We’ve seen the transition that Ford Mustang is replacing the Falcon in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for next year.
The same say so when the Mustang follows the Camaro’s footsteps and compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series also at the start of 2019.
The demise of Sedans
Although, like the Toyota Camry in NASCAR, the Holden Commodore remains in the VASC.
But they will fully transition with the V6 Twin-Turbo rather than the V8 powertrain from next season.
For Ford, it emphasizes the demise of four-door sedans competing at top level racing in the respective countries of Australia and the United States.
The Falcon is now defunct after an illustrious five-decade run where they stopped producing local cars two years ago in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
There’s no exact timeline when Ford is re-designing the Fusion over in the U.S.
They prefer to focus on what they do best such as SUVs where they envisioned a popular platform for young adults today when it comes to entry-level to midsize models.
So does Chevrolet when they got rid of the Holden Commodore like SS sedan at recent times.
They now replaced the SS model with the Camaro ZL1 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series along with the Camaro itself in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
That is the same transition Ford had announced today when they replaced the Fusion with the Mustang at the top level of NASCAR racing from next year’s Daytona 500.
The transition from Fusion to Mustang in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
It will be Ford’s fourth different Cup Series body since the “modern era” began back in 1972 with the Thunderbird.
They later switch to sedans alongside the Taurus (1998-2005) and Fusion (2006-2018) over the next two decades.
Ford Performance had to come up with a long-term racing plan that will complement their road car component in case Ford wanted to cut the cost of unprofitable sedans.
The transition by Ford from the Fusion to the Mustang has further signalled NASCAR’s intent to appeal the younger demographic in bringing entertaining racing like never before.
What more details we know about the Mustang Cup Car?
It’s still in progress as the Mustang is going through initial testing at this stage.
Ford will formally submit their fourth Cup model to NASCAR for final production in June this summer.
So we’re not going to see the final full view of what the Ford Mustang Cup version will be like until NASCAR approves their proposal.
The exact date will be unknown.
But it’s likely we could first see it in August at the Motor City such as Ford’s Global Corporate Headquarters in Michigan, Detroit.
How many teams does Ford field their cars overall in NASCAR?
Ford Performance currently has six organizations and 13 teams in its NASCAR program.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
- Roush Fenway Racing
- Wood Brothers Racing
- Team Penske
- Stewart-Haas Racing
- Go FAS Racing
- Front Row Motorsports
NASCAR XFINITY Series
- Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste
- Roush Fenway Racing
- Team Penske
- JGL Racing
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- ThorSport Racing
Don’t forget Ford is on an absolute high ride so far this Cup Series season.
Five of the top six drivers in the Cup Series’ Drivers standings are Fords, with Joey Logano the highest in 2nd place behind Toyota’s Kyle Busch.
They visited victory lane over four of the last eight races which is all achieved by the Stewart-Haas clan.
Kevin Harvick won three straight races at Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Phoenix while Clint Bowyer ended his 190-race winless streak last month at Martinsville.
I think Ford did a great job going with an entirely new direction they wanted that will help complement their high-performance road car business & their NASCAR program.
When they began to focus more on the best-selling cars such as the SUV market, they did not ignore the Mustang as their fourth Cup Series model as the Fusion won’t get a fresh look in the foreseeable future.
Hence, Ford drivers and team owners such as Roger Penske teased a new Cup body for 2019.
I know they’re all excited to carry the Mustang brand with pride and looking forward to celebrating the iconic free-roaming horse in victory lane.
What does it mean for other manufacturers?
I think this change by both Chevrolet and Ford will appeal other car makers with interest to add a fourth manufacturer in NASCAR.
It’s a long time coming since Dodge exited the sport at the end of 2012.
I would like to see Dodge come back to the sport anytime soon.
But it depends on their financial circumstances and how they look at NASCAR as a re-marriage that will help the road car market in a commercial and marketing sense.
I know Toyota will keep racing with the Camry for the time being unless they can produce a mid-size sports car on the roads.
On the other hand, Nissan has the Z sports car vehicle that is a rival to the Mustang and Camaro.
So that’s one thing I would look at entering the sport if I was a Motorsports representative of that brand.
Nissan is too focusing on the SUVs more often than sedans.
If the Z-brand continues to live on.
NASCAR is the next perfect destination to the see the Z sports car compete with the Camry, Camaro, and Mustang at Cup level.
Happy National Mustang Day!
Image Credit: Ford Performance