P3, Harrison Burton with Wood Brothers Racing in P6, Kevin Harvick with Stewart-Haas Racing in P7, and Cole Custer with Stewart-Haas Racing in P9. Logano led the first 87 laps of the 312-lap event. After passing Ford Performance teammate Chase Briscoe with 29 laps to go, Logano was able to maintain the lead over teammate Ryan Blaney and hold off fellow playoff contenders. Logano led a race-high 187 laps, capping a day in which Ford lead 310 laps of the 312-lap race. Four Ford drivers finished in the top 5: Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney in P2, and Stewart Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe in P4 and Kevin Harvick in P5.

The Xfinity Series also raced at Phoenix on Saturday. Riley Herbst with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P7.

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images



Posted on: January 11th, 2022
Location: post

Smithfield Foods To Continue as Anchor Partner for No. 10 Team

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Jan. 10, 2022) – The 2022 season will be Aric Almirola’s 15th and final year as a NASCAR Cup Series driver. The 37-year-old racer will retire after the season finale Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway.

Longtime sponsor Smithfield Foods will continue as an anchor partner of Almirola and the No. 10 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), with 2022 marking the brand’s 11th year with Almirola and its fifth with SHR.

“I truly enjoy driving racecars and I’m excited to race my heart out in 2022 for Smithfield and Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang. “But to be the best in this business, you’ve got to be selfish, and for the last 37 years my life has always revolved around me and what I needed to do.

“I want to be present. I want to be the best husband and father, and that to me means more than being a racecar driver. So, it’s one more year where I’m all in on racing, where we’ll do whatever it takes to compete at the highest level. But when the season is over, I’ll be ready to wave goodbye. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s time for the next chapter of my life.”

Almirola made his NASCAR Cup Series debut on March 11, 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, three days before his 23rd birthday. He teamed up with Smithfield in 2012 while at Richard Petty Motorsports for his first full year in Cup. The Smithfield/Almirola partnership is now one of the most tenured in NASCAR, and since the duo joined SHR in 2018, Almirola has represented Smithfield in the NASCAR Playoffs every year and scored two wins – Oct. 14, 2018 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and July 18, 2021 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have Aric as part of our Smithfield Family for more than a decade now,” said Shane Smith, president and CEO, Smithfield Foods. “In addition to being an incredibly talented racer and devoted family man, Aric embodies Smithfield’s values and has embraced our commitment to do good for our customers, employees and communities. He will always be family. We wish him all the best in his next chapter and look forward to another great year with him and Stewart-Haas Racing.”

Almirola’s decision to make the 2022 season his last was pragmatic. The Tampa, Florida-native is a husband and father of two, and as he and his wife, Janice, looked at life beyond racetracks on Sundays, Almirola determined that stepping back from racing would allow him to take new steps with his children as they pursue dreams of their own.

“Janice and I have spent many nights talking about it and the questions are the same as anyone else would have when you’re going to stop doing something. Can I afford it? The answer I kept coming up with is that I can’t afford not to. Will I regret it? I think I’ll regret it if I don’t,” Almirola said.

“At the end of this season, we’re going to have a 10-year-old in Alex and a nine-year-old in Abby, and I’m going to have a short window with them while they still think Dad is cool. I want to be there for them and to be a part of the things they’re interested in. Before we know it, they’re going to have car keys and they’re going to be running off with their friends, doing the same things I did when I was 16 or 17.”

Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, first met Almirola in 2004 when they were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart was already a NASCAR Cup Series champion with the first of his three titles in hand (2002, 2005 and 2011) while Almirola was just beginning his NASCAR career after being selected as one of the first two drivers for Gibbs’ diversity program.

“I’ve watched Aric develop into a really good racecar driver and it was a proud moment when we were able to bring him to Stewart-Haas Racing,” Stewart said. “He’s really delivered for our race team and for Smithfield, always putting in maximum effort. I know he wants to go out on a high note and we’re going to give him all the resources to succeed.

“That being said, we also want him to enjoy this season. Aric is a great husband and father, and this year will bring a lot

of cool moments that he’ll be able to share with his family. He’s earned this opportunity to go out on his terms.”

Almirola’s best seasons have come with SHR. He finished a career-high fifth in points in 2018 and scored a career-best 18 top-10 finishes in 2020.

“It means a lot to be able to walk away on my own terms. It’s been a great ride. I have been blessed beyond my wildest imagination and I honestly have no regrets,” Almirola said.

“Do I wish I would’ve won more races? Sure, and there’s still an opportunity this year. Do I wish I would’ve won a championship? Sure, and I’ve got a lot of drive to make that happen this year. I’m a competitive person. I want to win and I want to be a champion, but at the end of the day, I know that those things mean way less than being there for my family.

“I made it to the highest level of American motorsports as a professional racecar driver. It’s been amazing, with a lot of ups and downs and everything in between. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I’m ready to go back to being a fan.”

Almirola’s final season kicks off with the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Feb. 5-6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the official start of the 2022 campaign with the 64th annual Daytona 500 Feb. 20 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.:
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made Smithfield one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 90 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at and on social at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn.

NASCAR Foursome Becoming Road Warriors – IMSA

Posted on: January 24th, 2022
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DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (Jan. 22, 2022) – A quartet of NASCAR young guns will leave their stock cars at home to compete in upcoming IMSA sports car events at Daytona International Speedway to open the 2022 season.

Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe and Hailie Deegan – all part of the Ford Performance program in NASCAR – will pair up in two Ford Mustang GT4s for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener, the BMW M Endurance Challenge on Jan. 28. A day later, Cindric will step into the No. 15 Proton USA Mercedes-AMG GT3 and race in the new GTD PRO class at the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona, which tips off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar.

Cindric and Burton will share the No. 41 PF Racing Mustang for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, with Briscoe and Deegan in the No. 42 Mustang from the same stable. The goal for all four drivers is to gain valuable road course experience prior to embarking on their NASCAR seasons – the Camping World Truck Series for Deegan and the Cup Series for other three.

Cindric, the NASCAR Xfinity Series champion in 2020 who’ll be a Cup Series rookie this year with Team Penske, is no stranger to IMSA racing. The 22-year-old has been in 16 Michelin Pilot Challenge races with two wins and has six WeatherTech Championship races under his belt.

For Burton, 21-year-old driver of the Wood Brothers Racing Ford in NASCAR and the son of former NASCAR driver and current NBC Sports race analyst Jeff Burton, it will be a new experience on Daytona’s 3.56-mile course.

“I’ve had these conversations with my friends at Ford and at the Wood Brothers and at Penske. The one thing I wanted to work on to be better was (to) be a better road racer,” Harrison Burton said. “To have an opportunity to do that right off the bat is awesome and credit to them for being committed to helping me get better. That’s really all a driver can ask for.”

The drivers have the blessings of their teams to venture out of their regular workspace to compete at Daytona.

“We want to be flexible,” said Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman, Team Penske. “We want to give them opportunities to expand their skill set.”

The foursome will get plenty of seat time at Daytona to do so. It began Friday with three days of testing for both IMSA series at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. In Friday’s second session, Cindric was seventh fastest among the 30 cars in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a lap of 1 minute, 54.027 seconds (112.394 mph), while Briscoe was 12th at 1:54.367 (112.060 mph).

“That’s one thing that I’ve really buckled down and said for this 2022 year, that I just need to get as much seat time as I can, whether it’s in dirt, circle track stuff, whatever I can drive,” said Deegan, 20, who returns to David Gilliland Racing for a second trucks season in ‘22. “I just want to get in and get more experience and I feel like one thing I could improve on – I can improve on a lot of things – but I feel like one thing that really is coming up more in the NASCAR world is road course races. I feel like being able to race any type of road course is, I think, just going to better me as a driver.”

It will be a reunion for Deegan and Briscoe, who shared a Mustang for the Daytona race in 2020. Briscoe, driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Cup Series this season, is looking forward to the seat time and to seeing how Deegan has improved in the two years since they drove together.

“The last time we were there was the first time she’d ever ran anything on a road course,” Briscoe, 27, said. “Now to go back with her, she’s probably ran three or four truck races now (on road courses) and has run some other IMSA stuff, so it’ll be fun to see her improvement as a race car driver.

“She does a really good job in a lot of different disciplines, and it’ll be fun to go down there and do a totally fairly new discipline to both of us and go down there and just have a good time.”

When the Michelin Pilot Challenge race is over, the racing will end for three of the drivers. Not so for Cindric, who will make his fourth start in the Rolex 24, this time co-driving the No. 15 Mercedes with Dirk Mueller and Patrick Assenheimer. Cindric has a clear goal in mind.

“I have a very strong desire to win the Rolex 24 and that’s my motivating factor to do this race,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard every offseason to try and make something happen, not to get in a five-driver lineup just to go do the race and experience it. I’ve kind of done all that.

“I’d say the Rolex is probably the most realistic race I can look at and say I would like to win that race. I think this is a great opportunity for me to do that or at least establish my capabilities to do so and, like I said, against a group of drivers that are incredibly talented, incredibly experienced all in their cars.”

GTD PRO is just that – a class based on professional drivers. Most of the cars have factory backing. In a way, Cindric says, this Rolex 24 will mirror what he will face as a NASCAR Cup Series rookie – going head-to-head with the best pro drivers.

“Being in GTD PRO, you look at the entry list and my jaw kind of dropped,” Cindric said, “so I’m excited for that challenge.”


Posted on: February 4th, 2022
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The 2022 season kicks off Saturday, February 6th at the “World’s Greatest Stadium,” the LA Coliseum. The inaugural event marks the first time in over 40 years that the Clash has been raced at a track other than Daytona. The 0.25-mile asphalt oval was constructed over the facility’s existing football field and marks the shortest track that NASCAR has competed on in the modern era. Since opening in 1923, the venue has hosted many marquee sporting events including 3 NFL Championships, 2 Super Bowls, and 2 Summer Olympic games. Although the Clash is a non-points event, it is the competitive debut of the Next Gen car – featuring a fleet of redesigned Ford Mustangs.

In addition to the one-off race at LA Coliseum, both NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series have each added one track to the 2022 schedule, along with several other lineup changes. On June 4th, the Xfinity series ventures to the Pacific Northwest for the first time at Portland International Raceway. The next day, June 5th, the 1.25-mile World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois makes its first ever NASCAR Cup Series debut. Auto Club Speedway makes its long-awaited return after a 2 year break due to COVID-19. All the previous 2021 track additions will return in 2022 including COTA, Nashville, Road America, Bristol Dirt, and the Indianapolis Road Course. This year’s Bristol Dirt race will take place under the lights as opposed to last year’s daytime race. The season still opens with the famed Daytona 500 and ends in Phoenix.

Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines are powering 15 full time NASCAR Cup series drivers this season: Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Austin Cindric, Ryan Blaney, and Joey Logano with Team Penske, Harrison Burton with Wood Brothers Racing, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe, and Cole Custer with Stewart-Haas Racing, Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland with Front Row Motorsports, Garrett Smithley and Cody Ware with Rick Ware Racing, and BJ McLeod with Live Fast Motorsports. The 3 full-time Xfinity drivers being powered are Riley Herbst with Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Sieg with Ryan Sieg Racing, and Joe Graf Jr. with SS GreenLight Racing.

The long-awaited Next Gen car that was revealed in 2021 will see competition starting with this year’s Clash. The look and feel of the car has been redesigned to replicate the street version of the world’s best selling sports car, the Ford Mustang. The new design of the car has lowered the greenhouse, shortened the deck lid, and widened the track width to give the car more of a coupe look. Upgraded specs to match modern street car technology include a new independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering, and larger brakes. A new transaxle combines the transmission and rear gears into one package to allow for electrification in the future. Hood louvers allow for maximization of engine performance independent of aerodynamics. The new composite material of the car is more durable, front and rear bumpers allow for increased safety, and both the front and rear clips bolt on to the center section for easy serviceability and repair.

For the 2022 NASCAR season, NASCAR Cup Series has established a 670 and 510 HP package. The 510 HP package will be utilized at Daytona, Talladega, and Atlanta – while the 670 HP package will be utilized at all other tracks. As NASCAR has opened up engine development in several areas this year, our team has been hard at work during the offseason to maximize power, performance, and reliability.

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 AS9100 Rev D/ISO 13485 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 – 21 Teams – 83 Races

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images