Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. today revealed its Mustang NASCAR Cup race car, marking the first time Mustang will compete in NASCAR’s top-level Cup racing series.
“Mustang has raced since it was first sold in 1964,” says Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of product development and purchasing. “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.”
Mustang’s first competition was in 1964 when it won the Tour de France Automobile, a 4,000-mile, 10-day rally. It has since raced in SCCA Trans-Am, IMSA, NHRA, Formula Drift, and NASCAR Xfinity – NASCAR’s second tier series.
“Ever since we announced in April that Mustang would be going to the Cup level in 2019, we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback,” says Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “Our Ford Performance team has worked hard with the Ford design team to create a Mustang that will be competitive on the track while remaining true to its proud heritage. We can’t wait to see it winning races in the NASCAR Cup Series next year.”
Designers translated Mustang’s signature style to meet NASCAR rules, and 13 Ford drivers will compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“We look forward to seeing the Ford Mustang, a cultural icon, on the track in the most competitive series in all of motorsports,” says Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR. “Our sport eagerly anticipates the performance, style, and fanfare the Mustang will bring to the track each weekend beginning at the 2019 Daytona 500.”
Mustang has been competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011 and has won a championship in all but one season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won back-to-back driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012, while Roger Penske has claimed the owner’s title in four of the last five years.
Today’s reveal comes on the heels of the celebration of the 10 millionth Mustang off the assembly line in Flat Rock, Mich. on Wednesday.
The first race for the new NASCAR Mustang will be the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.