NASCAR Cup Ford Mustang ready to race

Nearly four months after Ford Performance announced it would bring the company’s iconic Mustang to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 the official unveil is here. On Thursday at noon ET Ford will metaphorically pull the cover off its latest

Nearly four months after Ford Performance announced it would bring the company’s iconic Mustang to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 the official unveil is here. On Thursday at noon ET Ford will metaphorically pull the cover off its latest

The NASCAR-ready race vehicle will make its debut in the higher echelons of America's most popular form of racing, but that doesn't mean the pony auto is stranger to NASCAR racing.

Overall, the design team did a pretty bang-on job replicating the Mustang's looks with the stock auto body.

"Obviously, with Mustang there's a lot of racing history", said Mark Rushbrook, global director for Ford Performance motorsports. It debuted in the spring, at the 1964 New York World's Fair, far before other companies announced their latest offerings in the fall. The event saw cars travel 10,000 miles over four days in a daunting road rally. Soon after, it began a racing legacy in SCCA Trans-Am, IMSA, NHRA, Formula Drift and NASCAR Xfinity - NASCAR's second tier series.

Ford has unveiled the Mustang NASCAR Cup vehicle that will carry the brand's flag in the series next year, where it will compete against the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Toyota Camry.

NASCAR is toying with using a drafting package it used in the all-star race this year in several events next year, but it is negotiating with the teams on which tracks that package would run.

You'll recall that Ford made a decision to market the Mustang on all continents when it introduced the current generation of the model in 2015.

Ford's executive vice president of product development, Hau Thai-Tang, was at the unveiling of the first Mustang NASCAR racer, along with all 13 Ford drivers now competing in the series.

The Cup-level Mustang is the result of collaboration between NASCAR, Ford performance and design teams and NASCAR teams that field entries for the famed blue oval. "Our sport eagerly anticipates the performance, style and fanfare the Mustang will bring to the track each weekend beginning at the 2019 Daytona 500", said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and Chief Racing Development Officer.

Ford has not won a Cup championship since 2004 when Kurt Busch was victorious for Roush Fenway Racing, but the Fusion could yet end its drought now Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick has become one of the "Big Three" dominating the series this year. Ricky Stenhouse Jr was the series champion is 2011 and 2012. Notably, Ricky Stenhouse Jr won back-to-back driver's championships with the auto in 2011 and 2012.

"After more than a half-century, it feels great to finally let Mustang run in the top echelon of America's most popular stock auto racing series", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.

The feat suggests workers at the Ford factory are a productive bunch, building an average of 500 Mustangs each day.

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