The Ford Mustang has been one of the all-time favorite racing machines in the Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am Series for years with top road-course specialists behind the wheel such as Tommy Kendall, Dorsey Schroeder, Parnelli Jones and the first time Mustang champion in 1967: Jerry Titus.
The Mustang has been and still is a car to contend with in sportscar and touring races. Currently the car is running in both the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge and the SCCA SPEED World Challenge series. Plus the brand now has its own series, the Ford Mustang Racing Challenge for the Miller Cup.
The car has been a choice of amateur racers for the years, especially the SCCA and National Auto Sport Association (NASA), plus other road-racing series around the globe.
John Force, the 14 time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) champion straight-lined the Ford Motor Company's Mustang for years. His Funny Car team currently consisting of Mike Neff, Robert Hight and Ashley Force Hood run the Mustangs. They are not the only team in the top Pro series or the Sportsman series that race the Ford brand in drag-racing.
The one series that mainly runs on ovals is one of the premier series in North America, based in Daytona Beach, Fla. with a second home where many of the teams reside in Charlotte, N.C.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is by far the top stockcar series with not only a worldwide audience but with drivers that stretch across the globe, even if most are from the USA.
Ford Racing, the motorsports arm of the Ford company, has been involved in off-road, drifting, drag racing, sports car racing, monster truck and many road racing series for many, many years. Of course they have been active in NASCAR but 2010 will mark the debut of the Mustang in the history of NASCAR.
"We're excited about Mustang coming to NASCAR," said Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North America Motorsports. "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."
Per the Ford Racing press release, this idea has been in the works for some time and they have already "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". The new 2010 Mustang will make its debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
"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."
Ford teams are major players in the top three NASCAR series with wins and championships in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where thy currently run and will continue to campaign the Ford Fusion. The Ford F-150 has carried drivers to championships in wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
In the Nationwide series, Ford cars have been active in taking race wins and titles. Ford's last championship in the second-tier NASCAR series was in th hands of Carl Edwards in 2007.
"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."
Ford has not said exactly when the Mustang will be shown to the public but it will be later in the season. "I think race fans -- and Mustang loyalists - will be very pleased when we publicly roll out the first car later this fall," said Wolfe.
An Extract From motorsport.com