Official: Ford Mustang to Race in 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series

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Official: Ford Mustang to Race in 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series

As promised, Ford Racing will bring the Mustang to NASCAR, starting next year in the Nationwide Series.

Looking rather un-Mustang-like, with the exception of a decal strip across the front that bears some resemblance to the narrow grille and headlight assembly on the 2010 Mustang, Ford says the cars will be part of a limited “muscle car” rollout – which will also include the Dodge Challenger.

“We’re excited about being able to race Mustang in front of our loyal NASCAR fan base and know it’s going to win races and championships just like it has in every other series it has competed,” said Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North America Motorsports. “The Mustang created the pony car movement when it debuted in 1964. Now, the NASCAR Mustang has the opportunity to create a whole new look to stock car racing at its highest levels.”

When the story was first reported that both Ford and Doge would bring their pony cars to NASCAR, it was expected that the vehicles would move into the top-level Sprint Cup series, helping boost interest after the series has posted a considerable decline in attendance and TV viewership in the past year. That no longer appears to be the case. Instead, the cars will debut in the Nationwide Series in an effort to help distinguish that series from Sprint Cup.

“We had been talking with NASCAR for some time about Mustang as part of its vision for a ‘muscle car’ rollout for the Nationwide Series. We both saw it as a way of differentiating the series from Sprint Cup,” said Wolfe. “We loved the idea, so we jumped on the chance to extend Mustang’s racing legacy to a new series reaching a huge and loyal audience. Mustang has dominated other forms of racing, including NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am Cup road racing, and Formula D drifting, and now it’s coming to NASCAR Nationwide.”

Surprisingly, while the Ford Mustang is touted as the “most successful single nameplate brand in professional racing history,” it has never competed in NASCAR.

“I think race fans – and Mustang loyalists – will be very pleased when we publicly roll out the first car later this fall,” said Wolfe.

Official release after the jump:

Press Release

MUSTANG extends racing presence – enters NASCAR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2010 NATIONWIDE SERIES

· Mustang will be Ford’s new race vehicle in the NASCAR Nationwide Series when it begins a limited rollout of its new car in 2010. · Mustang’s motorsports history includes many types of racing – drag, road, drifting – but this will be Mustang’s first appearance in any NASCAR-sanctioned series. · Mustang is Ford’s most successful race car in its long history

DEARBORN, Mich., July 28, 2009 – Mustang is already the most successful single nameplate brand in professional racing history, but it hasn’t competed in NASCAR – until now.

Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North America Motorsports, made the announcement today that Mustang will debut as part of NASCAR’s “new car” limited rollout in the 2010 Nationwide Series.

“We’re excited about Mustang coming to NASCAR,” said Wolfe. “It’s the most successful product nameplate in racing history, and it seems only right that it should be coming to the most popular form of racing in North America.

“We had been talking with NASCAR for some time about Mustang as part of its vision for a ‘muscle car’ rollout for the Nationwide Series. We both saw it as a way of differentiating the series from Sprint Cup,” said Wolfe. “We loved the idea, so we jumped on the chance to extend Mustang’s racing legacy to a new series reaching a huge and loyal audience. Mustang has dominated other forms of racing, including NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am Cup road racing, and Formula D drifting, and now it’s coming to NASCAR Nationwide.

“I think race fans – and Mustang loyalists – will be very pleased when we publicly roll out the first car later this fall.”

Ford Racing has gone through the official NASCAR submission and approval process for the new car, and, once templates are finalized, production of Mustang parts will start so teams can build the first cars for testing later this fall.

“We’re excited about the new car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and particularly the new body styles such as the Ford Mustang,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “It’s going to be one good-looking race car.”

The 2010 Ford Mustang will join the 2010 Fusion (Sprint Cup) and the 2009 Ford F-Series (Camping World Truck Series) as Ford’s competitive entries in NASCAR’s three major professional series.

“We’re excited about being able to race Mustang in front of our loyal NASCAR fan base and know it’s going to win races and championships just like it has in every other series it has competed,” said Wolfe. “The Mustang created the pony car movement when it debuted in 1964. Now, the NASCAR Mustang has the opportunity to create a whole new look to stock car racing at its highest levels.” Mustang in Racing

From the time the very first Mustang rolled off the assembly line in 1964, it was destined to race. Whether it be from the 1960s drag racing cars and the Shelby GT350-R SCCA racers, to the Trans-Am Boss 302 Mustangs of the seventies, to the IMSA and Trans-Am cars of the eighties and nineties, to the drag race and sports car racing Mustangs of today, Mustang has been a winner.

Mustang currently competes professionally in the NHRA Funny Car and Pro Stock divisions and places like the Grand-Am KONI Challenge, SCCA World Challenge, and the Mustang Challenge Series. In addition, thousands of Mustangs see action by grassroots racers at road courses and drag strips all across America.

Since its debut in 1964, Mustang has compiled more than 2,000 professional racing victories in NHRA, Grand-Am, IMSA, SCCA, NMRA and NMCA, as well as other racing series.

The 2010 Mustang

Muscle goes modern for 2010 as the Ford Mustang – America’s favorite muscle car for 45 years straight – hits the streets with a new exterior design; new world-class interior featuring well-crafted materials and updated technology; and a V-8 with 315-horsepower and an even throatier signature Mustang exhaust sound.

In true Mustang tradition, there is a “steed for every need.” Customers can choose from a V-6 or V-8 with their choice of coupe, convertible or innovative glass roof, plus several new options and features delivering the opportunity for customers to personalize their cleaner, meaner-looking Mustangs.

The new Mustang was recently launched through the “The ’10 Unleashed” campaign, which gives enthusiasts the chance to unleash their Mustang side behind the wheel of the new 2010 Mustang – whether it be drifting in Japan like world champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr. or customizing a new Mustang using Ford Racing Performance Parts.

Through Aug. 15, consumers can submit their own Mustang dream experience in 250 words or less via Ford’s “The ’10 Unleashed” site at www.the2010Mustang.com. Written submissions will be judged based on creativity, uniqueness and execution of idea. Winning submissions will be selected every few weeks, and winners will be able to turn their Mustang experience into reality.

  • Smog

    What about the Camaro?!

  • Big Mike

    I’ve been a Nascar fan since the early 70’s. This was when cars were built as stock cars that you could drive off the showroom floor. Then the 80’s arrived. Cars still looked as they were sold but had modified frames and engines. Later in the 80’s Ford came out with the new T-bird which totally dominated Nascar because of its unique body style that created speed and more down-force. When Chevy and other teams complained that they could not compete with the T-bird Nascar told them all to build a “better car”. So GM dropped the Lumina style stock cars and came out with the new Monte Carlo. This was the “Big Dog” on the track. Other manufacturers complained and Nascar gave them consessions. They lowered the roof lines, spoilers, and other parts of the body that affect speed and down-force. This was when Nascar lost the true meaning of Nascar racing. The cars looked nothing like what was considered to be stock. What happened to the fastest car wins? Every year Nascar tries to make the playing field as even as possible by setting new rules to make the cars more even. Making every car uniform and resembling the Chevy Monte Carlo. Ford never made a 2 door Fusion or Taurus. Dodge never made a 2 door Charger or Intrepid. All these cars were copies of the Monte Carlo. This is when Nascar became a joke. More and more people are losing interest in Nascar because what wins on Sunday can’t be bought on Monday. I’ve been going to tracks since the 80’s and it was almost impossible to get a seat. At recent races I’ve attended there have been a lot of shiny, empty seats because of the even playing field joke that Nascar is playing on Americans. The worst thing they did was allowing Toyota into our series. A Japanese car that does not even have the properly designed V-8 engine. Toyota had to buy the rights from Chevy in order to use their style block which is a single cam V-8. Now they are getting really out of hand by allowing the Mustang into the Nationwide series. This car is a joke! Let me go to a Ford dealership and buy a stock version of this car that hasn’t been lowered, stretched, and widened. Now Dodge is threatening to bring the Challenger. What’s next? A Camaro with a smushed roof and a body that looks like pulled taffy? Nascar has to wake up and get back to the basics of racing. Their actions are getting out of hand and, someday, may cost them their sporting event due to the fake cars. I realize that the frames, motors, suspension, and anything else under the body cannot be stock but they can make the cars look like the one you drove to the track.

    Big Mike
    Blackwood, NJ

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