Ford unveils its 800-hp Mustang… for NASCAR
Drafting behind the news of its 10-millionth Mustang, Ford just took the cover off of the 2019 Mustang set for NASCAR Monster Energy Cup competition. Since Ford Performance announced in mid-April that it would be replacing the Fusion with the Mustang in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2019 campaign, Ford fans have been impatiently awaiting a pre-season look at the oval-prepped pony.
Ford matched the hype of its switch to the Mustang with an explosive unveiling complete with a P-51 Mustang flyover as well as Hall of Fame driver-turned-owner Tony Stewart plowing through a wall surrounded by grandstands of fans, drivers, owners, and Ford employees. Confetti and smoke machines were dialed in to 11. The fiberglass NASCAR Mustang that rolled into a mock victory lane at the reveal is product of a collaboration between Ford Performance and the Ford teams participating in NASCAR, including Penske, Stewart-Haas, and Roush. Ford Design and Performance were tasked with capturing Mustang’s styling while attending to competitive needs of race teams, like downforce and cowl pressure.
Despite the Mustang’s absence from NASCAR’s Cup Series until now, it is no stranger to auto racing. Mustangs have cleaned house in road racing, drag racing, and formula drifting. The nameplate has already asserted its dominance in NASCAR’s Xfinity series, capturing multiple driver and owner championships since it entered the series in 2011.
Though NASCAR’s top tier previously favored the sedans and economy coupes that sold on Monday, a pony car on NASCAR’s high banks is not an uncommon sight. In 2018 Chevrolet switched from the four-door SS to the Camaro. And recent news about the 2019 Toyota Supra in NASCAR’s Xfinity series, pegs Toyota’s Cup series jump from the Camry to Supra to be sooner rather than later.
Ford fans can rejoice that they no longer have to root for the bland sedans like the Taurus or Fusion. Tony Stewart, an owner of a four-car Ford effort agrees, “It’s such an iconic brand and iconic race car that has been everywhere, and now it’s finally in an elite series, in NASCAR, where it belongs.”