Archive for the ‘2018 Press Releases’ Category

VIDEO | 2018 MENCS ENGINE RULE CHANGES

Posted on: February 10th, 2018
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC, February 9, 2018 –

In 2017, NASCAR announced new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series engine rules which would be implemented starting with the 2018 Daytona Clash.  This video reviews the new 2018 MENCS engine rules. Catch all the action of the Daytona Clash on February 11th at 3:00 PM ET on FS1.

FORD GTs ARE READY FOR LONG BEACH STREET CIRCUIT RACE

Posted on: April 13th, 2018
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC, April 13, 2018 When it comes to street racing there’s no place better than Long Beach, California. The narrow city streets, tight curves and close door to door racing offers a radically different race than any other on the IMSA road race schedule.

“Anything can happen at Long Beach,” Ryan Briscoe, co-driver of the No. 67 said. “Strategy is just as important as running clean. That’s something we can count on. Our crew chief has always thought out all of our options, so it’s up to us to race smart and bring it home in one piece.”

The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) teams will strap into the Ford GTs for the third IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race of the season on Saturday. Looking for the teams second podium finish at Long Beach in two years, co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Müller will pilot the No. 66, while FCGR teammates and points leaders Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Ford GT will line up for practice and qualifying on Friday.

Don’t miss a minute of the action, because no one can predict what will happen in this no holds bar 100-minute sprint race in downtown Long Beach.

 

JACK ROUSH TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE 2019 NASCAR HALL OF FAME CLASS

Posted on: May 24th, 2018
Location: post

CONCORD, NC – May 24, 2018 – Jack Roush has been fielding NASCAR entries for the past 31 years, and during that time his teams have amassed a NASCAR record 325 victories, while covering over 1.78 million miles in NASCAR action and bringing home eight championships. Roush’s lifetime of achievement was rewarded Wednesday evening, when he was named a member of the 2019 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

In 1988 Roush ventured into the unknown territory of NASCAR racing, starting a single car team out of Liberty, N.C. His No. 6 Ford Thunderbird lasted only 19 laps in its Daytona 500 debut that year. Thirty years later, Roush stands amongst the greatest in the sport’s celebrated history. Roush has fielded over 5,908 entries in NASCAR competition, while leading over 67,421 laps.

Known as a leader in the garage for finding and developing talent, Roush has seen 19 different drivers win in NASCAR competition in his race cars – including nine in the Cup Series and six different drivers bring home NASCAR season championships. In addition, six different drivers have won 14 or more races in Roush’s Fords at the Cup level, with three of those drivers posting over 20 victories at NASCAR’s highest level. In total, 52 different drivers have piloted Roush’s Fords across NASCAR’s three major series.

Roush’s multi-car efficiency of scale model became one of the most successful in NASCAR history, with his organization placing an unprecedented five teams in the 2005 10-team ‘Chase’, after coming off back-to-back Cup Championships in 2003 and 2004. Roush has also been recognized as one of the premier leaders in the garage in driver development, with Roush Fenway having led drivers to 13 NASCAR Rookie of the Year Awards.

An engineer at heart, Roush has always employed a solutions-based approach, be it in competition, business or safety initiatives. He has been involved in numerous safety innovations, including the roof flaps designed to disrupt airflow and prevent cars from going airborne that now are standard equipment for all NASCAR racers.

Roush becomes the second person with Roush Fenway Racing ties to be inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame. Mark Martin – the first driver to drive for Roush in NASCAR – was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.  Martin piloted Roush Fenway’s flagship No. 6 Ford from 1988 until 2006. During that time, he and Roush earned 35 Cup victories. At the end of his tenure at Roush Fenway, Martin held a record five prestigious IROC (International Race of Champions) Championships and a then-record 47 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins. For his career, Martin posted 96 career NASCAR victories, with the majority coming in Roush-owned equipment.

* Courtesy of Roush Fenway Racing

FORD CHIP GANASSI RACING WINS THIRD STRAIGHT RACE WITH FORD GT!

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018
Location: post

LIME ROCK, CT – July 23, 2018 – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing won their third straight IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship (WTSC) race of the season. It was the No. 66, piloted by Joey Hand (and Dirk Müller) that took the checkered flag in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park race on Saturday.
“Congratulations to Ford Performance, Chip and the teams,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “I’m so proud of the team, winning their fourth race of the season. It’s a great confidence builder for us, as we head to Road America, a track well suited for the Ford GT and EcoBoost engine. We need to keep our heads down and continue to stay focused on doing even the small things well and keep digging.”

The win streak continued for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) teams, scoring their fourth win of the season. Both teams have two wins now. The season started with the No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona, while it was the No. 66 teammates taking the top podium spot at Watkins Glen. Then the No. 67 team won their second race of the season at the Canadian Tire Motorsports in Canada and now it’s the No. 66 taking the podium once again at Lime Rock.

FCGR knew it was going to be a battle on the 1.5-mile track. The No. 66 started the race in P3, while the No. 67 started in the fifth position. The No. 66 ran in P3 for the majority of the day, but both teams kept digging and adjusting to race conditions to optimize the Ford GTs’ performance over the course of the two-hour and 40-minute race.

It came down to the last 15 minutes of the race before the No. 66 of Hand was able to reel in and pass the No. 3 Corvette for the lead. Hand went onto lead the last 16 laps of the race.
“The depth of talent at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing showed itself again today, but also in the last three races,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “It was a big win, a great win for the team. They are finding different ways to win. We couldn’t be prouder of the effort from everyone today.”

Marking the mid-way point in the season, championship points are at a premium as the GTLM class point spread tightens up with only two points separating first, two and third.

No. 66 FCGR team regained the lead in the Driver and Team Points Standings, in addition, Ford built on its’ lead in the Manufacturer Points Standings, now leading by 11 points.

Ford also continues to lead in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, GS Manufacturer Points Standings by 12 points over second place.
The Ford teams are headed to the heart of the mid-west, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, to defend their 2018 wins in GTLM and GS at Road America. Reference the full 2018 schedule on Roush Yates Engines.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 338 WINS – 304 POLES!
*Images courtesy of Ford Performance

ROUSH YATES ENGINES CELEBRATES ITS 350th ALL-TIME RACE WIN!

Posted on: October 15th, 2018
Location: post

MOORESVILLE, NC – October 15, 2018 – Aric Almirola’s win at the Talladega SuperSpeedway on Sunday, marked Roush Yates Engines’ 350th all-time race win, since its formation in 2004.

Here’s a look back at a few Victory Lane memories.

Roush Yates Engines’ first NASCAR win as Ford Performance’s exclusive engine builder, Matt Kenseth with Roush Fenway Racing on February, 22, 2004 in the Subway 400 in Rockingham, NC.

January 29, 2012, Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series podium sweep of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (DP Class). No. 60 P1 (John Pew/Oswaldo Negri Jr./AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson), No. 8 P2 (Enzo Potolicchio/Ryan Dalziel/Alex Popow/Lucas Luhr/Allan McNishand), and No. 6 P3 (Michael McDowell/Felipe Nasr/Jorge Goncalvez/Gustavo Yacaman).

First win with Ford Performance and the Ford FR9 EFI engine, Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing, February 27, 2012, Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, Florida.

Front Row Motorsports and David Ragan’s first win together, May, 5th, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama in the Aarron’s 399.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. first career Cup Series win with Roush Fenway Racing on May, 7th, 2017 in the Geico 500, Talladega, Alabama.

Pocono 400, Ryan Blaney’s first Cup Series win and 99th Wood Brother’s Racing win in Pocono, Pennsylvania, June 11, 2017.

24 Hours of Le Mans 1-2 Ford GT podium finish. The No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais drove the Ford GT supercar to the victory circle fifty years after Ford’s legendary 1966 victory on June 19th, 2016. Teammates Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon joined them on the podium.

Multimatic Motorsports team of Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell, in the No. 15 Ford Shelby GT350R-C clinched the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Driver, Team and Manufacturers Championships by winning at Road Atlanta in October 2016.

Chase Briscoe, in the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford truck, won his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on November 17, 2017 at the Miami-Homestead Speedway.

The No. 00, Cole Custer from Stewart-Haas Racing won his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race on November 18, 2017 at the Miami-Homestead Speedway.

Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing won their sixth race of the 2018 season at Kansas Speedway on May 12th in the KS Masterpiece in Kansas City.

Roush Yates Engines and Ford Performance won their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 together at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Brad Keselowski and Team Penske on September 10th, 2018.

On September 16th, 2018, Roush Yates Engines celebrated with Team Penske and the entire Penske organization as Brad Keselowski won Roger Penske’s 500th race win in Las Vegas, NV winning the South Point 400.

*Images courtesy NASCAR Media and Ford Performance.

DAYTONA CLASH | FORD FUSIONS FINISH 1-2-3-4!

Posted on: February 12th, 2018
Location: post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, February 12, 2018 – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion won his first Speedweeks’ race at Daytona International Speedway, winning the Advance Auto Parts Clash for Team Penske in his sixth Clash start. Ford Performance made history becoming the first manufacturer to finish 1,2,3 and 4 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Clash event.“Congratulations to Brad, Roger and Team Penske,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This was a great way to start off the season opener at Daytona. The teams have worked hard in the off season to get ready for the 2018 season and it was great to see the Fords finish so strong.”

The six Ford’s ran strong from the start of the race with the Ford FR9 EFI engines under the hoods. Keselowski drove a fantastic race, coming from the rear of the field and with a two tire strategy call by Crew Chief, Paul Wolfe, took the lead on lap 39. Keselowski led 43 out of the 75 lap race.

“Doug Yates and his guys did a good job giving me something real durable to take all that and keep digging,” Keselowski commented in Victory Lane. “I am really proud of the whole effort here. What a way to start Speedweeks, putting the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane. I am really proud of my team.”

Keselowski and Team Penske Joey Logano (2017 Clash winner) finished 1-2, while the 2017 Daytona winner Kurt Busch from Stewart-Haas Racing finished P3. Rounding out the forth spot was the newest Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney. Kevin Harvick finished P9 and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from Roush Fenway Racing finished sixteenth after serving a late race penalty for racing below the yellow line.
The Ford teams will take this momentum into the Can-Am Twin Duels and the Daytona 500 later this week. Reference the full 2018 schedule on www.roushyates.com.
14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 315 WINS – 282 POLES!

FORD CHIP GANASSI RACING EARNS DOUBLE PODIUM AT LONG BEACH

Posted on: April 16th, 2018
Location: post

LONG BEACH, CA, April 16, 2018 – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing battled to a double-podium finish on the streets of Long Beach at the BUBBA® burger Grand Prix this past Saturday.

The No. 67 and No. 66 Ford GTs finished p2-3 with drivers Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Müller in the drivers’ seats.

“It was just crazy,” Richard Westbrook, co-driver of the No. 67 said. “I hope everyone enjoyed watching it. As a driver, it was really difficult out there. It was such a shallow line and if you put one wheel six inches off your normal line, you were in bad shape. Lots of people hit the wall out there. There was just no grip off line. I think the conditions on the track helped us out a bit. We didn’t have the fastest car and we just kept our heads down, had a good pit stop and good strategy. We always fight to win but I’m delighted to get second.”

It was Westbrook and Briscoe’s second-consecutive second-place finish at the event.

In a dramatic last lap qualifying effort Friday, Joey Hand co-driver of the No.66 clocked a 1:16.869 lap, a new track record, to top the GTLM standings.

“I think the whole weekend went pretty good,” said Hand, who earned the pole on his last lap in qualifying. “To win the pole like that, that was one of my favorite qualifying sessions ever. We were quick. The (No. 66) crew did a great job tuning the car. We got hit from behind on lap one and that hurt us throughout the race, but we still had a pretty quick car. All in all, I think it was a good day for us. It was a good points day. We just have to keep collecting points. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series rewards consistency and that’s what we have to keep doing. Mid-Ohio (the next race on the schedule) is a track we really like and Dirk and I have done well there before, so we’ll move on and try to just keep collecting points.”

Briscoe/Westbrook continue to lead the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans standings with 95 points and FCGR teammates Hand/Müller are in third with 84 points. Ford (97 points) leads all manufactures by 4 points.

The Ford GTs and Ford Mustang GT4 head to Mid-Ohio on May 4-6, for the first running of Mid-Ohio SportsCar Showdown.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 324 WINS – 287 POLES!

 

*Photos courtesy of Ford Performance

MARK RUSHBROOK HAS HIMSELF AND FORD PERFORMANCE MOTORSPORTS PROGRAM RUNNING IN HIGH GEAR

Posted on: May 25th, 2018
Location: post

 

MOORESVILLE, NC – May 25, 2018 – It’s Thursday morning when Mark Rushbrook’s voice comes over the speaker to begin a global conference call with members of his Ford Performance Motorsports team.

What makes this 8:30 a.m. meeting a bit different is that he’s not conducting it from a conference room or an office.  Instead, he’s riding in the passenger seat of a Ford Explorer that is motoring down Interstate 75 from Dearborn, Mich., to Sandusky, Ohio, for a visit with ThorSport Racing of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

It may not be a traditional way of staying up to speed with what’s going on in the world of motorsports, but when you work for an iconic brand that is a pioneer in the emerging field of mobility like Ford Motor Company, it’s business as usual.

As global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, Rushbrook is responsible for running all of the division’s motorsport efforts, which includes NASCAR, IMSA, NHRA, and Formula Drift in North America and FIA WEC, WRC, and Australia Supercars overseas.

“Ford is a global company and we need to operate our motorsports program just like we do the rest of the company,” said Rushbrook.  “The ability to share the same tools and processes across these different global racing series is part of what we need to be doing to be efficient and competitive.  Whether it’s for NASCAR, the Ford GT wherever it’s racing around the world, for WRC, or for Australia Supercars the same physics apply, so we can use the same tools and processes to be successful wherever we’re racing.”

Rushbrook, 51, joined Ford Performance in 2014 as an engineering manager for motorsports, a position he held until being promoted late last year to global director.

In that time, he has been part of a group that successfully relaunched the Ford GT into competition, winning the Le Mans 24 in 2016 on the 50th anniversary of its first victory in the prestigious endurance race.  In addition, he has played a key role in building the Ford Performance team that has grown from seven at the start to its current size of 43.

“That’s been a huge part of the last four years because everyone has been handpicked.  We didn’t just go out on the street and grab the first people that we saw, we’ve spent a lot of time picking the right people,” said Rushbrook, who cites the recent news that Mustang will be going to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Australia Supercars Championship next year, along with a new body for the NHRA Mello Yellow Funny Car, as an example of the multi-faceted projects his group tackles at any given moment.  “I’m very proud of the team in total and every single individual that is with us because they’re all very skilled, very talented and huge contributors.

“We’re looking for people with a very unique skill set that has the passion and attitude of being able to work together as a team,” continued Rushbrook.  “That determines our success, so that’s the most important thing I look for because there are a ton of people that may have the skill, the knowledge and the experience, but having that plus the right attitude and people skills is what makes a difference and that’s what we’ve been able to build into this team.”

Rushbrook’s tenure as director, which officially started on Dec. 1, 2017, got off to a solid start as the Ford GT rolled to a dominating victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, and an equally impressive victory in the FIA World Rally Championship event in Monte Carlo with the Ford Fiesta.  The checkered flags continued a couple of weeks later in NASCAR when Kevin Harvick took Mustang and Fusion to wins on consecutive days at Atlanta Motor Speedway, igniting a three-race winning streak.

“Mark provides all the advice that he can while maintaining the propriety and the secrets that’s expected of the teams with regard to the things that they’re racing with one another against,” said NASCAR team owner Jack Roush.  “He does a nice job there and hasn’t broken the faith and created trouble for himself by giving up something he shouldn’t, but by the same token he provides encouragement and provides resources.  He’s the contact back to the racing side of Ford Motor Company.”

About the only time you’ll find Rushbrook sitting or standing still is if he’s in a meeting or sifting through his hundreds of daily e-mails.  When he’s on the road it’s not uncommon for him to start the day with a 5 a.m. run through the streets of Geneva or pull out his bicycle and go for a 50-mile spin along the back roads of Richmond, Va.

“I keep swim goggles, swim jammers and running shoes in my bag wherever I’m going.  I haven’t gone global with my bikes yet, but I do keep a few stashed around the country because it’s important to me,” said Rushbrook, who prefers an early-morning routine regardless of his location.  “I feel a lot better when I’m able to get those workouts in because, otherwise, I don’t feel as energetic and feel like I’m able to do the things that I do.  But when you’re either swimming, biking, or running, you have the ability to really think things through, and I use that time to prioritize what I’m going to do that day, so it’s good for me physically and mentally.”

The fact Rushbrook is currently leading the motorsports department isn’t a surprise to those who knew his love for math, science and working on cars while growing up in Ligonier, Pa., a town of slightly more than 1,500 people located 50 miles east of Pittsburgh.  One of the few people who didn’t see it, however, was the man himself, who enrolled at Penn State and majored in mechanical engineering.

“In hindsight, it’s pretty obvious that this was the right career choice for me being in the automotive industry and eventually motorsports, but I was still trying to figure it out in college.  Maybe it was a case of not being able to add two and two together,” recalled Rushbrook.  “My parents were both British.  They had been born and raised in London and came over to the U.S., so we went to England all the time, but, for some reason, it felt like Michigan and Detroit was an entire world away when, in reality, it was only a five-hour drive from my house.”

It wasn’t until a recruiter for General Motors came on campus with a scholarship and internship opportunity that Rushbrook realized a potential career.

“I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do,’” said Rushbrook.  “Even though it may have been obvious to somebody else, it wasn’t to me until that point.  I never went to a race in person through high school or even the first part of college, so what I saw on TV was just the driver and the on-track action.  I didn’t see the stuff in person with the full race team and all the support behind it, so it never really clicked until then, but I’m glad it did.”

Rushbrook graduated from PSU in 1989 and got his Master’s degree a year later at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  He gained his MBA from U-M in 1999 and started at Ford in June of that year in the product development leadership program.  He has worked in a number of different areas within the company, including a two-year stint as vehicle development manager for Mustang (2002-04) and five years as the North America vehicle dynamics manager (2005-10).

Prior to arriving in Ford Performance, Rushbrook served as the Noise and Vibration Harshness Manager for all North America programs.

One thing those positions had in common was that on most nights Rushbrook was able to go home and sleep in his own bed.  That’s not necessarily the case anymore, which means he now works harder at balancing time at home with wife, Cindy, and son, Evan.

“When I’m home it’s about being focused with my wife and my son because they’re incredibly important to me.  They’re very understanding,” said Rushbrook, who shares his experiences and stays connected on the road through technology.  “I sent a picture from Richmond while standing inside turn one and two, and my wife sent a reply back saying, ‘I love that you love what you do.’  To me, it’s great that she sees my passion for my job and that she supports me in everything that I do professionally.  That means a lot, so when I get home I need to show them my appreciation by being focused with them and on the life that we have.”

That might mean taking the family to Europe for a Premier League match-up featuring Evan’s favorite club, Arsenal.  Then again, it may be as simple as a nice, relaxing drive on a scenic two-lane highway with no meetings to conduct or races to run.

FORD PERFORMANCE IN 2018

NASCAR

  • Monster Energy Cup Series
  • Ford is off to its best start since 1997 with seven wins in the first 12 races
  • Stewart-Haas driver Kevin Harvick leads all competitors with five wins
  • Ford has seven drivers in the Top 10 of the series standings
  • Ford leads the manufacturer standings by 12 points

IMSA

  • Ford GT
  • Won the season-opening Rolex 24
  • Podium finishes in 3-of-4 starts this year (1-win, 2 runner-ups, 1 third-place)
  • Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook lead the point standings in the No. 67 Ford GT
  • Ford is second in the manufacturer standings, only one point out of the lead

Mustang GT4

  • Has won 2-of-3 events to start the season
  • Drivers Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy have won the last two races (Sebring and Mid-Ohio)
  • Ford leads the manufacturer standings by four points
  • Driver development program for young NASCAR stars Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski

WRC

  • M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has three wins in six starts (Monte Carlo, Mexico and France)
  • Coming off a double podium finish at Portugal with Elfyn Evans (2nd) and Teemu Suninen (3rd)
  • Sebastien Ogier is second in the point standings after leading most of the season
  • Ford is second in the manufacturer standings

WEC

  • Won the season’s only event as drivers Olivier Pla, Billy Johnson and Stefan Mücke teamed up to win the 6 Hours of Spa
  • As a result, the No. 66 team leads the overall standings by seven points

*Courtesy Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance

 

LOGANO SWEEPS XFINITY RACE AT WATKINS GLEN!

Posted on: August 6th, 2018
Location: post

WATKINS GLEN, NY – August 6, 2018 – Team Penske with the No. 22 Ford Mustang reached Victory Lane for the fifth time this year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Joey Logano won the pole on Saturday morning and led the field to the checkered flag at Watkins Glen in the Zippo 200.

“Congratulations to Joey for his 30th career Xfinity win and to Roger and Team Penske for their fifth Xfinity win this season,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Joey and Brad put the Ford Mustangs on the front row to start the race and the guys just put on a great race with the rest of the field this weekend for some exciting NASCAR road course racing.”

Logano recorded a qualifying lap time of 71.70 to start from the pole. He would trade the lead throughout the race with Brad Keselowski and Ryan Preece, but in the final laps it was Logano who made the move of the race.

It became a battle between the Team Penske teammates, in a split-second decision during the last restart, the No. 22 darted to the inside and pulled alongside Keselowski and gained a slight advantage to take the lead. With two laps remaining, the No.12 Keselowski, ended up going off line and off the track. Logano ultimately went onto to win the race for his 50th career NASCAR National series win. Keselowski finished the race in 10th. The Team Penske duo combined to lead 57 of the 82 laps.

“They both were good cars,” Logano commented when asked about the difference between the No. 22 and No.12.  “They’re both great teams. The pit crew on both cars are Cup teams when we come to the road course here with the pit stops backwards, so we do that to get some experience for our guys, but, really, I guess probably the advantage is to the 12 because they don’t race for stages and we’ve got to race for stage points, so it was probably maybe a little advantage there. It comes down to the end of it like the last few years it seems like it’s the two of us battling it out like crazy. I was working as hard as I can there. It was a fun battle. These XFINITY cars have a really good package around this race track for some racing because there’s just enough draft to keep the leader from pulling away.”

Finishing order for the entire Ford Performance Team was strong. Aric Almirola, driving the No. 98, finished fifth for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste Racing while Cole Custer, in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Ford Mustang, finished sixth. In addition, No. 16 Ryan Reed from Roush Fenway Racing brought home an eighth place finish while No. 60 Austin Cindric finished 13th and Kaz Grala in fifteenth for Fury Racing in the No. 61.
The MENCS and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) split the schedule this weekend. MENCS will be in Michigan and NXS head to Mid-Ohio. Reference the full 2018 schedule on Roush Yates Engines.

14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 339 WINS – 305 POLES!
*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media

 

TITLE WITHIN SIGHT FOR FORD CHIP GANASSI RACING AS IMSA SEASON REACHES END AT PETIT LE MANS

Posted on: October 11th, 2018
Location: post

BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 11, 2018–The suspense will be over soon for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and the other IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams still in contention for 2018 championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC) titles.

After leading the GTLM standings for much of the year, Ford CGR enters Petit Le Mans as the underdog, even after all but securing the manufacturer’s title for Ford.

The No. 67 duo of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook are second in the driver and team standings, nine points behind the leaders, entering the 10-hour Petit Le Mans, the final race of the season.

Briscoe and Westbrook combined to earn three wins (Rolex 24, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America) and two poles (Watkins Glen, VIR) so far this year.

“We’ve fallen a bit behind on the points, but we can still win it and we have one goal, to go out and win the race and see where the points fall at the end of it,” Briscoe said. “It’s an important race to win no matter where you are in the championship, so you’re going to have everyone gunning for the win. It’s always an exciting race, one of my favorites.”

The championship hopes of the No. 66 Ford GT driver team of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller were ended at Laguna Seca, when Müller was collected in a prototype accident at the drop of the green flag. They are still in contention for the TPNAEC crown with third driver Sébastien Bourdais, as are Briscoe, Westbrook and 2018 Indy Car Champion, Scott Dixon.

“We’re not really able to win the overall championship at this point, but (Petit Le Mans is) a race I haven’t won before personally,” Hand said. “It would be great for me to put on the list with the other endurance races. It’s the last big one I haven’t won. For me, it’s a big deal. On top of that, going after TPNAEC, we’ll put a little more focus on the stage points and see if we can put ourselves in the position to get the right points at the right times. Not having to worry about the main championship, we can put a little more focus on that.”

The No. 66 Ford GT team has a four-point lead in the TPNAEC, with the No. 67 in third, five points behind. Ford has a five-point lead in the TPNAEC manufacturer’s title chase that awards the best-performing teams in IMSA’s endurance races (Daytona/Sebring/Watkins Glen/Petit Le Mans).

“This is a tough race,” Hand said. “Petit Le Mans is one of those where it’s only 10 hours, but it always ends up being a really crazy race. It’s just the nature of the Road Atlanta track. You don’t have a lot of room, you’re fighting other cars, you finish in the dark, guys are doing crazy things. It’s not an easy race to finish. You have to first find a way to finish, then you might have a chance to win it.”

If Ford CGR crosses the starting line, the IMSA GTLM manufacturer’s title will be won for Ford.

“I don’t think anyone at Ford CGR is giving up the fight quite yet. It’ll go down to the wire,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “It’s been quite a season for the Ford GT and the team and all of our partners, and we’re looking forward to seeing the conclusion!”

The green flag drops for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 13, 2018. The race will be broadcasted inside the U.S. on FOX Sports 1 and 2, starting at 10:30 a.m. ET, and outside the U.S. on IMSA.tv.

*Courtesy of Ford Performance