The updated 2013 Ford Fusion - image from Ford Racing (6-11-2012)
The new 2013 Ford Fusion Race VS Street Version - image from Ford Racing
The new 2013 Ford Fusion which will run starting in 2013 - image from Ford Racing
Ford Brand Models in NASCAR History
1949 - 1955 Ford
1956 - 1959 Ford Fairlane
1960 - 1968 Ford Thunderbird/Ford Galaxie
1968 - 1971 Ford Torino
1969 - 1969 Ford Talladega
1978 - 1997 Ford Thunderbird
1998 - 2005 Ford Taurus
2006 - Present Ford Fusion
Car manufacturers reps discuss some issues: Representatives from NASCAR's three car manufacturers - Jim Campbell (Chevy), Dave Pericak (Ford) and Ed Laukes (Toyota) - recently talked about this season and how teams from their respective companies have fared. Here's a sampling of what Campbell (Chevy's U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports), Pericak (director of Ford Performance) and Laukes (Toyota Motor Sales USA's vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience) had to say:
On the 2015 season
Laukes (Toyota): "Toyota has come a long way since 2007. I can remember when we would be really struggling even to get into the show, much less have five Camrys in contention for the championship."
Campbell (Chevy): "We don't have all our eggs in one basket. They're spread all across those teams. We've been working for months to prepare for these last 10 races."
Pericak (Ford): "The Penske team has performed very well. Overall we've struggled across all of our teams this year. We're going to be making necessary changes to strengthen everybody's performance."
What kind of aerodymanic package would you like to see in 2016?
Laukes: "We had success with all the different packages (in 2015), obviously. The relationship between (NASCAR), drivers and (manufacturers) has never been better as the discussion goes, trying to make racing better. Ultimately, it's not our decision; it's (NASCAR's). We really want to lean to where the drivers are leaning to, where (NASCAR) is, also what the fans want. We want better racing so we'll adapt to whatever package they come out with."
Campbell: "We're (all) hand-in-hand with NASCAR. The testing this year has been in actual races, because there's been limited testing off of it. I think there's been some really good learnings. I think the commitment by the series to adjust the rules in kind of categories of tracks is something that's obviously under consideration. I think there's more to come."
Pericak: "We all want the same thing. We want better racing and we want to be as competitive as possible. All the right things are happening to end up in the right place in 2016."
Any hints on any potential lineup changes in your teams in 2016?
Pericak: "We've been working very close with the Roush Fenway team, making sure we make the right changes there. We've got a lot of capable drivers in that organization. We just need to get some things straightened out."
Laukes: "Stay tuned."
Ford seeks to improve teams' success; not interested in adding teams: New Global Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak said Sunday that the company is committed to increased success and performance across all of its racing platforms, including NASCAR. Joined by Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski at Michigan International Speedway, Pericak discussed a number of things, including working to improve the performance of Roush Fenway Racing, the evolution of Ford Racing into Ford Performance and the company's promising new GT entry that will debut at Daytona next February. Some excerpts:
Working to improve performance of Roush Fenway Racing: "We are with Jack (Roush) all the time, and we spend a lot of time with Jack's team and we are making all the right, I believe, changes within not only the Roush Fenway organization but as we apply our technical resources within Ford Performance, assisting Jack and his team to get to a better place. We have seen progress. We are excited about what we have seen so far. Obviously we need to see more, but we are confident that Jack is dedicated with his team to do that. We are partners in this and our goal is to make them perform better and we are expecting a better performance today."
What in particular are you working on with RFR? "We are working with them on all aspects of the race car and not only the car but driver training or just everything that is involved in getting a race car to perform on the track. It is all aspects. There is nothing that is not on the table. Jack has welcomed all of the support and help and we have seen some significant improvement as a result of that."
Are you satisfied with the current roster of Ford teams, and have you talked to Furniture Row Racing (about moving from Chevrolet to Ford): "What I would say is that we are very happy with the partners we have today, and we have an approach where we are working to get everybody's performance up and we are committed to doing that. We believe in long-term partners and believe we have the right people that we are with currently."(NBC Sports)(6-15-2015)
Ford Returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing: Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans - referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency - starting next year. Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later. Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.(Ford)(6-12-2015)
Ford's Allison moving to production side of company: Jamie Allison, Ford Racing's former director of racing, is moving on. While rumblings of Allison's departure circulated in January, Dave Pericak, who was named director of the newly formed Ford Performance in December, said at that time Allison would remain and oversee the marketing side. Sources tell motorsport.com Allison will remain with Ford, but on the production side of the company. Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development, and Chief Technical Officer described the introduction of Ford Performance - and Pericak's role in overseeing the program was "part of our overall strategy at Ford to ramp up our investment in performance and racing to take advantage of a growing market worldwide for performance vehicles." Pericak, 43, is a Purdue graduate from Chicago who most recently oversaw the development of the Ford Mustang as chief engineer. But he honed his skills in engineering and product development prior to being selected by Nair for his new role. Pericak reports directly to Nair, which he acknowledged was "not typical in our culture" but understandable considering "how special" Ford Performance is and the importance of executing Nair's "vision". As the spotlight moves from the single-focus Ford Racing to a global platform with 12 new performance vehicles through 2020 the emphasis at the top transferred from an emphasis on marketing to engineering. Mark Rushbrook is currently overseeing Ford Performance's NASCAR program and will continue to provide technical and competition-based information to Pericak.(Motorsport)(5-30-2015)
Ford selling Richard Petty limited-edition Mustang: When Ford launches a new Mustang, expect it to take over the SEMA show. Last year's edition of the aftermarket bacchanal in Vegas was rife with varying takes on Ford's latest iteration of its venerable pony car, not the least of which was a certain GT built by Petty's Garage. Buoyed by popular opinion, Ford teamed up with the King's operation and decided to churn out a limited series of the cars, available for order at your local Ford dealer on a first-come, first-serve basis. Limited to a total of 143 cars for 2015-100 Stage 1 examples and 43 Stage 2 cars-the Petty's Garage Mustang GTs churn out 627 horsepower courtesy of a Ford Racing/Roush blower bolted to the Coyote V-8. That, if you're counting, is within loogie-hocking distance of the recent 662-horse Shelby GT500. A center-exit exhaust system from Magnaflow takes care of noxious evacuation, while up front, a custom fascia suggests to the world that you roll with NASCAR royalty. Inside, you get Richard Petty's John Hancock on the dash, custom floor mats, and embroidered headrests. Twenty-inch HRE wheels shod with Continental tires round out the package. The run of 100 is available in any Mustang color. The Stage 2 builds on the Stage 1 cars with big Wilwood stoppers under three-piece HRE wheels. Stage 2s are also finished with a custom two-tone paint job; it features pearlized Ford Tuxedo Black over Petty Blue blended with crushed and tumbled glass. King Richard's omnipresent #43 is ghosted onto the hood and C-pillar. Example number one was purchased by a singing Englishman who joined a little Australian rock 'n' roll band 35 years ago and cut a few records. Yep, noted hat-wearer and car nut Brian Johnson of AC/DC has already splashed out for the first Stage 2 car, leaving a mere 42 up for grabs. The price? $62,210 for the Stage 1, roughly in line with the old GT500. If, however, you can't live without the three-piece wheels and fancy paint, be prepared to lay down $30,000 more.(Car and Driver)(4-15-2015)
Bill Elliott talked to Ford about Chase Elliott: When Bill Elliott is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, most of the highlights will show him wheeling a Ford. He made his name driving Fords and he was synonymous with the blue oval brand. So to see his son, Chase, driving a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports is a little bit strange. "I tried to make the Ford thing happen," Elliott said. "It didn't. I saw it one way and they saw it another way and it didn't work out. Mr. Hendrick came to us with an opportunity that at the point in time, it wasn't much of an opportunity but he was the only one that would talk to us." Elliott won the 2014 Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series title, and is expected to step into the Hendrick #24 car after Gordon retires at the end of 2015. "My gratitude to (Hendrick), I just can't say enough about the man about what his character is in the sport and what he's done for us," Elliott said. "That kind of went against my roots as far as the Ford goes, but that's the path we ended up having to take at the point in time and I can't do anything about it. Right now, it's set and that's the way it is."(Sporting News)(1-25-2015)
Manufacturers discuss winning the drivers championship and more: In NASCAR's Championship 4, the four drivers competing for the Sprint Cup championship on Sunday, all three manufacturers are represented-Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota-as well as four different engine builders: Hendrick Motorsports (#4-Kevin Harvick), ECR Engines (#31-Ryan Newman), Roush-Yates Engines (#22-Joey Logano) and Toyota Racing Development (#11-Denny Hamlin). In the Homestead-Miami Speedway media center on Saturday, executives representing each of the car makers shared their perspectives on the value of one of their drivers winning the title on Sunday.
Ford's success this season, with 14 victories in 35 Cup races, already has spurred interest in the brand, according to Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. "We have generated 570,000 leads yet this year, up 60% from a year ago," Allison said. "We track sales, match to leads generated from on track activation, and our sales are up 90 percent versus a year ago. These are gigantic swings in engagement, gigantic swings in fan affinity, and it translates all the way down from awareness down to conservation to shopping to intention to buy. So success on the track translates into fan consideration and purchase intention. At the end of the day, we are here because of our fans, our fans of Ford, and what we race on the track increasing with relevance to what's being shown in the showroom as well as what's in people's driveway-there's that direct correlation. Whoever said 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday,' it's absolutely true, because we're seeing it in the evidence of the data that we have."
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, says the manufacturer starts each season with the same objectives. "For Chevrolet that's one of our goals every year is to help our teams win a driver's championship and collectively giving our teams the best opportunity to win enough races for us to win the manufacturer's championship. We have two opportunities out of the four (on Sunday), and if you look over the past number of years, eight of the last nine driver's champions have been Chevrolet drivers. We do see a lift in opinion, and when you get a lift of opinion on a brand, great things happen. Customers put you on their shopping list more quickly. It's a fact. So that's big."
On Sunday, Hamlin could become the first driver to deliver a championship to Toyota in NASCAR's premier series. "For Toyota, it would simply be historic and unprecedented," said David Wilson, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development USA. "We're still the new guys, so to speak, in the series. This is our... celebrating our 10th anniversary in NASCAR in their national series. We've won championships, multiple championships in the Camping World Truck Series, in the Nationwide Series. Cup, the Sprint Cup Series, that box hasn't been checked yet, so for Toyota it would be huge. It would be significant, I think, for the sport. It would be huge for TRD. Certainly Toyota, our engagement model is a little bit different than my colleagues', and I have 250 people that work their butts off, and they have for years and years, so it would be very emotional."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-16-2014)
New trophy for the FORD EcoBoost 400: It's a trophy Henry Ford himself would love. The winner of this Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be taking home a trophy, but in this case, the new trophy represents a unique part of Ford Racing history. For the first time, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Ford Racing collaborated on a special race winner's trophy unlike any other in the sport. The trophy features an exact replica of the steering wheel of Henry Ford's first race car - the 1901 Sweepstakes racer - which is on display at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Mr. Ford drove Sweepstakes to an upset victory in his one and only race on Oct. 10, 1901, a win that helped attract the investors who would help him start Ford Motor Company in June, 1903. "We're pleased that the winner of the Ford EcoBoost 400 will get such a unique trophy," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors and great-grandson of Henry Ford. "The steering wheel visually represents the start of the Ford Racing program 113 years ago, and the winner of it will need to do the same thing great-grandfather did that day - defeat the best drivers in America." In addition to the steering wheel on the top, the base of the trophy features a plaque that includes an engraving of Henry Ford and his riding mechanic - Spider Huff - in action from 1901.(Ford Racing)(11-14-2014)
50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang to Pace Cup, Nationwide Races at Homestead: In a fitting tribute to the continuing golden anniversary celebration of the iconic pony car, a 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang will pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 14-16. The Wimbledon White pace car, one of just 1,964 50-Year Limited Edition Mustangs built, will lead the field to the green flag for the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Nov. 16 and the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Nov. 15.
Mark Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, will drive the pace car equipped with 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine, leading the Sprint Cup field to green for the final time this season. John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service will pace the starting field for the Nationwide race. A Race Red 2015 Mustang GT fastback will serve as the splitter pace car for the two races.
Built in Flat Rock, Mich., Mustang is all-new from the ground up. This sixth-generation, rear-wheel-drive car has the long hood and short rear deck lid proportions of its most iconic predecessors, as well as that low, wide stance, but its design is very much 21st century, with state-of-the-art engineering and technology. "Ford is very proud to have a 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Mustang pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide races during Ford Championship Weekend," said Chantel Lenard, director, U.S. Marketing, Ford Motor Company. "To have Mustang -- a brand born of racing -- in this special anniversary year, leading some of the world's best drivers to the championship in two of NASCAR's premier series, is special. We know our fans will enjoy seeing it out on the track."
Among the many new features on the 2015 Mustang GT is an independent rear suspension engineered specifically for this new platform and car. It also features an all-new state-of-the-art front suspension. Mustang GT's 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine generates 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Two other engines -- a 3.7-liter V6 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost -- will also be available when the car hits showrooms later this year, part of the Mustang stable of engines which all boast over 300 horsepower.
A pair of all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup trucks will pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Nov. 15.(Ford Racing), see images of the pace car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(11-12-2014)
Ford Sweeps NASCAR Weekend at Bristol:
· Joey Logano's win is his fourth with Ford Racing and sixth of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.
· This marks the first time Ford Racing has swept a NASCAR Camping World Truck, NASCAR Nationwide, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend since 2006 when Mark Martin (NCWTS) and Matt Kenseth (NNS/NSCS) did it, ironically, at Bristol Motor Speedway.
· Ford Racing's nine wins this season is the most for the manufacturer since 2008 (11).
· The win is Ford's 627th all-time series victory and the 35th by Penske Racing with Ford.
· In addition, tonight's win is the 35th for Ford Racing at BMS, which is tied for the most at any track currently on the circuit (Michigan).(Ford Racing)(8-24-2014)
Ford Racing Statement on Carl Edwards Departure: Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing - "Carl Edwards has been a part of the Ford family for a decade, and it will certainly be tough to see him leave Ford and Roush Fenway Racing. During Carl's time with Roush, he has represented Ford Motor Company with the utmost class, both on and off the track. We at Ford Racing did everything to facilitate keeping Carl a part of the Ford Racing & Roush Fenway family, but in the end that option did not come to fruition. While we are disappointed in his decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing, we certainly want to extend our appreciation for Carl's contributions winning races and a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in a Ford, and especially for his outreach to Ford fans. That said, with this decision out of the way, our plan for 2014 has not changed. We will go forward strongly with our stated goal of securing a NASCAR championship for Ford."(Ford Racing)(7-27-2014)
Ford's win streak longest since 2001 UPDATE2: #43-Aric Almirola's win at Daytona was Ford's third straight this season. #2-Brad Keselowski won the week before at Kentucky and #99-Carl Edwards won at Sonoma. The last time Ford won three-straight Cup races in a season was 2005 when Greg Biffle won Dover (June 5) and Michigan (June 19) bookending a Carl Edwards Pocono (June 12) victory. The win is the seventh of the season for Ford Racing, equaling the most wins for Ford since 2011.(Ford)(7-9-2014)
BUT actually Ford had a three-race win streak which spanned 2010-2011 when Carl Edwards won at Phoenix and Homestead in 2010 and Trevor Bayne won at Daytona in Feb 2011; and during the 2008-2009 seasons when Carl Edwards won at Homestead in November 2008 and Matt Kenseth won Daytona and California in February 2009.
AND The last time Ford won four consecutive Cup events was 2001 with Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing (Darlington, Texas and Martinsville) posting three of the four victories and Elliott Sadler (Bristol - March) the other for the Wood Brothers.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-13-2014)
UPDATE: The win is Ford's fourth straight, marking the first time Ford has won four consecutive Cup Series races since 2001 (Dale Jarrett, Darlington on March 18; Elliott Sadler, Bristol on March 25; Jarrett, Texas on April 1; Jarrett, Martinsville on April 8). The win is the eighth of the season for Ford Racing, the most for the manufacturer since winning 11 times in 2008.(Ford Racing).
The last time Ford won five races in a row was in 1998.
What is the all-time record streak of wins for a manufacturer? Ford won 32 straight races and 48 of 55 total races in 1965, the year when NASCAR banned some engines like the Hemi engine causing Chrysler to pull out from the series. GM didn't field cars in 1965 and Richard Petty did drag racing, skipping the first 33 races of the season. Midseason, NASCAR changed the rules and Petty came back running 14 of the final 22 races, winning 4 and 10 top-fives.(7-14-2014)
Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford UPDATE: Andy Murstein, of Medallion Financial Corporation, the primary investor in RPM said, "This organization is clearly on the upswing and they compete and win with class. Now on to the Chase for Aric, and after Marcos wins at Watkins Glen, we will have two cars in the Chase." Murstein confirmed that RPM will remain with Ford beyond this year.(Motorsport)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: If you have a winning formula, why change it? That was the key reason for Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford beyond 2015. "I think that's a good decision for us right now," said Trent Owens, the winning crew chief from Sunday's Coke Zero 400 on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "Changing manufacturers - from the workload side of things - would be a challenge to say the least. I've enjoyed being with Ford. I've enjoyed working on these race cars and we just really need to perfect what we've got and that will allow us to do that."(Motorsport)(7-8-2014)
Ford extends sponsorship of Homestead race thru 2019: Homestead-Miami Speedway announced that there is a Ford in their future. Ford Motor Company has extended its partnership with the South Florida motorsports facility in a multi-year deal. Ford Motor Company has been the official entitlement sponsor of Homestead-Miami Speedway since 2002. Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer, Ford Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joseph Hinrichs, and Director of Ford Racing Jamie Allison made the announcement. The partnership was announced at Michigan International Speedway. Ford Motor Company's agreement with Homestead-Miami Speedway is a five-year deal with an option to renew for an additional five years. Other details were not disclosed. Ford will continue to introduce fans to its award-winning product line, such as F Series trucks, Mustang, Explorer and Fusion through a 20,000-square-foot display during Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 14-16. Ford also uses the official pace car program as an opportunity to showcase its latest products, and will announce the unique pace vehicle for the Ford EcoBoost 400 later this year. The Ford EcoBoost 400 will again serve as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race (HMS)
AND from a Ford Racing Q&A Session in part:
Q) IS THERE A GUARANTEE FROM NASCAR THAT THIS WILL REMAIN THE FINALE FOR TRUCK, NATIONWIDE AND CUP THROUGH 2019?
HMS's Becherer: "We've spent the better part of a year renegotiating this extension and we would not have expended the time and energy that we did had we thought there was any chance that the championship could be leaving Miami in the near future. Now having said that, obviously there are a number of stakeholders that would have to weigh in to a decision of that magnitude. The loudest voice in that conversation is NASCAR's, but the reality is we would not have gone down the path we did if we thought there was a chance that it would leave. And frankly it shouldn't leave."(Ford Racing)(6-16-2014)
Mustang to be Pace Car for Sprint Cup Race at Michigan: In a fitting tribute to the continuing 50-year celebration of the iconic pony car, the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang is about to make its pace car debut at Michigan International Speedway. A Mustang GT fastback will lead the field to the green flag for the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race June 15. Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Company president of The Americas, will drive the Race Red fastback equipped with 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine around the track in Brooklyn, Michigan. Built in nearby Flat Rock, Michigan, Mustang is all-new from the ground up. This sixth-generation, rear-wheel-drive car has the long hood and short rear decklid proportions of its most iconic predecessors, as well as that low, wide stance, but its design is very much 21st century, with state-of-the-art engineering and technology. Among the many new features on the 2015 Mustang GT is an independent rear suspension engineered specifically for this new platform and car. It also features an all-new state-of-the-art front suspension. Mustang GT's 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine generates more than 420 horsepower and more than 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Two other engines - a 3.7-liter V6 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost - will also be available when the car hits showrooms later this year.(Ford Racing), see an image of the pace car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(6-12-2014)
New Ford Technical Support Center to Increase Vehicle Performance: Ford announced the opening of its new Ford Technical Support Center in Concord, N.C. on Wednesday. The state-of-the-art facility will add an array of tools to develop future performance vehicles and help increase Ford's overall success in motorsports. Expected to be fully operational later this summer, the 33,000-square-foot building will serve as a center for Ford Racing technical support and for teams to develop and test their cars for competition. The location was selected because of its proximity to the NASCAR research and development center and a majority of race car team headquarters. "Motorsports and product development at Ford are interlinked, and this new center will house advanced tools that will serve both our race teams and the development of future Ford performance vehicles," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development.
Beyond its direct and immediate effect on Ford Racing, the new technical center with its advanced simulation and measurement tools is just the latest investment by Ford in its pursuit to offer a profitable lineup of performance vehicles. The new infrastructure will allow swifter and smarter leverage of the latest in product development technology. Ford offers one of the most complete and accessible lineups of performance vehicles of any full-line manufacturer. From the growing popularity of its Sport-branded models including the EcoBoost V6-powered Explorer Sport, to the award-winning Fiesta ST and its Focus ST stablemate, Taurus SHO, to the SVT Mustang GT500 and F-150 SVT Raptor, to extreme performance RS derivatives, Ford provides true performance options throughout its model range.
"Performance is a critical and growing business for Ford," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. "We recognize our customers want vehicles that offer great fuel economy, leading technology and a great driving experience. Our new technical center is another tool that will help us continue to grow our performance vehicle business around the world."
Initially, the facility will focus on supporting NASCAR teams in all three major touring divisions, but will eventually expand to include other Ford Racing teams participating in other series. "This facility is an investment in advanced Ford Racing technical tools that will support our goal of winning races and championships," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "It also provides us with expansion capabilities as we support our broader array of Ford teams from NASCAR, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, IMSA, Rally and Global RallyCross, NHRA and other series." The centerpiece of the building is a full-motion platform simulator that will allow Ford Racing teams to optimize their setups for individual track configurations, and for drivers to practice driving a track ahead of an upcoming race weekend. Similar technology has been used in Formula One. After the simulator has been proven through racing, Ford will apply that knowledge to further improve vehicle dynamics on its high-performance street vehicles.
"We have enhanced our vehicle dynamics simulation tools to lead the development of Ford Racing cars in NASCAR and IMSA, as well as our street products," said Nair. "The driving simulator will help us to push handling optimization to the next level so that our cars can be fast right off the trailer, allowing our teams to focus on fine-tuning changes when they get to the track. The simulator can also be used to make continual adjustments to advance the car setup for the race weekend based on what the teams see in early practice sessions." In addition, the simulator will help hone communication between driver, crew chief and engineer, while also refining predictability and accuracy of simulation software.
The support facility will also serve as a parts distribution warehouse. The various pieces of test equipment include:
· Kinematics machine: This machine can test and measure suspension kinematics - camber, toe, scrub and various loads with tires and springs. Race teams use this weekly to set up their front suspensions for different track configurations
· Chassis torsional twist rig: Used to quantify the chassis structurally in the torsional mode - the key parameter for a chassis. It can be used to determine the entire torsional stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the chassis independently, or the influence of various components on the car
· Vehicle center of gravity machine: This is used to precisely measure the center of gravity height of a completed car. It can be used to quantify improvements over time. Race teams generally use the machine once a quarter to gauge progress and test their latest theories
· Coordinate measurement machine: This machine enables teams to measure their components for quality control and to build simulation models, which allows them to make sure their cars comply with regulations.(Ford Racing)(5-15-2014)
Ford Mustang GT Aluminator XS to Pace Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington: When the gleaming ruby red Mustang GT Aluminator XS paces the field of thundering NASCAR Sprint Cup machines at the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12, at Darlington Raceway, it also will be waving the green flag for a year-long recognition of Mustang's 50th anniversary. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is the honorary pace car driver for the event and will start the race behind the wheel. NASCAR veteran Brett Bodine will pilot the Mustang GT Aluminator XS pace car for the remainder of the event. The Mustang GT Aluminator XS pace car started its life as a 420-horsepower 2013 Mustang GT, but with the Aluminator XS crate engine and a mix of parts from the Ford Racing Boss 302S and the Cobra Jet programs, it makes 500 horsepower. The Aluminator XS engine itself features a lightweight aluminum cylinder block with cross-bolted main bearing caps and thick main bearing bulkheads for bottom-end strength. It has four-valve-per-cylinder BOSS, fully CNC-machined aluminum heads. In addition, the 5.0L, 302 cubic-inch powerplant features forged pistons with low-friction coating. Mustang's 50th anniversary celebrations will begin with concurrent events April 17-20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ford Motor Company and its dealers will host other national and local anniversary events throughout 2014.(Ford Racing), see images of the car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(4-11-2014).
NASCAR considering reducing horsepower to Cup cars next season: NASCAR is planning on making significant engine package changes in 2015 to extend the life of Sprint Cup powerplants and reduce horsepower. And along with engine changes, there likely will be aerodynamic and tire changes for the Cup cars in 2015 as well. That's the word from NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton. Pemberton said the sanctioning body has had four meetings so far with representatives from Chevy, Ford and Toyota and race teams about how to implement those changes. No consensus has been reached yet, according to Pemberton, but discussions are ongoing in advance of making the changes for next year. Although Pemberton declined to specify how many horsepower NASCAR is looking to cut, sources familiar with the discussions said the reduction would be in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 horsepower. Currently, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines make about 860-900 horsepower at most tracks. Discussions are still in the early stages, Pemberton said, but given the fact that there are so few engine suppliers now, they will need plenty of lead-time to make changes for next year.
Among the options being discussed are reduction in engine displacement and changes to throttle body size. Sources familiar with the discussions say that Chevy and Toyota are pushing for a reduction to 5.0-liter engines, while the Ford camp is pushing for the use of tapered spacers, such as are used in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series engines. Pemberton said any change in the engine package likely would necessitate other changes as well.
"It's not fully appreciated the fact that we've had the same engine for basically 25 or 30 years and it's at 850 or 860 horsepower, where it used to be 500," Pemberton said. "And we are at the same race tracks where we used to run 160 (miles per hour) we're now qualifying at 190 and running 213 going into the corners. There's been a lot of engineering and gains made across the board. Goodyear ... we have the same tire patch as when we started.(FoxSports)(3-23-2014)
Ford Racing dicusses new Ford nose: NASCAR got the 2014 season underway in earnest Thursday at Daytona International Speedway with the annual preseason testing. While mother nature delayed the start of the day, Ford Racing caught up with NASCAR program manager Pat DiMarco and Ford Racing aerodynamcist Bernie Marcus to discuss changes to the Fusion race car and how the new NASCAR rules package affects the Ford cars for 2014.
PAT DIMARCO, Ford Racing NASCAR Program Manager - CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE CHANGE IS TO THE FRONT NOSE OF THE FUSION FOR 2014?
"There were concerns in 2013 about debris collection on the lower radiator inlet on the Fusion. We have addressed that by moving the radiator screen out to be more flush with the bumper. There is no performance advantage which has been verified in the wind tunnel with the other OEMs. This is purely for debris collection and to eliminate the need to pit in case we have a hot dog wrapper or something on the grille and it makes it easier to get the debris off from behind another car."
WERE YOU ABLE TO QUANTIFY HOW MANY TIMES THAT WAS AN ISSUE LAST YEAR? "We never lost a race or lost positions on the racetrack because of it. We did have a harder time and there were concerns at points but just from a pure safety factor to be 100-percent sure that we don't get into that situation since these cars will live on for awhile we addressed it early on with NASCAR and the other OEMs and it is a non-issue."
TO BE CLEAR, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COSMETIC LOOK OF THE FUSION GRILLE?
"The grille bars on the car are staying identical to what they were in 2013. It is only the lower inlet which is the dark black area on the car which will be flushed out. To the average Joe sitting and watching, they won't even really be able to tell on TV what has changed."
BERNIE MARCUS, Ford Racing Aero Specialist - FROM AN AERO PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DOES THIS CHANGE DO TO THE CAR?
"Nothing. It was purely done for debris purposes and the aero numbers did not change. Nothing on the aero side changed by doing this."(see the full PR at FordRacing.com)(1-10-2104)
Ford Fusion will sport new look in 2014: Ford teams will debut a slightly new look on the front next season, as the inset below the grille area will be pulled out to make it flush with the rest of the front end. The move, which has already been approved by NASCAR, is expected to lessen the problem of removing debris from the grille area. Ford officials briefed both Toyota and Chevrolet before making a formal request to NASCAR. The three brands are the only three fielding entries in NASCAR at this time. (NASCAR.com)(10-15-2013)
Ford EcoBoost V6 Engine Powers Colin Braun to New Speed Records at Daytona: Colin Braun drove a Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype race car, powered by the new 3.5-liter, V-6 Ford EcoBoost race engine, to a new Daytona International Speedway single lap speed record of 222.971 mph during a special record run attempt today, topping the 26-year-old speed record of 210.364 mph set by Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird during qualifying for the 1987 Daytona 500. Braun and the Michael Shank Racing team also set new world speed records for 10 miles from a standing start (210.018 mph average), and 10 kilometers from a standing start (202.438 mph average). All times from today's session are subject to Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) homologation (to approve or confirm officially). The new Ford EcoBoost engine was prepared for the record run by Ford Racing engine partner Roush Yates Engines, and Continental Tires did a special tire for the run that was lighter and had less rolling resistance than the standard race tire, along with a harder compound than the tire used for a typical road course race. Both the new car and new twin-turbo engine will compete in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship that kicks off with the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.(Ford Racing)(10-10-2013)
Colin Braun attempting to break Daytona speed record: In a joint effort between Michael Shank Racing, Ford Racing and Continental Tire, the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona championship team with Colin Braun behind the wheel will aim to set a new track record at the "World Center of Speed" Wednesday (Oct. 9) by eclipsing the 210.364 mph lap laid down Feb. 9, 1987, by NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, who pushed his Ford Thunderbird to the top of the speed charts in qualifying for the Daytona 500.(Ford Racing)
AND Michael Shank will provide a Daytona Prototype race car, and Ford will bring its six-cylinder power plant it says is similar to EcoBoost engines in its street vehicles. Ford is renting the track for the record-breaking attempt, and Shank predicts his car will top out around 220 mph with 25-year-old Colin Braun at the wheel. The speed session is scheduled to start in the morning and will be closed to the public and the media. Weather permitting, Shank expects Elliott's record to be toppled by noon.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-9-2013)
New Ford nose approved: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said that a new nose on the Ford Fusion was approved for next season. "They needed a grille update for next year," Pemberton said. "The (wind-tunnel) results looked to be favorable. ... It doesn't do anything aero-wise but it just helps with the debris. It was inset more than the others. More times than not it was harder for them to get the debris off the grille than the other makes."(Sporting News)(10-1-2013)
Biffle Claims Ford's 1,000th NASCAR Victory: Henry Ford's win over Alexander Winton on Oct. 10, 1901 in what proved to be his only race as a driver was a milestone victory that helped launch the Ford Motor Company. Since then there have been several more memorable moments with the latest coming today at Michigan International Speedway, where #16-Greg Biffle took the checkered flag and registered Ford's 1,000th all-time NASCAR victory. That total includes 100 wins from Lincoln-Mercury in what is known today as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and 900 combined Ford-branded victories in NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Series competition.
· Ford Motor Company has won 1,000 NASCAR races in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series combined.
· Jim Roper won the very first NASCAR-sanctioned stock car race in a Lincoln when he was deemed the winner at Charlotte on June 19, 1949.
· Ford Motor Company has won 20 manufacturer titles and 13 driver championships in NASCAR's top three series.
· The victory is the first of the season for Biffle and third of the year for Ford Racing in the Sprint Cup series.
· The record win comes on the June 16, the 110th birthday of Ford Motor Company.(Ford Racing)(6-17-2013)
Ford going for NASCAR win 1000: Last Sunday at Iowa Speedway, Trevor Bayne, driving the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, won the DuPont Pioneer 250 beating Austin Dillon to the finish line by 2.023 seconds. The win gave the car manufacturer its 200th NASCAR Nationwide victory. With the series headed to Ford's home state, the manufacturer is seeking its 1,000th victory in NASCAR's three national touring series (rank second to the 1,276 by Chevrolet). Ford drivers have 714 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (96 wins by Mercury and four wins by Lincoln), 200 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 85 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.()(6-14-2013)
Ford named winner of "Driving Business Award": When Carl Edwards powered his 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusion to Victory Lane on Sunday, Ford Motor Company took home its historic first win with the Gen-6 car. Today, the auto manufacturer captured yet another honor when it was named recipient of the 2012 NASCAR Driving Business Award. NASCAR presented Ford the award at a ceremony in Las Vegas during the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) Council. The annual award is bestowed upon the Official NASCAR Partner that demonstrates extraordinary leadership and results through its participation in the NFFB Council. With its win, Ford becomes the first two-time recipient of the Driving Business Award. The NFFB Council brings together an exclusive group of more than 55 Official NASCAR Partners to get more out of their sponsorships, specifically aligning partners four times a year to buy and sell products and services. Ford Motor Company, which has been competing in NASCAR since 1949, has been a member of the NFFB Council since 2007. The company brings key personnel from across its organization and matches them up with their counterparts at other NFFB companies during the Council's signature Speed Meetings. Most notable is Ford's effort to sell vehicles to other NFFB members through its Partner Recognition Program.(NASCAR)(3-9-2013)