New Look Ready For “Sixth Generation” 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Car: NASCAR unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the rollout process of the sixth generation race car. “These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, who introduced the new design at Homestead-Miami Speedway today. The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speedweeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on February 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Among the updates:
· The driver’s last name featured on the windshield;
Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and taillights, two key distinguishing characteristics of the auto manufacturers’ brand;
Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers;
A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number;
Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post;
“Step and repeat” / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car;
Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10% and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches.
See larger color diagrams for the 2013 Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry on my 2013 car images page. The new Chevrolet will be unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Las Vegas during NASCAR Champion’s Week.(NASCAR)(11-17-2012)
Changes coming to roll cages in 2013: NASCAR has issued technical bulletins in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series that address a safety enhancement to the driver's roll cage and will take effect beginning in January 2013. The cars in both series will feature an additional forward roof bar and a center roof support bar that will intersect near the front center of the roll cage. This addition comes following extensive testing at the NASCAR Research & Development Center and is an effort to strengthen the roll cage and help make it an even safer compartment for the driver.(NASCAR)(9-15-2012)
Some planned 2013 car testing: Teams say Detroit car makers have yet to release any of the 2013 steel body sheet metal. So crew chiefs say the upcoming tests could be all but meaningless, since drivers will be driving cars with plastic-molded bodies, with much different center-of-gravity than the real race cars will have. "Detroit, and that whole 2013 project, is way behind," one top crew chief says. "So at those tests, we'll all be running just 'show cars'"
The test schedule for the 2013 cars:
-- Talladega SuperSpeedway will host a big 2013 car test Oct. 3rd, the day before that track opens for the Talladega 500 chase race. That will be a good look at what to expect in next season's Daytona 500 (Feb. 24th). Tires are not expected to be an issue at either Talladega or Daytona with the new 2013s.
-- Texas Motor Speedway will have a big two-day test Oct. 9th and 10th, which will be a key test for the sport's nine mid-sized tracks, a test of both tires and aerodynamics.
-- Phoenix International Raceway will have a big two-day test Oct. 24th and 25th, another test of both tires and aero.
-- And there will be a major tire design test at Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 6th and 7th. Goodyear will be testing 'fundamentals' at Charlotte, in a wide-ranging session.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-9-2012)
Ford going for first repeat in 7 years: Ford drivers have won the last two Sprint Cup races - #9-Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen and #16-Greg Biffle at Michigan. A third straight Blue Oval victory in Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race would mark the first time Ford has won three straight Cup races in a single season since June 2005, when Biffle, Carl Edwards and Biffle put together three wins at Dover, Pocono and Michigan.(SPEED)(8-25-2012)
NASCAR schedules tests for 2013 cars - fans can watch: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have the 2013 model for an Aug. 7-8 test at Martinsville Speedway that is aimed at rules tweaks to make the cars lighter and help Goodyear develop tires with more grip to improve racing. The 2013 car also will be tested Oct. 4 at Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 9-10 at Texas Motor Speedway and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway. Dodge is taking part in the tests. The manufacturer hasn't announced any replacements for Penske Racing, which will join Ford next year.(USA Today)(8-1-2012)
UPDATE: Martinsville Speedway's grandstands will be open to fans free-of-charge for an August 7 and 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Goodyear tire test at the historic half-mile oval. The test will feature the new 2013 Sprint Cup cars. The test session will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with an hour break at noon. Gates will open at 8 a.m. each of the two days and will remain open until 5 p.m. Restrooms will be open both days, but concession stands will not be operating. Fans may bring refreshments into the grandstands.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-4/7-2012)
UPDATE 2: drivers testing at Martinsville include Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick for Chevy; Martin Truex Jr, for Toyota; and Carl Edwards for Ford. With two cars from each manufacturer. See images of the cars on my 2013 Manufacturer Images page(8-7-2012)
Roush says Penske will use Roush-Yates engines: UPDATES: Jack Roush says Penske has decided to run Roush-Yates Ford engines next season. Penske has said he will not be shutting down the 80-man operation he currently has, but it would seem unlikely that Ford would care for one of its star new players to also continue building Dodge engines on the side. A possible sale of that engine shop to Dodge itself has been speculated as the only logical solution.
Roush: "Roger and I will cooperate on things that are in our common interests, and we will compete on things that reflect our need to be independent and justify our space on the race track. We've done the bulk of the work on the 2013 car; we did invite them to have a look at what we've done in concert with Ford, and made sure we had their blessing, along with the other Ford teams involved. The indication are -- though I don't know if the papers have been signed yet -- that he will use our engines. He does have a few things he does different with his cars and the way the engines are mounted; so we'll respect his experience and his package preference. Whether we wind up with the same package for all Ford cars or not is yet to be determined."
Roush, asked about the possibility of Penske becoming a business partner with Roush and Doug Yates in the engine operations, said "There is no plan on the table for Roger for any ownership in the engine program. But I stop short of saying that would never be a consideration going forward."(MikeMulhern.net)(8-4-2012)
UPDATE: Roush Yates Engines announced that it will provide Ford FR9 engines to Penske Racing beginning with the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it would be returning to Ford Racing in 2013 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. "It's truly an honor to provide Penske Racing with Roush Yates Ford engines," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. "I have always admired Roger Penske as a team owner and a respected businessman in our sport and beyond. I am looking forward to many wins, championships, and other successes in supporting the Penske organization." Penske Racing fielded Ford entries from 1991 through 2002. "Ford has been consistent in its belief that we will be stronger with one engine specification rather than continuing with an independent approach," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Roush Yates has a proven record and we are looking forward to many successes together."(Roush Yates)(8-6-2012)
UPDATE 2: Penske Racing will switch to Roush Yates horsepower in its 2013 move to Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, but the team still is exploring ways to keep its 63 engine employees. Penske President Tim Cindric told USA Today Sports that still building motors for Dodge teams in NASCAR's premier series wouldn't be an option, though. "Relative to us, they said they're going in a different direction," Cindric said. "We don't see there being any more potential on the NASCAR side with Dodge." Cindric said Penske has explored sending some of its engine staff to Roush Yates, reassigning others within Penske Racing and perhaps pursuing engine projects in other series with the rest of the employees in a scaled-down engine room. "We feel our biggest asset wasn't the (horsepower) but the people," Cindric said. "That's a strong group of people we didn't want to break up."(USA Today)(8-7-2012)
OEM meet targets for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Car: Based upon the final aerodynamic test results from July 18, NASCAR has announced that all four of its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have met the necessary targets for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car. This represents another step forward in the new car process and means manufacturers can begin making parts and pieces for the new models. The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car is the result of more than two years of collaborative efforts between the manufacturers and NASCAR. With goals of enhancing product relevance, featuring race cars that more closely resemble their respective manufacturer models on the showroom floor, and building upon the highly competitive racing the series features, the roll out of the new car is highly anticipated by NASCAR fans.
The four new models – Chevrolet’s SS, Dodge’s Charger, Ford’s Fusion and Toyota’s Camry – will make their race debuts next February at Daytona International Speedway, with the first championship points event being the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24, 2013.
“We commend the manufacturers and our team at the R&D center on all the hard work they’ve put into this new car,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “With all the designs and surface areas of the car now approved, manufacturers can now move forward with building the components needed to outfit their cars. The wind tunnel testing we’ve had with the manufacturers over the past several months has given us the timely and necessary data we needed to come to this confirmation. We believe the new car is going to be a milestone opportunity for our sport, one that our fans will embrace.”(NASCAR)(7-30-2012)
Penske still undecided about future engine program: Roger Penske, who announced in March that his Penske Racing team would move from fielding Dodges to Fords, still has not made a final decision on whether to build his own engines, lease them from Roush Yates Engines or possibly become a partner in Roush Yates Engines. The Penske engine shop is not located at its main car manufacturing facility in North Carolina and could be spun off into a Dodge engine building facility. “We’re still trying to finish up the final discussion with Dodge, what they’re going to do,” Penske said. “We obviously have the option with Roush Yates, which we’re looking at also.”(Sporting News)(7-30-2012)
NASCAR to test new 2013 cars: NASCAR is closing in on approving the 2013 Sprint Cup cars. The sanctioning body could sign off on the new models as early as next week. NASCAR has a two-day wind tunnel test scheduled at AeroDyn in Mooresville, N.C., for July 2 and 3. All four manufacturers will put their body panels over a uniform chassis provided by NASCAR. Each of the manufacturers - Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota - will be expected to hit the established target numbers for drag and downforce with their cars. "Hopefully, when we go there we'll be able to complete the (development) process and then the manufacturers can start building parts and teams can start building cars for 2013," said NASCAR template manager Billy Berkheimer. Pat Suhy, General Motors Racing NASCAR group manager, says the tooling process for the sheet metal will take about six weeks to complete. Teams are already working on the green area of the car or the area over the cockpit. Suhy added that the new cars will all participate in an upcoming Goodyear tire test in August. Going forward, only the new cars will be used during testing.(Fox Sports)(6-26-2012)
Ford makes changes to 2013 Sprint Cup car: After unveiling the 2013 NASCAR Fusion at Charlotte Motor Speedway in January and highlighting the first version of its new car in a team paint scheme on Memorial Day weekend, Ford Racing is using the upcoming race weekend in Michigan to unveil updates to the design of the Cup car which shows even more brand identity through enhanced design cues, including new grille work and hood lines. Gone is the stickered front grille from the January reveal and in its place are actual grille bars which will adorn the 2013 Cup Fusion, in addition to several other key tweaks to the front end of the car. "We had an opportunity to add more personality and detail to the race car," said Garen Nicoghosian, Ford design manager in charge of the NASCAR project. We took advantage of this opportunity and sculpted a more aggressive front end and we added grille bars that are identical in design to the production car. We also added more detail to the fog light housings, and created a more detailed headlight area as well. In addition, we also sculpted a more aggressive hood, and were able to achieve a closer look to the production car. Our race car is even closer in design to the production car now, and we are very pleased with the results."(Ford Racing)(6-11-2012)
Ford Unveils Historic All-New Focus Electric Pace Car for Richmond: After being unveiled in a public ceremony at the Virginia State Capitol, the 2012 Focus Electric pace cars are ready for their historic race weekend when they become the first all-electric vehicles to pace a NASCAR Sprint Cup event. The two Focus Electric vehicles will perform all pace car duties for the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The two cars were unveiled by Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Ford Global Electrified Programs; Mike Lynch, NASCAR's managing director of Green Innovation; and Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. Production of the Focus Electric began in December at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.(Ford), see image of the pace car on my 2012 Pace Car page.(4-27-2012)
Ford Focus Electric Becomes First All-Electric Pace Car in NASCAR: Ford's innovative marketing campaign for the 2012 Focus Electric continues as NASCAR selected the car to be the first-ever all-electric pace car, leading the field for the Sprint Cup Richmond 400 on April 28. Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008 Ford research shows that approximately 35% of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78% of them support NASCAR. Ford also was the first to show off a 2013 model race car when it unveiled its new 2013 Fusion stock car in January. Ford Motor Company is again making NASCAR history this month as the all-new Focus Electric becomes the first all-electric pace car to ever lead the field for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond 400. The all-new Focus Electric will perform all pace care duties at Richmond International Raceway on April 28. The Focus Electric pace car will be unveiled for the public at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on April 25. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will deliver the Focus Electric to Richmond International Raceway, where it will serve as pace car for that weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.(PRNewswire/Ford)(4-16-2012)
Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)
Penske switching to Ford in 2013: UPDATES: Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-A. J. Allmendinger. When Penske returned [too NASCAR] in 1991 he fielded Pontiacs through the 1994 season. He switched to Fords for the next eight seasons, 1995 through 2002, before forming his alliance with Dodge which reached nine years last season. All told, he's fielded 1,503 Cup entries, won 96 poles and 71 races. His cars have finished in the top-five 333 times and in the top-10 573 times. Penske Racing has never won a Cup championship but has been top-10 in final points 19 times. But Penske Racing has been in a mini slump of late. It has won at least one race every year since 1991 but has only 18 wins in 768 starts dating to 2004. The year before, Newman won eight races, more than half his NASCAR career total of 15. The Dodge years, beginning in 2003, are somewhat deceiving. Newman, in his second full year with Penske Racing, won eight races for Dodge in 2003, by far the brand's best NASCAR showing since its glory days with Richard Petty in the 1970s. Wallace won once in his next-to-last season of 2004, and Newman gave Dodge only three wins in his last four years with Penske. Kurt Busch won 10 times for Dodge in his six seasons with Penske Racing, and Keselowski has won three times.(AutoWeek)(3-1-2012)
UPDATE: Penske Racing is coming back to Ford. After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about. Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts). The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series). "This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels." Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."(Ford Racing)(3-1-2012)
Dodge Statement: In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement: "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future. "We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season. Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."(Dodge PR)(3-1-2012)
Ford Eco Boost to sponsor Stenhouse in Daytona 500: EcoBoost, the line of Ford production car engines that provides increased power and fuel efficiency while reducing emissions, is coming to NASCAR, but not under the hood. Ford is reaching out to its huge racing audience through a multi-tiered marketing campaign focused on EcoBoost beginning with this month’s Daytona 500. EcoBoost, which first appeared on the NASCAR landscape as the paint scheme on the 2013 Fusion race car for its reveal in Charlotte, N.C., January 24, will serve as the primary paint scheme when defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. makes his Daytona 500 debut in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion at the end of the month. EcoBoost will also be featured for select races on the #17 Fusion of former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth throughout the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign. EcoBoost will also appear on the Mustang race cars of Stenhouse Jr. and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne for select races on the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule. “EcoBoost is one of the smart technologies from Ford that blends performance and fuel economy into one package. That's something all racers and racing fans can relate to," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "EcoBoost engines are available now, and they will be widely available on most vehicles from Ford. We want to raise awareness of EcoBoost among NASCAR fans, so they will look for it, and ask about it when they shop for their new Fords.” In addition to making appearances on the track, EcoBoost will be featured as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series EcoBoost 300 event March 17, 2012 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
What is EcoBoost? Ford EcoBoost, which uses turbocharging and direct gasoline injection to boost engine output, reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency by as much as 20 percent, made its debut in the marketplace in 2009 Since its debut, the engines have beaten Ford sales expectations, brought younger, more affluent customers to the brand and returned some of the highest customer satisfaction numbers the company has ever received.
Ford plans to offer EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, and tripling the capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. Expanded availability in high-volume nameplates helps make fuel economy more affordable for hundreds of thousands of drivers. There were a record 127,683 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles sold by Ford in 2011.
EcoBoost engines are available worldwide on Ford vehicles, including:
· 1.0-liter three-cylinder
· 1.6-liter four-cylinder
· 2.0-liter four-cylinder
· 3.5-liter V6
EcoBoost engines are a key element of the power of choice Ford offers buyers seeking fuel-efficient solutions. From EcoBoost to hybrids and from plug-in hybrids to full electric vehicles, this year Ford will offer nine vehicles reaching an anticipated 40 mpg or more. By 2013, Ford plans to offer an EcoBoost engine in up to 90 percent of its North American nameplates, supporting global sales of 1.5 million EcoBoost-powered vehicles per year.(Ford Racing NASCAR), see image of the scheme on the #6 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2012)
2013 cars to be tested at Homestead: UPDATES: All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st…in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach? Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version – which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer.(MikeMulhern.net)(1-25-2012)
UPDATE: #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.(2-1-2012)
UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), and Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) are also participating.(PRN Garage Pass)(2-1-2012)
New 2013 Ford Fusion Brings the “Stock Car” Back to NASCAR: The 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car, unveiled today as part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour, was worked on by Ford designers in an effort to bring brand identity back to the sport. The result is undeniable with the 2013 Sprint Cup car mirroring the recently unveiled 2013 Ford Fusion production car. Featuring a completely redesigned sleek new silhouette and fresh face, the 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup car was designed to be the face of a new era of stock car racing. ”We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return ‘stock car’ to NASCAR.” stated Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “I think fans, when they see the car, are just going to smile and cheer. It is going to reengage them with the sport and make the sport better because there is just something natural about seeing race cars that look like cars in their driveways.” This marks the third time Ford simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model. The first dual launch came in 1968, with the sleek fastback Ford Torino. Legendary NASCAR driver David Pearson drove the Torino to back-to-back NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969. The second time came in 2006, when the then newly introduced Ford Fusion appeared in showrooms and on the track. Ford took a different approach with the development of the 2013 Fusion racer. Ford Design Center staff, led by Garen Nicoghosian, and Ford aerodynamicist Bernie Marcus, spent the past year doing the early design development, freeing up the Ford race teams to concentrate on weekly NASCAR competition. “This is a seminal moment in the sport where we had a chance to get it right once again and make sure the race cars are race versions of street cars. And I am proud because I believe we have accomplished just that,” continued Allison. “The 2013 Fusion is a stunning car and the 2013 NASCAR Fusion is even more stunning and I can’t wait to see it perform on the track and connect with race fans.”(Ford Racing)(1-24-2012)
NASCAR moving forward with 2013 cars: The 2012 season hasn't even started, but the move toward new car models in 2013 is well under way. Manufacturers that compete in NASCAR's premier series have targeted next year to roll out new vehicles that will provide the carmakers with more brand identity on the race track. That process will gain speed during the next month or so, beginning with wind-tunnel tests and eventually an on-track session sometime later in 2012, according to the sanctioning body. "We'll be in the wind tunnel over the next 30, 45 days with the new prototypes as we do our evaluations on the submission cars, parts and pieces," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said Friday at Preseason Thunder. "Everybody seems to be pretty far along, and the changes that will come out of those will be based on parity due to the wind-tunnel numbers. We're optimistic that there will be some real race cars on race tracks probably in the second quarter this year doing some evaluation runs, if not before then. NASCAR president Mike Helton praised the cooperation between the carmakers, which decided with the sanctioning body's blessing to redesign the cars for next season.(NASCAR.com)(1-14-2012)
Ford Unveils Next Cup Car: Ford Motor Co. has taken the wraps off its 2013 Fusion sedan, the car the automaker will race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year and for the near future. In 2013, NASCAR will introduce its next-generation Sprint Cup car, which according to series officials and automakers will look much more like a production car than the current ones do. Given that, Ford’s 2013 production Fusion will present a much different face for the automaker than the current model, which debuted in 2006. Thus, expect the new Fusion Sprint Cup car to have lines that more closely mimic the new street model. The new Fusion, which is being introduced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is a fairly bold departure stylistically from the model it’s replacing.(SPEED) see more info on the 2013 Ford Fusion at social.ford.com.(1-9-2012)
Bayne and Gordon, Ford Orders? #21-Trevor Bayne had a wild race, one that was especially weird considering his fourth-place qualifying spot. Bayne was sort of a free agent in the tandem drafting pool. With Ford drivers working under directions that discouraged them from drafting with Chase contenders in other manufacturer camps, Bayne ran much of the day with #7-Robby Gordon. But Bayne wound up in the middle of the upfront drafting pack at the end of the race and was hooked up briefly with #24-Jeff Gordon. They had drafted successfully together at Daytona International Speedway in February as Bayne won the Daytona 500. Bayne broke away from Gordon in the closing miles and after the race tweeted on his Twitter account that he wasn’t pleased with the way the race concluded. "I'm not happy about what this has become," Bayne wrote. "It's too premeditated. We should be able to go with whoever is around. I would have rather pulled over and finished last than tell [Gordon] I would work with him and then be strong armed into bailing." Gordon finished 27th.(Ford Racing)
AND Jamie Allison, who oversees Ford’s motorsports program in North America, was on Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Tradin Paint’’ show on Monday afternoon and discussed the issue of if Ford ordered its teams not to work with any other manufacturers at Talladega this past weekend in light of Trevor Bayne leaving Jeff Gordon late in that race and Tony Stewart saying he could not work with David Gilliland because of orders.
Here’s what Allison said to the question of if he or Ford ordered its teams not to work with anyone else: “We don’t have orders per se. That’s how we work with these teams. These are independent teams that choose an affiliate with us as a manufacturer. We have a lot of respect and mutual agreements. We discuss many strategies. We don’t mandate. We don’t issue orders. I can tell you at the start of the Chase, we reached out to all the Ford teams, I personally did, along with my team and basically said, “Hey, thank you for affiliating with Ford Motor Company. We’re very proud of everybody. Hey, these are special times for us. If an opportunity presents itself where you can help a Ford teammate, just please be aware and try to help out. It was just an outreach, a consideration, just be aware that we’re in the Chase and we’re all part of the big Ford family. No orders. None of what you have been reading around this big plan or big orders. It’s none of that. I can tell you guys, it’s been a very, very tough and long and hard-fought season. It’s been on merit. We’ve earned all the wins. I wish we could count the almost-wins. It’s not just in Cup. You look at Nationwide. We have a strong, strong lead with Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.). We’ve got the manufacturer’s championship that we’re contending with there. It’s a strong, strong year. It’s all because of good preparation, good teamwork and a lot of great teams. We just are reaching out and helping the fellow teammates.’’(Virginian Pilot)(10-25-2011)
Ford wants Ford drivers to draft with Fords only UPDATE?: #14-Tony Stewart [Chevy] likely will have a new drafting partner Sunday with this two-car tandem. Stewart has worked with #34-David Gilliland [Ford] in the past but didn't get to practice with him Friday. Stewart said: "I've kind of heard the Ford guys are kind of being told they have to stay with Ford guys.'' … Stewart drafted with #47-Bobby Labonte [Toyota] in the first practice and with #51-Landon Cassill [Chevy] in the second practice session.(Virginian Pilot)(10-22-2011)
UPDATE: The dictum of Ford drivers helping only other Ford drivers in Sunday’s race came from Ford Racing brass and team owner Jack Roush during a meeting early in the week. In fact, Roush’s loyalty to the brand is legendary. So Gilliland, who drives for Front Row, won’t be on Stewart’s bumper on Sunday—at all. “Yeah, we aren’t,” Gilliland said. “It’s such a tight points battle right now, and we’re going to try to help the Ford guys out all we can.” Apparently, Roush talked about the Ford solidarity in no uncertain terms.(Sporting News)(10-23-2011)
Ford proposing NASCAR version of the X-Games?: A NASCAR version of the X-Games? Something like that is what Ford Motor Company is proposing to NASCAR executives, as a way to use NASCAR to promote new small street cars, to the $14,000 MSRP youthful demographic. How much interest other car companies might have in any such NASCAR/X-Games venture is not clear. Chevrolet racing boss Jim Campbell, who is using Sunday's Michigan 400 to promote GM's new small-car Sonic, as pace car, says he is "open" to using motorsports to push Chevrolet's new small car line. While Toyota and Honda made their names as purveyors of small cars, Ford and Chevrolet on the other hand have been more to the muscle-power side of the game, with powerful trucks like the F-150 and sporty cars like the Mustang, Corvette and Camaro. NASCAR once had a four-cylinder national touring series, the Baby Grands, back in the 1970s, which proved highly popular, and then fairly inexpensive. Precisely what Ford is proposing to NASCAR isn't clear.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-22-2011)
Ford to stick with the Fusion: Ford Racing will continue to run the Fusion when the new Sprint Cup cars hit the track in 2013. Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, said the company looked at different models, including the Mustang, for Cup competition. But, after much consideration, Ford believed it was in its best interest to continue promoting its top-selling car in stock car’s top racing series. “Initially we submitted a Mustang, even back when we were looking at the Nationwide car,” Allison said. “We were really excited about what happened in the Nationwide Series when we put Mustang in. We saw the interest from the fans, the media — and even a whole swatch of consumers that never really followed NASCAR but loved Mustang started to follow Nationwide and NASCAR because Mustang was in. It kind of gave of a view of what could potentially on a grander scale happen if we moved Mustang into Cup.” But Ford officials kept coming back to the Fusion. “The Fusion is so important to our company, it’s our best-selling car, and when we launched the Fusion, we launched it here in NASCAR,” Allison said. “We believe that NASCAR is a platform that can help us compel the fans to the fact that we have an exciting sedan in Fusion, as well as Mustang.” Ford will continue to run the Mustang in the Nationwide Series, Allison said.(FoxSports)(7-5-2011)
Ford working on 2013 Mustang: The redesigned NASCAR Cup chassis is still 18 months away from making its on-track debut, but team owner Jack Roush said fans may soon get a sneak peek at the 2013 Ford Mustang. Speaking Wednesday during a manufacturer teleconference, Roush said NASCAR has required each of the four manufacturers to meet a series of "hard points," places where the sanctioning body wants the chassis to be similar across each make, without significant aerodynamic advantages. The key, according to Roush, is to add manufacturer-specific styling touches without affecting the competitive balance currently seen in the sport. That worked well with the new Nationwide Series car that was unveiled last season and NASCAR fully expects the 2013 rollout to go as smoothly. "I don't think it is a big challenge and it should be easily accomplished. The roof is defined. The deck lid is defined. The front fascia profile and silhouette is basically defined." That process has been under way for some time, Roush said, and the first prototypes of Ford's 2013 entry should be rolling out of the body shop soon.(NASCAR.com)(6-17-2011)
NASCAR meets with manufacturers: NASCAR held a "town hall" style meeting with its manufacturers - Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota - in Detroit on Tuesday. The five-hour summit, which was described by both sides as "very productive" with "an open exchange," is expected to be the first of many where marketing and competition ideas are shared between the sanctioning body and its automotive partners. NASCAR Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton offered a brief update on the 2013 Sprint Cup car models and the decision behind restructuring points. In addition, computer-aided design photos of one of the 2013 cars were compared to the 2012 street car for the same manufacturer, highlighting an effort to return to the showroom influence. But the focus was geared more toward the current state of the sport and building NASCAR through its new integrated marketing and communications department.(Fox Sports)(5-5-2011)
NASCAR, manufacturers schedule meeting: NASCAR officials and representatives of the four participating manufacturers plan to meet next week in Detroit. It's all informal, of course. NASCAR President Mike Helton likened the meeting with representatives from Dodge, Ford, General Motors and Toyota to the many town hall sessions with teams and drivers over the last few years. "The idea was for us to be better communicators with the stakeholders — the broadcast partners, the tracks, the teams, the drivers," Helton said.(Associated Press)(5-1-2011)
2013 Sprint Cup designs moving forward: Development of the proposed new 2013 Sprint Cup Series body styles is progressing on schedule, as the sanctioning body works hand-in-hand with automakers to increase brand identity on the race track. Multiple sources say Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota are expected to submit their final roof and rear deck lid designs in the near future, allowing NASCAR to move forward with the process of creating a unique body for each brand, while maintaining a similar aerodynamic footprint. The current Sprint Cup Series bodies are virtually identical, with the exception of a vinyl graphics package applied to the headlight, grille and rear taillight areas of each car. Beginning in 2013, however, the sanctioning body hopes to have each model be easily identifiable from the front, rear and sides. In an effort to allow manufacturers more design leeway, NASCAR will reportedly cease to distinguish between steel and lexan, allowing manufacturers to contour their NASCAR windshields and side windows identically to those found on their stock, production models. The change would allow teams to do away with the bulky, steel B-pillars required under current NASCAR rules, replacing them with thin "support strips" anchored to larger, lexan side windows. The move will greatly enhance brand identity, something automakers have lobbied hard for in recent years. It could also remove the main stumbling block cited by General Motors executives for not keeping their popular Chevy Camaro out of NASCAR competition. GM has staunchly refused to modify what it calls the "iconic body line" of the Camaro for NASCAR competition. But with new rules in place for the 2013 season, there is a chance the Detroit automaker could reconsider that decision.(Sirius Speedway)(4-6-2011)
Ford Wins NASCAR "Driving Business Award": Ford Motor Company was honored with the 2010 NASCAR Driving Business Award Friday at the first NASCAR Fuel for Business Council Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. Ford Motor Company, which has been racing in NASCAR since 1949, has been a proud member of the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council since 2007. The NASCAR Fuel for Business Council is a proprietary platform exclusive to NASCAR's Official Partners that fosters business-to-business (B2B) development, maximizes resource efficiencies and strengthens the community between NASCAR's top Partners. Since becoming part of the NASCAR B2B Council, Ford has sold 20,000 vehicles to NASCAR official partners.(PCGCampbell/Ford Racing)(3-5-2011)
Ford has the cooling edge? Doug Yates, head engine builder for Roush Yates Engines, explained why the cooling systems of Ford’s FR9 engines seem to have an advantage because they can run hotter, enabling Ford teams to push cars longer than their Sprint Cup competitors. “Together with the radiator and the header tank and the engine, we’ve designed it to run hotter and to have less grille opening,” Yates said. “We saw that from the first day we rolled it on the track. We got a lot of criticism because we were the last guys out with our engine, but it seems being the last guys out we combined all the best technology into one.”(Kansas City Star)(2-19-2011)
Ford asks NASCAR to approve Mustang for 2013: The Ford Motor Co. has informed NASCAR it would like to race the Mustang in the elite Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2013. "We have declared our interest to NASCAR that we would like to see the Mustang in Cup," Jamie Allison, director of Ford's North American Motorsports program, told The Associated Press on Friday. The approval process to replace the Fusion with the iconic muscle car could take all year, and depends on the Mustang being competitively equal to the sedan models entered by rival manufacturers Dodge, General Motors and Toyota. Ford's motive is to get a car on the track that resembles one that can be purchased off a showroom floor. "We are driving to make sure that the car we race is more consistent and more in context with the cars we sell," Allison said. "They have to look like the cars we sell." Ford, which is seeking its 600th win in the Cup Series in the season-opening Daytona 500, will continue to race the Fusion this season and next.(Associated Press)(2-12-2011)
Spirit of Ford Award announced: Kevin Kennedy, who has worked with some of the greatest names in Ford Racing history as director of Ford Racing public affairs, was presented the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award in a surprise ceremony today as part of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. The Spirit of Ford Award is Ford Motor Company’s highest honor in auto racing, recognizing lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry both on and off the race track. Kennedy becomes the 25th recipient, joining an international list of honorees from all forms of racing and racing media. He was recognized in a surprise presentation by Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford and a member of the company’s board of directors. In addition to his duties with Ford Racing, Kennedy is Executive Vice President at PCGCampbell, a marketing communications agency that was founded in 1982 as Campbell & Co. in conjunction with Ford Motor Company’s corporate reentry into professional motorsports. In addition to the Spirit of Ford, Kennedy was also recognized for his excellence in motorsports public relations by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) with the Jim Chapman Award in 2006.
Spirit of Ford Awards Winners
Bill Stroppe, 1988
Bob Glidden, 1989
Chris Economaki, 1990
Richard Petty, 1992
Bob Bondurant, 1993
Mario Andretti, 1994
Jackie Stewart, 1994
Bud Moore, 1995
Parnelli Jones, 1996
Jim Clark, 1997
Phil Hill, 1998
Stirling Moss, 1998
Bill France, Sr., 1998
Bill France Jr. 1998
Junie Donlavey, Jr., 1999
Glen Wood, 1999
Leonard Wood, 1999
Dan Gurney, 1999
Denise McCluggage, 2000
Bill Elliott, 2000
Carroll Shelby, 2001
Wally Parks, 2001
Ned Jarrett, 2003
Mose Nowland, 2005
Jack Roush , 2006
John Force, 2010
Kevin Kennedy, 2011
Ford Racing Presents Special Award to Kennedy: Ford Motor Company presented the Spirit of Ford Award to Kevin Kennedy, director of Ford Racing public affairs for PCGCampbell, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour visit to Roush Fenway Racing. The presentation marked just the 25th time in the 110 year history of Ford that the award had been given out. Previous winners include Jack Roush; NASCAR's Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr.; and racing legends Mario Andretti, John Force and Richard Petty.(CMS Media Tour Notes)(1-30-2011)
Ford Mustang in Cup in 2013? Although Jamie Allison, Ford's director of motorsports, stopped short of saying the Mustang will replace the Fusion as the automaker's entry in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2013, it's abundantly clear Ford is leaning heavily in that direction. "We like what's going on in Nationwide-we really do," Allison told Sporting News. "The more brand identity we have … and Mustang is the most identifiable brand we have in terms of racing and motorsports. So we've made it known that we'd like to see Mustang in NASCAR. We're going to see and track how the Nationwide Series is going and how the Mustang's impacting that and how much we can bring more brand identity into these cars, and then we'll make a decision on what we're putting in Cup."(Sporting News)(1-29-2011)
Ford honors John Force at Homestead: As part of Saturday activities at Homestead, Ford presented the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award to veteran drag racer and force in racing John Force, who recently won a record 15th National Hot Rod Association Funny Car championship. Force, 61, was surprised with the award by Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. co-founder Henry Ford, during a gathering of Ford champion drivers in the Homestead-Miami Speedway media center. The Spirit of Ford Award is the highest honor Ford awards for lifetime achievement in auto racing. Force is the 24th recipient and joins a stellar list that includes Mario Andretti, Richard Petty, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney. Edsel Ford II said Force’s accomplishments off the track—in many areas, including safety and promotion—were as important as his championships in the honor. Force was participating in a panel discussion in the Homestead media center when he was surprised with the award. Also on the panel were Tanner Foust, X Games champion; Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Formula Drift champion); Ken Block (Rally America-World Rally driver) and Jamie Allison, director of Ford’s North American motorsports operations.(Ford Racing)(11-22-2010)
Ford wants to race the Mustang: Ford Racing officials hope that Ford’s Sprint Cup car will look like a Mustang and be branded as a Mustang in the near future, Edsel B. Ford II said Saturday morning. The Mustang was introduced this year as Ford’s new car for the Nationwide Series, which introduced the new car for four races in 2010 and for all events in 2011. Currently, Ford teams race the Ford Fusion in Sprint Cup. The most likely scenario for a change would come in 2013, the expected rollout for the second version of the relatively new Cup car. “It helps to have the Mustang in Nationwide, and there are a lot of us who wish we could do it simultaneously in Cup as well,” said Ford, a member of the Ford Motor Company board of directors and the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. “The sooner the better. Let’s be frank: Motorsports enthusiasts are not going to buy Fusions because they see a Fusion win here, are they? It’s not our performance model. Mustang is. To have a Mustang on the track in NASCAR is the right direction. The Nationwide car looks like a Mustang. It meets the criteria.”
Manufacturers and NASCAR are working on a new version of the current Cup car for 2013, a version that will increase brand identity for manufacturers, much like the new Nationwide car. Ford’s Nationwide car is branded as a Mustang while the Dodge is branded as a Challenger. Chevrolet opted not to put the Camaro in the Nationwide Series because it couldn’t get the look it wanted. Toyota doesn’t have a muscle car and continues to use the Camry nameplate in Nationwide.(SceneDaily)(11-21-2010)
Trio of Ford's to lead the races at Homestead: NASCAR officials will leave it to a trio of new Ford products, including the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, to pace the three championship races at NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway Nov. 19-21. Headlining the pace car trio is the 2011 Ford Explorer, the iconic SUV that boasts best-in-class fuel economy and an all-new look, which will lead the field to the green flag at the season-ending Ford 400 – the Sprint Cup championship event. It will mark the first time Explorer has ever paced a major auto race. Explorer will be preceded on the track during the weekend by the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, which will pace Saturday’s Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide finale, and the 2011 Ford F-150, powered by the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which will handle pace car duties for Friday night’s Ford 200 Camping World Truck Series finale. Ford Championship Weekend began in 2002 and is currently in the middle of a deal that runs through the 2014 season where Ford serves as title sponsor of the final NASCAR races of the season (Ford).(11-17-2010)
Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards’ Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward’s also qualified on the pole during this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates’ new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports’ cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards’ win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. “The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today,” said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I’m thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend.” Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
“I’m excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Carl’s win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates’ FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season.”(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)
NASCAR could run 'pony cars' in Sprint Cup: Next year will bring a host of important changes to the Sprint Cup Series, including a significantly revised schedule, new front ends for the race cars, the introduction of Sunoco Green E15 ethanol fuel and, at some point, fuel injection. But what lies further beyond next year is even more intriguing. With the next-generation Sprint Cup cars tentatively scheduled to roll out in 2013, there’s a strong chance that Ford will move its Mustang up from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the possibility that Chevrolet could dump its four-door Impala Sedan for the hot-selling Camaro. And a Mustang-Camaro rivalry could be just the thing to rev up NASCAR fan interest anew. Today, the automakers and NASCAR are working closer than ever in trying to bring the audiences back to the tracks and the television sets. Brand identity, something the automakers felt was largely lost when the current Sprint Cup car was introduced in 2007, is a hot-button issue these days. And it’s one reason NASCAR has gone back to traditional blade spoilers on the Cup cars and next year will eliminate ungainly cow-catcher front splitters in favor of a more aesthetically pleasing design. The automakers want even more brand identity, because they are trying to recapture the old “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” marketing focus that was predominant in prior generations. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the newly introduced Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, which were raced four times this season and will be raced full-time next year, already have proven hugely popular.
“The dealers are really excited about the Challenger running in NASCAR because it’s something that (Dodge) sells,” said NASCAR team owner Roger Penske, who also owns more than 300 automobile dealerships in 19 states. “These are high gross margin vehicles that they love to sell. When you start to look at Camaro and Mustang and Challenger, these are icons in the business.”
Jamie Allison, director, Ford North American Motorsports, said point blank that the automaker wants to move the Mustang up to the Sprint Cup level, with one caveat: It has to look more like the production Mustang than the current Nationwide car does. “We like to see our iconic brand in all forms of motorsports,” Allison said of the Mustang. “ ... Any further consideration of the Mustang would have to be complemented and linked to more brand identity to the car that’s raced. It can’t just be the current car of tomorrow. It has to be a progression beyond what’s in Nationwide.”
Chevrolet’s racing boss also wants more brand identity. “Chevrolet, in any series that we race in, we’re looking for three things,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s general manager and the man who oversees the automaker’s NASCAR operations. “First, we want to see technologies in the race cars that are applicable to what we do on the production side without driving a tremendous amount of cost. Secondly, we’re (wanting) race series to use biofuels, because that’s what we need to do going forward. Many of our (production) cars are ethanol-capable. And third, we want to see the cars that we race look like the cars that we sell, as close as we can.” Campbell would not specifically comment on whether Chevrolet will return the Camaro to the NASCAR ranks, as Ford has with the Mustang in the Nationwide Series. “That’s a ways off,” Campbell said. “So any speculation about what’s going to happen out there — I don’t really have a lot to say on that today. ... We’ll see what happens.” Campbell did make it clear however, that he wanted NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevrolets to look a lot more like production-model Chevrolets.(is part from SPEED)(10-19-2010)
Ford offers $100k to Ford Chase Drivers: Jamie Allison, Ford’s director of North American Motorsports, announced Sunday in a meeting for Ford teams that any Ford Chase driver who wins any one of the final eight races this year will earn a $100,000 bonus for his team, an incentive one Roush Fenway Racing crewman described as a bounty. That means RFR drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle and #17-Matt Kenseth can help their teams earn a healthy incentive. “It’s fairly straightforward,” Allison said. “This is sports—these guys are athletes. When you’re at that level, and you’re in a very high-pressure situation, you’ve got to find every tool available to kick it up to the next level. (It’s) to be spread to the people who usually don’t see the money. Usually, it’s a pep talk or a coach kicking you in the rear. You don’t need that here. Here, they’re already performing at the highest level. I’ve just seen that a pit stop can make a difference. A pit call can make a difference. Everybody’s working at the highest level, and this is just a small thing that I wanted to do from Ford to go out to the three Ford Chasers and say, ‘There’s a little bit extra here.’ ”(Sporting News), so Biffle and team won an extra $100,000 for the win at Kansas.(10-4-2010)
Ford driver could win a Ford Mustang The Mustang debut in NASCAR has been anxiously anticipated ever since Ford announced the iconic pony car would be competing on the track last summer. Now, to help celebrate that debut, Ford Racing is giving its drivers even more incentive to be the first Mustang winner, and take their place in Mustang racing history. Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports, announced today that any Ford driver who wins Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway will receive their own 2011 5.0-liter Mustang GT production vehicle. This will mark the second straight NASCAR appearance as the Daytona pace car for the 5.0 Mustang GT, which led the field to the green flag for the first time in its history at February’s Daytona 500. For more information regarding Ford Racing’s activities, please visit www.fordracing.com.(6-29-2010)
Ragan helps guide Mustang to 1457 laps on tank of gas: The 2011 Ford Mustang, which made history when it became the first car ever to deliver more than 30 mpg and 305 horsepower, has set a new record by running 1,457 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway while averaging 48.5 mpg. The Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge was designed to demonstrate that a stock production Mustang V-6 could run 1,000 laps and 533 miles on a single of tank of fuel. With the aid of fuel efficient driving techniques by Ford engineers, the Mustang far surpassed its goal of 1,000 laps. The Challenge team, which included NASCAR star David Ragan and four Ford Mustang engineers, completed the challenge in 17 hours and 40 minutes, showing off the 2011 Mustang V-6’s class-leading fuel economy by averaging 48.5 mpg over the course of the 776.5 miles logged during the Challenge. That distance is more than the two complete NASCAR Sprint Cup events that take place in Bristol every year. Ragan pushed the Mustang past the 1,000-lap mark at 7:26 p.m., 12 hours and 26 minutes into the Challenge, but the car wasn’t close to being out of fuel. Mustang engineer Seong Park was behind the wheel when it finally came to a halt (on the backstretch) of the famed NASCAR track at 12:41 a.m. local time. Other Mustang Challenge team drivers included Tom Barnes, Jonathan Mehl, Carl Ek, who along with Park each took one-hour driving stints during the event, which took place at the world’s fastest half-mile track. More than 51,000 consumers registered their guesses for the event at www.mustang1000lapchallenge.com. One lucky consumer that correctly guessed 1,457 laps will be randomly drawn from all correct entries and will win their own 2011 Mustang V-6.(Ford)(6-24-2010)
Ford to switch to Mustang in 2011? NASCAR is expected to change the shape of the front bumper on all Sprint Cup cars for the 2011 season to help improve brand identity for its auto manufacturers. For Ford, that could eventually lead to a change in what nameplate it puts on its car, with a possible move from the Fusion currently being used to the Mustang. But first, Ford officials want to see how the changes affect the front of the Cup car. NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton said Friday the sanctioning body is close to approving the final specifications for the new front bumper. The change will be in the bottom half of the bumper, which currently has a rectangular indentation where the bottom half does not stick out as far as the top half. The new front bumper will be more curved, and the change would eliminate the need for the front splitter braces because much of that area of empty space will now be part of the new curved lower half. "We're working on it – we're close on that," Pemberton said. "It's just time for a style change. We've been working on it for about a year now. We're working on [the brand identity] with the manufacturers." Some of what is being changed to the Cup car is being used on the new Nationwide car, which is going to be run for four races in 2010 and then full-time in 2011. Ford and Dodge are introducing muscle-car nameplates (Mustang and Challenger) in conjunction with the new Nationwide car. Toyota and Chevrolet are keeping the Camry and Impala nameplates. Ford Racing's North America Motorsports Director Jamie Allison said Thursday that if everything goes well in implementing the Mustang into the Nationwide Series, as well as the changes to the front bumper of the Cup car, he would consider changing the Ford nameplate for Cup to Mustang. "We want to see more brand identity in the cars," Allison said Thursday during an event at the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit. "We've been asking NASCAR because we've liked what transpired in the Nationwide." The manufacturers seem ready for the change and have run testing with the cars in simulation and wind tunnels.(SceneDaily)(6-11-2010)
UPDATE: The Sprint Cup car is about to lose its braces. Beginning with the 2011 season, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said a new front valance and splitter combination should eliminate the need for the braces that hold the splitter in place under the current design. "It will be less utilitarian-looking," Pemberton said. "It'll have a little more style in it, and I think people will like that. As we work forward, that's not the last change. We're looking on some stuff that actually has to coincide with the manufacturers and their introduction of new cars to sell." Pemberton said the current design, introduced in 2007, is due for an upgrade. And with the implementation of the new Nationwide Series chassis this season, NASCAR's research and development team went to work on trying to add some pizzazz -- and manufacturer identity -- to the Cup cars. Replacing the unpopular rear wing with the spoiler was the first step, according to Pemberton. So what will the new front bumper look like? According to Pemberton, it'll incorporate a lot of the Nationwide design. That could mean more changes to make the current generic chassis a little more manufacturer-specific, Pemberton said, perhaps as early as 2012 or '13.(NASCAR.com), see the Nationwide Series COT and the 'splitter' on the Nationwide Series COT page.(6-13-2010)
Ford Engine Comparisons: Four Ford teams are using the latest Ford engine, the FR9 and the rest are using the 'old' engine, some camparison
How did the Ford team qualify at Pocono?
Teams with the FR9 engine and where they qualified:
#43-AJ Allmendinger starts 17th
#17-Matt Kenseth 15th
#16-Greg Biffle 28th
#99-Carl Edwards 26th
Teams with the old Ford engine and where they qualified
New Ford engine to run in some cars at Pocono: Robbie Reiser, general manager at Roush Fenway Racing, said that some cars in the organization and at Richard Petty Motorsports will use the new Ford engine next week at Pocono before all the teams for both organizations use it the following week at Michigan. The engine debuted last season but has been used sparingly this season with plans for all the Ford teams to be running the engine this summer. Only the Wood Brothers, who are running a limited schedule, have used the new engine throughout this season. Scheduled to run the new Ford engine at Pocono next weekend are #43-AJ Allmendinger, #17-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards. Roush and RPM will use the new engine in all the remaining races, Reiser said, except next month at New Hampshire and Infineon Raceway and at Watkins Glen and Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(5-31-2010)
Ford looking for new racing engineer: Ford Racing is searching for a new manager of North American Racing Operations. Doug Hervey, who has been in the post since April 2007, will move on to the product development end of the Ford Motor Company. He will be under Brian Wolfe, former director of North American Motorsports. Hervey directed the engineering of all of Ford's North American Racing initiatives with an emphasis on NASCAR and NHRA. He also oversaw Grand-AM and USAC. Ford Racing has been winless in NASCAR's Cup Series since Jamie McMurray took the checkers at Talladega on Nov. 1, 2009. Its last Nationwide Series win came when Carl Edwards was victorious at Phoenix two weeks later. Ford pulled its manufacturing support from the Camping World Truck Series two years ago but still offers technical and contingency support.(Fox Sports)(5-8-2010)
Ford sets date for new engine switch: The Fords of Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports will switch to the FR9 engine beginning with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3 and race it for the remainder of the season – with the exception of Watkins Glen and Bristol Motor Speedway. The Roush and RPM teams will all race the engine at the Sprint All-Star Race. Ford originally submitted the engine for approval in the summer of 2008 and used it for the first time at the fall Talladega race. However, they rushed it before it was fully developed. The overall cost for the project — the first purpose-built racing engine for NASCAR — ran between $15-20 million.(FoxSports)(5-2-2010)
New Ford engine to run at Talladega: Ford Racing’s ‘FR9’ engine will take another step toward full implementation this weekend as all cars under the Roush Fenway and Richard Petty Motorsports umbrella will be running the new piece at Talladega Superspeedway. This will mark the first points race in which a majority of Fords in the field will have the ‘FR9’. At Daytona, teams ran it in practice, qualifying and the Gatorade Duels, but only Bill Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Elliott Sadler ran it in the Daytona 500.(Ford Racing)(4-20-2010)
What's up with the Ford FR9 engine? One thing that could help the Roush squad down the road is Ford's new FR9 engine, which is said to have improved cooling that allows the teams to use more tape on the nose. That makes more front downforce and helps the cars turn in the corner. So far, only the part-time Wood Brothers Racing team is using the FR9 in every race. The Roush Fenway Racing cars are phasing it in gradually, with no definitive timetable on when it will be run exclusively. Asked about when the FR9 would be in his car, #16-Greg Biffle said he wasn't sure. "That is a good question, I don't know the answer," Biffle said Friday at PIR. "I know they are working hard at it and it is a logistical nightmare. There are a lot of parts and pieces that need working. You are going to have to have 16 engines a week and have to rebuild every single one of them down to the pistons and rings. There is a supply issue getting all the parts and castings and making sure it is ready for competition. I am surprised more of our guys aren't running it week to week."(SPEEDtv)(4-13-2010)
No new Ford engines at Vegas: There are no “FR9” engines being run this week in any of the 12 Fords that are entered and guaranteed starting spots in Sunday’s Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Ford Notes/RFR)(2-27-2010)
No new Ford engines at ACS: there will be no new Ford FR9's engines being run in the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway this week and they may not run any races until later in the spring.(SPEED's coverage of Happy Hour practice)(2-20-2010)
So..what is up with the 'new' Ford engine? The Wood Brothers [#21 Bill Elliott], who are again running a limited schedule of Sprint Cup events, are to use the new Ford FR9 engine at every race they're in. But Ford execs say they still don't have a firm timetable for the full rollout, though they say they're looking at somewhere around Charlotte in late May. And they say when they do make the rollout, it will be a complete changeover for all the Ford teams. At Daytona, Ford teams will be using the FR9 for qualifying, practice and the Gatorade Duel150-mile qualifiers, but they'll be switching to the established engine for the Daytona 500 itself.(That's allowed at Daytona, without having to give up a qualifying spot.)(MikeMulhern.net)(1-17-2010)
Ford Mustang to pace the Daytona 500: Pacing the field for the 2010 Daytona 500 on February 14th will be a specially prepared one-of-a-kind 2011 Mustang GT powered by the all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine producing 412 horsepower. This will mark the first time in 40 years a Ford Motor Company product has paced the field at the Daytona 500. The last Ford product to be a pace car at the Daytona 500 was the 1970 Torino GT convertible. The 2011 Mustang GT pace car will receive a special Daytona 500 Race Red paint scheme with Blue/White Lemans stripes, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace, mufflers, unique painted wheels and special interior treatment including lighted sill plates. This Mustang will be an actual production car with an early VIN and will be among the first 2011 models available to the public. Also this Mustang (Lot # 1295.1) will be offered for auction at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction on Saturday January 23rd. All Proceeds over MSRP will go to help cure childhood diabetes through a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. One lucky bidder will have the opportunity to own the actual pace car prior to the race and will get to see their car pacing the field on February 14th.(Mustang Heaven)(1-17-2010)
Ford North America Motorsports names new director: Jamie Allison, a 22-year Ford veteran with experience in engineering, product planning and marketing, has been named director, Ford North America Motorsports, effective January 1, 2010. Allison, who most recently has been Ford Performance Group Manager, will replace current director Brian Wolfe, who has been named to a new position in global product development by Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development and Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “I’m excited about the challenge of helping take Ford’s racing program forward,” said Allison, who has been part of the Ford Racing management team for just over six years. “For a kid who wanted to work for Ford Motor Company, to help carry forward a tradition that Henry Ford himself started is something special. Brian Wolfe really made a great difference in the program in his time as director, opening up so many opportunities to reach out, not just the professional racers, but to the grassroots and sportsman racers as well. He installed a philosophy that we were going to be ‘racer-friendly’ in all that we do, and we as a team will carry that forward.” Allison joined Ford Motor Company in 1987, after graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with an electrical engineering degree. He later returned to earn a MBA in marketing from the same university. He began his career at Ford in product engineering, and spent the first 10 years of his career working within engineering and product planning.
In 1997, Allison made the transition to product marketing, and held a series of marketing jobs within the company before joining Ford Racing Technology in 2003, where he has overseen the Ford Racing Performance Parts business, as well as North America Motorsports Marketing. Under Allison’s leadership, the Ford Racing Performance Parts business was transformed by offering ready-to-race vehicles for production-based racing, Performance Packs and new vehicle modifications for enthusiasts. The team also partnered with Shelby Autos on the launch of exciting new Shelby performance vehicles, and created the Ford Performance Group as an outreach to Ford Clubs—all of which reinvigorated Ford's support of performance enthusiasts.
Wolfe became director, Ford North America Motorsports, in July 2008, and has had a major impact on the program since then. Ford captured Mustang championships this season in NHRA Funny Car, Grand-Am KONI and SCCA World Challenge GT, as well as Ford’s first Daytona 500 win since 2000. Under Wolfe’s direction, the company also launched the NASCAR Nationwide Series Mustang, secured official vehicle sponsorships with the NHRA and American Drag Racing League, and assisted with bringing the European Fiesta to a successful racing debut in North America, with a second-place at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and a 1-3-4 finish in its X Games rally competition debut. Wolfe opened the door to additional grassroots opportunities for Ford in circle track racing and road racing, but may be best known as being the man to help bring the Cobra Jet Mustang sportsman drag racing car back to the track after 40 years, along with Ford’s re-entry into NHRA Pro Stock. The 2008 Cobra Jet won its initial outing at Pomona in February 2009, and went on to set records across the country. A 2010 version of the Cobra Jet will go into production in January, with all 50 being sold in advance of production. For more information regarding Ford Racing’s activities, please visit www.fordracing.com.(Ford)(12-18-2009).
New Ford engine to run at Homestead: Ford will run its new engine next week at Homestead, said Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations. The plan is for #6-David Ragan to run the car at Homestead, Hervey said. It will be the second race for the engine. The restrictor-plate version was run at Talladega with Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth. This will be the first time the unrestricted version has run in competition.(Roanoke Times)(11-17-2009)
New Ford engine not in full time use until mid-2010: Although Ford is getting its new FR9 engine ready for Sprint Cup competition this weekend, it's unlikely all Ford teams will be using the new engine full time until the middle of the 2010, engine builder Doug Yates said Tuesday. The engine will make its debut this weekend in the restrictor-plate race at Talladega Superspeedway in the Roush Fenway Racing cars of David Ragan and Matt Kenseth. It likely will also be used at a race track where the air running through the engine is unrestricted by the end of the season. But a full rollout, if Roush Yates Engines has the eight full-time teams it expects to have, won't even be done for the start of the 2010 season. One of the reasons the engine is being introduced at Talladega is so that it could be used with confidence next year at the Daytona 500. Yates said their unrestricted engines can generate 900 horsepower; a restricted engine generates about 450 horsepower. Ford officials had predicted earlier this year that the new engine would roll out sometime in the second half of the season, although Talladega is a little later than anticipated. The new engine could impact the handling of the car as it should give it a slightly lower center of gravity. Yates said all the teams that test at the Goodyear tire test Monday and Tuesday at Daytona will have the current engine and not the new engine.(SceneDaily)(10-28-2009)
New Ford Engine to debut at Talladega: After months of anticipation, Ford Racing announced that the FR9 engine will make its debut under the hood of Matt Kenseth’s #17 DeWalt Ford Fusion and David Ragan’s #6 UPS Ford Fusion in next week’s Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. “I’m very excited about the debut of the FR9,” said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “All of us are anxious to see it in competition for the first time. Those of us who have been involved in this project agree that one of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced in making this transition to the FR9 this year has been the fact the current Ford engine is still so competitive, along with the economics of obsoleting the inventory of the current engine and parts. This has been a tough year for us and our teams on the track, especially since we had such a strong 2008, and the priority for everyone this year has been solving the on-track performance, which has slowed down the rollout of the FR9.”
Code-named FR9, this new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine to ever come out of Ford Motor Company. Its design has been spearheaded and developed by famed engine builder Doug Yates and Ford Racing engineer David Simon. “This puts us on a level playing field with the rest of the competition and it’s something we’re excited about working on,” said Yates, who has been involved with the project since it began three years ago. “Right out of the box the engine is really impressive power-wise. We feel like it’s going to give us some advantages aerodynamically where, perhaps, we can tape the cars up more and run the engines hotter. The oiling system is designed for a racing engine and, to this day, the current engine has done a great job for many years, but we’ve got to remember when I started 20 years ago the block was already in existence. So a lot of things have changed,” continued Yates. “The demands have changed. The RPM and the power levels have changed tremendously, and to have an opportunity to have something new and move forward makes this an exciting time to be part of Ford.”
Some of those crucial decisions included an all-new platform for FR9 with no carry over components or dimensions from the current production-based 351 engine. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valvetrain, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance. While the restricted version of the engine will debut next week, it has yet to be determined when FR9 will hit the track at an unrestricted venue.(Ford Racing)(10-23-2009)
New Ford engine at Talladega UPDATE: Ford will delay the debut of its new Sprint Cup engine, Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations, said Saturday. The engine was scheduled to have debuted next week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Instead, Ford will debut the restrictor-plate version of the engine at Talladega in three weeks. As for the non-restrictor-plate engine, it likely will debut at Texas or Homestead.(Virginian Pilot)
AND: Matt Kenseth's crew chief Drew Blickensderfer is expecting to have the new Ford FR9 engine in the #17 Fusion in two weeks at Talladega.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)
UPDATE: Doug Yates confirmed that the new FR9 Ford engine will debut at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. "We had our sights on Charlotte, to run it here," Yates said. "We just wanted to take our time and make sure everything was right. We're fortunate to have the luxury to do that. We're looking forward to Talladega — but you know how much I love restrictor plate racing anyway."(FoxSports)(10-16-2009)
New Ford engine debut at Charlotte: Ford plans to debut its new engine next month at Charlotte. It will be used by at least one Ford team not in the Chase. Whether all the Ford teams will be using the new engine at the start of next season, though, is a question. "This is more a team decision than a manufacturer's because the budgets are in their hands on how they do it,'' said Brian Wolfe, Ford Director of North American Motorsports. "We always kid internally that the biggest problem the new engine has is the old engine is so good.''(Roanoke Times)(9-14-2009)
Ford win streak at BMS ends: Ford carried quite a winning streak into Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway: Ford had reached Victory Lane at Bristol at least once each year between 1996-2008. WIth #18-Kyle Busch winning both 2009 races at Bristol in a Toyota, the streak has come to an end.(8-23-2009)
Ford win streak at BMS: Ford carries quite a winning streak into Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway: Ford has reached Victory Lane at Bristol at least once each year between 1996-2008. #99-Carl Edwards won at Bristol in 2008 and 2007, and one of his teammates, Matt Kenseth, won there in 2006 and 2005.(Ford Racing), #18-Kyle Busch won at Bristol in March, running a Toyota.(8-20-2009)
Ford to debut new engine at Michigan? UPDATE Ford's long-awaited debut of its new NASCAR engine is now expected to come next Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, but it's not clear which teams may be using it. The engine has a much improved cooling system, which should make for more downforce on the nose, because teams won't have to run so much ductwork.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-10-2009)
UPDATE: It was rumored that Ford will introduce its new engine this weekend at Michigan. Not true, says Brian Wolfe, Ford's director of North American Motorsports. Instead, it will be introduced during the 10-race Chase that begins in September. "If it's this weekend nobody told me," Wolfe said "It's definitely not before the Chase." The plan before the season was to introduce the new engine by now. There were talks about letting the [#21 Ford] Wood Brothers, who are running a partial schedule with Bill Elliott, be the guinea pig. But that isn't likely now, Wolfe said. The first to use it will be non-Chase drivers at Roush Fenway [likely #6-Ragan, #26-McMurray, #96-Labonte, #98-Menard] or Yates Racing. Makes sense, considering the engine was developed by the Roush-Yates engine program. Still, don't look for a widespread rollout of the engine. And don't look for it to be used by one of the Chase teams unless the initial results are so extraordinary it is worth the risk.(ESPN Insider)(8-12-2009)
New Ford engine is on the way: Brian Wolfe, the director of Ford Racing Technology, said the new Ford engine will take to the track in anger very soon. Before the Chase begins. The exact timing of rollout will be determined by the teams which will use it. He is promising no miracles for those teams. “We’ve really struggled this year – you know that better than I do – after the first two races. Some bad luck, then probably some missed setups and we got some issues going and we haven’t had the wins. While the engine has tested well and appears to do what Ford wants it to do, teams will have to figure out how it affects other areas of performance. Areas like aerodynamics. Its improved cooling capabilities will allow teams to tamper with front downforce by using less tape on the nose. Some in the Ford camp have balked about using the new engine this year. Those would mostly be teams which appear headed to the Chase. Wolfe said he understands their concerns and will not pressure those teams to use the new engine.(Racin' Today)(7-30-2009)