Ford Unveils Its 2019 Mustang NASCAR Cup Series Racer
Ford will switch from the Fusion to the Mustang in NASCAR’s top series next season. Thursday, the manufacturer unveiled its new machine.
Ford Performance announced in mid-April that it would transition from the Fusion to Mustang for competition in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The manufacturer unveiled its new NASCAR premier-series racer Thursday in Dearborn, Michigan, ahead of Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
“Mustang has raced since it was first sold in 1964,” Ford Executive Vice President of Product Development and Purchasing Hau Thai-Tang said. "After more than a half-century, it feels great to finally let Mustang run in the top echelon of America’s most popular stock-car racing series."
The presentation included a team of Ford drivers from the Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart driving the 'Stang into a temporary victory lane for the event.
Ford already fields the Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has done so since 2011. Now, the two-door coupe becomes the fourth model to be fielded by Ford in the premier series since the modern era began in 1972, the other three being the Thunderbird, Taurus, and outgoing Fusion.
“We’re combining America’s favorite sports car with America’s top stock-car racing series,” Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook said during the April announcement. “Mustang always has been about affordable performance, which can be traced to innovations we’ve made competing in racing, like NASCAR. Mustang is a perfect fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow.”
The 2019 season will be the third-straight in which one of the three active manufacturers introduces a new or redesigned model to NASCAR’s top series. Chevrolet is in its first year with the Camaro ZL1 and Toyota introduced a redesigned Camry for 2017. Toyota already has introduced a nameplate change from Camry to Supra in the Xfinity Series for next year.
“We look forward to seeing the Ford Mustang, a cultural icon, on the track in the most competitive series in all of motorsports,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said. “Our sport eagerly anticipates the performance, style, and fanfare the Mustang will bring to the track each weekend, beginning at the 2019 Daytona 500."
Ford drivers have won nine of the 22 Cup races so far this season, with Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer combining for eight: six for the former and two for the latter. Team Penske's Joey Logano makes up the final victory.