The new look for 2016 season.....images from Ford Racing PR (1-11-2016)
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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
Ford Performance boss believes Edwards to return Carl Edwards stunned the NASCAR community when he announced an unscheduled sabbatical last January. But no one, including the top brass at Ford Performance--that's right, Ford--would be surprised if Edwards' return to racing was just as swift and abrupt as his departure. Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak anticipates a return by Edwards. "I don't know what Carl's future looks like," Pericak said. "We've had no conversations about that at all. I can tell you that, honestly. I personally believe that Carl's coming back. That's just a Dave Pericak thought, but I have no idea what's going on with him. No conversations, but you'll see Carl Edwards in the sport again. That's my two-cents worth."
Since Edwards' departure, the rumor mill has run wild with speculation. Will he replace Danica Patrick in the #10 car next year? How about bumping Kasey Kahne from the #5 team? Will Team Penske start a third team for Edwards? Could he replace Matt Kenseth following his former teammate's retirement tour?(Motorsport)[More](3-16-2017)
Latest on a new manufacturer to NASCAR: The rumblings about a new manufacturer entering Cup haven't quieted since Dodge's multiple meetings in the offseason with NASCAR. This past weekend, there was garage buzz that 1) Dodge might be moving down the road with a team; and 2) there could be another manufacturer interested.[More](3-13-2017)
Ford going for third straight win to start season, first time since 1992 It's been a great start to the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for Ford Performance with back-to-back wins in Daytona and Atlanta. As the focus shifts out west for three straight races, Ford takes a look at some past streaks and its overall success at this week's stop - Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This marks the first time since 2009 that Ford has won the first two races of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season, but it's been 25 years since the Blue Oval has started with three straight.(Ford Performance)[More](3-7-2017)
Competition between Manufacturers extends to the showroom: Competition between NASCAR manufacturers isn't confined to the race track. In a press conference featuring executives from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, Ed Laukes of Toyota couldn't pass up an opportunity to needle Chevy's Jim Campbell. "Let me apologize for those 16 Monday mornings," Laukes quipped, referring to Toyota's 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories this season. "Let me apologize for last night," retorted Campbell, referring to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship Chevrolet driver Johnny Sauter won on Friday. All NASCAR's OEMs are in the business of selling cars, and all view NASCAR racing as an invaluable resource toward that end.
"I would just say, first of all, we're a car company," Campbell said. "So being in a sport where the car and the drivers are the stars is straight right on the money for us. What we have found in this series, we get skill and reach in terms of audience. We know, because we measure closely, that our involvement in NASCAR, we see a lift in the brand. We see key image ratings for Chevrolet lifted as well. When those two things happen, good things happen in the showroom. More people put you on their shopping list. That's a fact. We see that for sure."
Ford is expanding its involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the addition of four-car Stewart-Haas Racing next year. "There's no secret there's a heck of an investment we all make in this sport," said Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance. "We wouldn't be doing that if we weren't getting a return on our investment. Having said that, it's the enthusiasts that are here. We are talking to them. We are giving them what they want. At the end of the day, those are the people that go out and be the ambassadors for our companies. When somebody wants to know what they should buy, what Ford is doing, Chevy, that's who they go talk to-they talk to enthusiasts. We're really talking to the people that are going to help us carry our message forward."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-20-2016)
All-new Ford F-150 Raptor Will Pace NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale: The highly-anticipated 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has been selected to pace the Ford EcoBoost 400, the final race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 20. A Lightning Blue F-150 SuperCrew Raptor will lead the field to the green flag for the championship-deciding Sprint Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile track. An Oxford White F-150 Raptor SuperCab will serve as the splitter vehicle and back up vehicle for NASCAR's championship race. The Ford F-150 Raptor pace vehicle is equipped with a second-generation twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, high-output 3.5L EcoBoostengine with direct fuel injection.
"Ford is very proud to have a 2017 F-150 Raptor pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup race during Ford Championship Weekend," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "To have Raptor leading the field as some of the world's best drivers battle for the NASCAR championship is special. Raptor is a hit, whether on pavement or off-road, and we know our fans will enjoy seeing it out on the track."
Red and orange Mustang GT350s will pace the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Nov. 19. A Lightning Blue F-150 STX SuperCab and a Ruby Red F-150 Platinum SuperCrew will be the pace vehicles for the Nov. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 race. Built in Dearborn, Mich., Raptor is equipped with the first application of Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission and a new four-wheel-drive transfer case, which will work with a new six-setting terrain-mode system to configure the truck for varying road and trail conditions. High-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy makes the all-new F-150 Raptor up to 500 pounds lighter than the previous model, which when coupled with the 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque generated by the high-output 3.5L EcoBoostengine, gives drivers even more power and torque for on- and off-road performance.
Off road, the all-new F-150 Raptor features improved ground clearance, approach and departure angles, plus increased suspension travel for up to 13 inches of front and 14 inches of rear suspension travel when compared with the first-generation truck. The 2017 Raptor also sports 3.0-inch FOX Racing Shox™ with custom internal bypass technology, which allows for variable damping rates based on wheel travel. A TORSENfront differential is available as well to improve off-road capability by transferring torque to the stable wheel. Ford has used its Ford Championship Weekend entitlement as an opportunity to showcase many of its newest cars and trucks as pace vehicles throughout the years, including vehicles such as Fusion Hybrid, Bullitt Mustang, F-150 Foose Edition, 50th Anniversary Mustang, Police Interceptors and the lead Mustang from the movie "Need for Speed."(Ford)(11-19-2016)
Roush Yates Engines preparing for Stewart Haas switch to Ford: One of the biggest stories of the 2016 NASCAR season played out early in the year with the announcement that Stewart-Haas Racing would switch from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017 - a move that caught most everyone off-guard. Now, with the season winding down, the countdown is on for that switch to become a reality and Roush Yates Engines is working behind the scenes to ensure it is up to the task of putting power under the SHR hoods. "Roush Yates Engines, right now, is in the process of increasing inventory and getting prepared," said Jeff Clark, Vice President of Sales for Roush Yates Engines. "We don't build the engines yet because technology is always changing but we are reviewing applications and potential employees - that will be more of a November/December item. And then acquiring the inventory, a lot of the parts in these engines require long lead-times. There are three, four, five or six months of lead time on these items, so we're trying to get the hard parts together and just prepare as much as possible for when it is go-time." Clark doesn't have an exact number of people the organization will need to bring on to fulfill the new workload but he knows they will be choosing from the best-of-the-best in the sport. He said they have received a lot of interest from engine experts looking to fill the void and that have led to numerous applications and resumes. He said management is poring over stats to determine how much the workload will increase to be ready for 2017.(Kickin the Tires)(10-17-2016)
Ford will try to secure more young drivers: The head of Ford Performance says that the manufacturer will be more active in seeking and securing young drivers. "We need to have more involvement going forward," Dave Pericak, director Ford Performance, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday. "We have to make sure that we constantly have a good lineup of drivers across the board that are ready to fill the seats when it's time." The need to find young talent is because manufacturers have gotten more aggressive about keeping such drivers under contract in recent years. Toyota had Kyle Larson in its camp before he went to Chevrolet-affiliated Chip Ganassi Racing. Ford lost Jeff Gordon to Chevy and once sued Kasey Kahne for breach of contract when he signed with Ray Evernham's Dodge team. Pericak's comments come as the sport cycles toward more young racers with a group of drivers retiring or closing in on that point. Toyota has stockpiled young drivers in NASCAR's feeder series. Eighteen-year-old William Byron leads the Camping World Truck Series standings after his fourth series victory last weekend at Kentucky, 24-year-old Daniel Suarez leads the Xfinity standings and 20-year-old Erik Jones has won two Xfinity races this season. Toyota also has 19-year-old Ben Rhodes, 19-year-old Cameron Hayley, 21-year-old Christopher Bell and 24-year-old Rico Abreu competing for its teams in the Camping World Truck Series. Ford has the youngest lineup of drivers in the Sprint Cup Series among the three manufacturers. Ford has seven Cup drivers in their 20s: Ryan Blaney (22), Chris Buescher (23), Trevor Bayne (25), Joey Logano (26), Landon Cassill (27), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (28) and Brian Scott (28).(NBC Sports)(7-13-2016)
Ford working with Roush to improve: Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak is convinced Roush Fenway Racing will soon return to victory lane. The legendary Ford NASCAR team has not won a race since [Sonoma in 2014]. Team owner Jack Roush and his current Cup drivers Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are as dedicated as ever to turning things around, said Pericak, who took over as global director of Ford Performance from Jamie Allison last year. "I've been in the job for over a year and I've said we've been going to fix Roush," said Pericak, chief engineer of the Ford Mustang from 2008-2015. "The cars this year have speed in them but the team has had trouble executing on pit road. I think they've definitely ... shown a trend of improvement."
"As it is today, Jack Roush is not happy about the situation," said Pericak, who will leave Tuesday for France to oversee the Ford GT40's return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. "But he's 100% committed to improving the team and his spirits are high."
Pericak will be at MIS [Friday] to observe NASCAR's new lower down force package for the track. "It will be a wait and see thing," said Pericak of the aerodynamic package which NASCAR believes will promote closer and better racing with more passing. "I think we are headed in the right direction and we're hoping for better racing. At the end of the day, I think it allows drivers to drive the car." Ford drivers have been using a state-of-the-art simulator in Charlotte, N.C., running the lower down force package for MIS.(Detroit Free Press)(6-10-2016)
Ford exec says "no doubt" Harvick will drive a Ford next season UPDATE: Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak did not mince words when it comes to Kevin Harvick's status for 2017. "There is no doubt in my mind," Pericak said. "He will be in a Ford." Despite rumors Chevrolet would like to keep Harvick in their camp, Pericak insists the 2014 champion will drive a Ford next season. Enlisting the services of Stewart-Haas Racing is just the latest bold move made by Pericak, who took over Ford's racing arm 16 months ago. With Chevrolet having a stranglehold over half of the Sprint Cup field Pericak acknowledged it was time to even the odds. "We've always said we're here to win races," Pericak added. "We're not just here to have fun. We have to have more than just a couple bullets in the chamber every time you show up on the weekends. So we're going to strengthen all the way across the board and adding a championship caliber team like Stewart-Haas is putting more bullets in the chamber." As for the bigger picture, Pericak sees plenty of progress for the Blue Oval brigade -- from rookie Ryan Blaney's ability to get up to speed so quickly to the gains at Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.(Motorsport)(4-7-2016)
UPDATE: Kevin Harvick strongly reiterated his intentions to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing, saying Thursday "There is nothing to it" as far as the rumors he could leave over the team's move to Ford next season. "As far as I know, I thought I had a team extension that had two more years left on my contract," he said.(ESPN.com)(4-7-2016)
France discusses thrilling start to 2016 season, new manufacturer coming? After two photo finishes and a bevy of side-by-side racing to start the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined SiriusXM Speedway host Dave Moody on Friday to discuss the early-season returns on the new aero package employed in the sport's top series. "Well it's off to a really good start obviously," France said. "It's not a situation where we're willing to say everything is perfect because we're always searching for terrific things on the racetrack. The low downforce [package], in combination with Goodyear producing a really good tire to match up to that, has given the drivers more of what they want and they're putting on one heck of a race."
The 2016 season opened with Denny Hamlin capturing the Daytona 500 by a scant .010 seconds over Martin Truex Jr. That finish was followed by a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway - the first with the new lower downforce aero package - that saw a record number of green flag passes for the lead (44). And last Sunday in Phoenix, Kevin Harvick edged Carl Edwards to the finish line by the identical Daytona margin of victory of .010 seconds. But it was the end-of-race, sheet-metal crushing aggression displayed by both Harvick and Edwards at the end of the race that most impressed France.
"You've heard me say many, many times, that's classic NASCAR racing when that happens," France said of the contact made between Harvick and Edwards at the close of Sunday's race. "But it's interesting to note that not all the drivers that we have, present or past, would have made the moves that Carl Edwards tried to do to get around Harvick. Harvick did a great job. They both did a great job. But that's classic NASCAR. We expect that."
In the wide-ranging 12 minute interview, France also touched on the potential of new manufacturers entering the sport, joining the current stable of Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.
"There is some interest, and by a couple of different manufacturers and we would be open to that in the right conditions," France said. "I think a lot of the car companies are understandably looking at the terrific job that Toyota has done by partnering with NASCAR and the success and all the things that comes along with that. They've been an incredible success story for a car manufacturer looking to come into a sport that's very difficult to come in, compete and win every weekend. But there's an interest. And this is obviously the biggest opportunity in auto racing in North America."(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-19-2016)
NASCAR Names Ford Winner Of 'Driving Business Award': Days after Ford Motor Company celebrated its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season, the manufacturer will take home its third NASCAR "Driving Business Award." Ford is the first three-time recipient of the annual award, which is bestowed upon the Official NASCAR Partner that demonstrates leadership and results through its participation in the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) Council. The NFFB Council hosted its first meeting of the year last week in Las Vegas, bringing together an exclusive group of nearly 60 Official NASCAR Partners. Ford has been competing in NASCAR since 1949 and has been a proud member of the NFFB Council since 2007. Council members bring key personnel from across their organization to construct customized deals that help address specific business needs. As a result of Ford's participation in the Council in 2015, Ford aligned business goals with a number of Official NASCAR Partners, resulting in highly visible partnerships and a number of programs that were successful in "Driving Business." As one of the most active participants of the NFFB Council in 2015, Ford identified procurement opportunities, optimized chances for NASCAR partners to purchase Ford vehicles for their fleets, offered participation in Ford's "Partner Recognition Program" and created successful co-marketing programs. Since the NFFB's 2004 inception, the Council has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue and savings to its participating members.(NASCAR)(3-11-2016)
Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford in 2017: Ford Performance announced Stewart-Haas Racing will switch to Ford as its auto manufacturer partner starting with the 2017 NASCAR season. The multiyear agreement means that, beginning with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2017, the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing team will race the Ford Fusion with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. "Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we're trying to do in the sport."
"We have said very clearly that we are not in NASCAR just to race, but to win races and championships," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "We believe the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 will give our program a major boost in terms of being in contention for both drivers' and manufacturers' championships every year.
"We believe that our NASCAR engineering experience and tools match up very well with the expertise and personnel that Stewart-Haas Racing has in house right now, and that we will both benefit from this partnership going forward."
Stewart-Haas Racing will join a Ford NASCAR lineup for 2017 that includes Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Front Row Motorsports. Roush Yates Engines is Ford's technical partner for NASCAR race engines.
Stewart-Haas Racing will continue its current manufacturer relationship throughout the 2016 season.(Ford Racing)
AND: Stewart-Haas Racing, winners of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 30 point-paying races, will campaign Ford Fusions beginning in 2017. The four-car team will compete with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today," said Tony Stewart, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing."
"Motorsports is an extremely challenging environment where in order to maintain success you have to constantly innovate. It's true in NASCAR and it's true in business," said Gene Haas, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "We've enjoyed great success with Chevrolet, but this opportunity with Ford allows us to evolve while continuing to compete at the highest levels of the sport."
"From the very beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing we have fostered an environment of competitiveness, performance, teamwork and family," said Brett Frood, team president. "This future partnership enables us to continue delivering across these silos and exceed our commitments to our fans, partners and employees."(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-24-2016)
Ford to have different look for 2016: History is repeating itself when it comes to preparing the new NASCAR Fusion for its competition debut in February at Daytona Speedweeks. Much like three years ago, when NASCAR allowed manufacturers to include more brand-specific characteristics, Ford once again used the talents of its designers to ensure the same eye-catching components on the 2017 Ford Fusion production car are included on the new racing version. This latest iteration marks the third major body change for Fusion, and represents another step toward keeping "stock" a relative part of stock car racing. The result of the efforts of designers and engineers is an aggressive-looking new race car capable of producing 750 horsepower at 9,000 rpm under the current rules package. The new NASCAR Fusion follows in the tire tracks of its successful predecessor by not only mirroring the exterior of its production counterpart, but in bringing a better interior to the driver. Ford NASCAR drivers will digest more information through a new digital dashboard system that's mandatory this season. Teams can switch between as many as 16 preset screens to display information, which they can access either in bar graph or numbers format, or via the standard gauge and needle that has been used for years. This latest technological advancement from NASCAR comes on the heels of several significant changes, including the Gen 6 model that brought brand identity back to the sport in 2013, the switch to electronic fuel injection in 2012 and the move to an ethanol fuel blend in 2011. Ford has continued to refine its own technological program as well, opening up Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, North Carolina, in 2014, which features a state-of-the-art full-motion simulator that assists both racing and production car development.(Ford Racing).(1-12-2016)
Shelby GT350 Mustang to Serve as Ford EcoBoost 400 Official Pace Car: The 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang will lead the field to green in the season-ending and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 Sunday afternoon with Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President and President, the Americas, Joe Hinrichs behind the wheel. "The Shelby GT350 Mustang is the most track-capable Mustang ever, making it the perfect pace car for the Ford EcoBoost 400 during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway," Hinrichs said. "This is a great chance for the fans at Homestead, and millions more watching around the world, to see the new GT350 in action. Knowing this race will determine NASCAR's 2015 champion makes it even more special." 2015 marks the third straight year Mustang has paced the Ford Championship Weekend premier event, joining the 50th Anniversary Edition Mustang in 2014 and the Need for Speed Mustang in 2013. One of Mustang's most iconic performance nameplates of all time, the Shelby GT350 builds on the dramatically improved sixth-generation Mustang to create a truly special driving experience. Under the hood is a high-revving, free-breathing 5.2-liter V8. It is the first-ever Ford production V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft. It is also the most-powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, generating 526 horsepower and 429 foot-pounds of torque.
Every component and shape of the GT350, which also will pace the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 race at Homestead on Saturday, is optimized to work in harmony resulting in a world-class, street-legal race car with everyday drivability and road manners.
The weekend will kick off with the Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck Series race Friday with the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 model in Lariat trim level pacing the field. It is painted in White Platinum, and has a Camel leather interior. This marks the 14th year Ford has served as title sponsor of Ford Championship Weekend.(Ford Racing), see images of the cars on the 2015 Pace Car page.(11-18-2015)
Ford Fusion to get slightly different look in 2016: The Ford Fusion used for competition in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is expected to have a slightly different look for 2016, with changes to the front and sides of the car. Officials with the Detroit-based automaker have not announced any changes, but at least one driver has acknowledged that the modifications are forthcoming. During an open test Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports driver #43-Aric Almirola noted that his team was "trying to really focus on what we need for our balance for this 2016 package, and it's not really a great gauge for us because this (car) is still the 2015 Ford Fusion. We actually have a new nose and some new sides coming for next year with a new 2016 Ford Fusion," he said. "(I'm) pretty excited about that. I've heard early reports of some good things. I'm excited about getting that on the race track next season."
Asked about possible changes for '16, Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance said last month, "Our current car has a strong relationship to the street car and if we were to make any changes going forward, it would certainly be in the spirit of the collaboration that has been ongoing between all the OEMs to make sure that the next generation car is an even closer tie to the street car." It would be the second change to the front of the Fusion since NASCAR and the automakers -- Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota -- unveiled the new Generation 6 entries before the 2013 season. A year after the '13 Fusion's debut, Ford requested and was granted a slight change to the inset area below the car's grille. Concerns about debris collecting on the front of the car, potentially creating overheating issues, led officials to alter the area so that it became more flush with the car's bumper.
Manufacturers make design changes to their race cars when changes are being made to the production versions. Toyota officials made changes to the front of the Camry before the start of the '15 season so that it more closely resembled those made to the street version of the car. There have been no changes for the Chevrolet SS since that model debuted in '13.(NASCAR.com)(11-1-2015)
RPM to continue running Fords UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports will continue its relationship with Ford Performance. An announcement is expected at the team's Mooresville, N.C. shop on Tuesday. The organization enjoys a storied past under the guidance of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. RPM currently fields two Sprint Cup teams and an Xfinity Series program. The foundation of RPM stems from Evernham Motorsports, which debuted in 2000. RPM evolved from the four-Dodge team from Gillett Evernham Motorsports and began making the transition to Ford at the end of the 2009 season. The organization is currently evaluating the status of the #9 Ford as Sam Hornish Jr. has struggled to remain in the top 25 despite a change of crew chiefs. The relationship with Ford Performance and the King dates back to 1969 when Petty piloted the #43 Ford Torino to nine wins and a second-place finish in the point standings to fellow Ford racer David Pearson.(Motorsport)(10-4-2015)
UPDATE: Key takeaways from the Ford extension announcement with Richard Petty Motorsports:
- The extension is a multiyear agreement vs one year agreements in the past.
- RPM will run Roush Yates Engines.
- RPM are continuing to work on a services agreement with Roush Fenway Racing.
"The goals and vision for Ford Performance are the same that we have here at Richard Petty Motorsports, win races and compete for championships and ultimately be champions. We both want to use technology and engineering to better our cars and teams to give our drivers the best chance to win races and championships." - Brian Moffit, CEO.(RPM Facebook)
AND Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Ford Performance announced today their commitment to winning races and championships together in an extension that will see the most storied organization in NASCAR continue to carry the iconic blue oval in years to come. The announcement ensures that Richard Petty Motorsports' two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and its XFINITY Series race team will continue to have the championship caliber engineering, technology and resources of Ford Performance. The partnership will also allow RPM to be leaders in race engineering, technology and to build for the future. Over the past year, officials from RPM and Ford Performance have worked diligently toward building a mutually beneficial relationship that has seen immediate results. Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Performance have worked together in the wind tunnel, on aerodynamic packages and on collecting engineering data. The result has been increased consistency and performance for the organization proven by Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford Fusion having their most consistent season together and highest average finish to date.
"Our relationship with Ford Performance has a history, a present and now a future of winning races and competing for championships," said Richard Petty, co-owner, Richard Petty Motorsports. "As we took on additional internal responsibilities within our organization over the past 12 months, Dave Pericak and his team at Ford Performance have been with us supporting Richard Petty Motorsports each step of the way. And to know they will continue to be our partner is very important to our combined desire to make RPM a championship caliber organization.
Ford Performance has been the manufacture partner of RPM since 2010 and their roots with Richard Petty date back to 1969 when "The King" won nine times in a Ford Torino on his way to a runner-up finish in the championship. Ford Performance and RPM have three wins in the Sprint Cup Series and two wins in the XFINITY Series together, along with a total of 10 poles in both series. "Richard Petty Motorsports has made steady progress since joining our program, and we're looking forward to seeing them take that next step to being a consistent Chase participant," said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. "We feel they have the people in place to achieve that goal, and we're going to do everything we can to provide them the resources to make that happen."(RPM)(10-6-2015)
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 discusses 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)
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
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