Ford Mustang Entering NASCAR for 2019 SeasonLast Updated June 12, 2023 | C.J. Tragakis
Ford announced that the Mustang will take part in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series for the first time beginning in February 2019.
"This announcement makes me very happy," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company's board of directors, in a press release. "Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it's only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR's most visible series. I can't wait."
Few concrete details are available at this time, other than that the Mustang will debut at the famed Daytona 500 on February 17, 2019. The Mustang has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011, claiming championships in every year but one, but it has never taken the track in professional stock car racing's top league.
The best-selling sports coupe in the world will take the place of the Fusion, which had been carrying the flag for the Ford Motor Company in the Monster Energy Cup Series for the bulk of the 21st Century. The inclusion of the Mustang marks Ford's first coupe-based entry since the Thunderbird retired from NASCAR in 1998.
The Mustang's debut comes on the heels of the rival Camaro ZL1's foray into the Monster Energy Series in 2018. One year earlier, Toyota introduced a new Camry body style and has used a racing version of it in the series ever since.
Mustang and NASCAR fans alike are undoubtedly clamoring for pictures of the racer, but simple a 38-second teaser video will have to do for now. Ford officials state that the Mustang is just beginning its initial testing required for the circuit and will be formally submitted for NASCAR's approval this summer.
As has been the case throughout the Mustang's history, Ford will host a public unveiling of the finished product in the coming months.
"NASCAR has a really good process that continues to get better every year," Ford Performance Global Director Mark Rushbrook stated during a Tuesday teleconference. "It's a very well-defined process for timing. The submission will happen through June of this year, and then depending on how things go on that initial test, that will lay out the rest of our timeline."