Last season was supposed to make Ford a lame duck in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. While they won 10 races in 2017, most thought they had a major disadvantage though. With Toyota in year No. 2 with their new Camry and Chevrolet having a brand new car in the Camaro, Ford having the Fusion made little sense.
That’s why they’re bringing the Mustang to the Cup level in 2019. Supposed to close the gap right? Well, what if I told you that the Fusion was the superior car in 2018?
Ford, had their best season in nearly two decades with reaching victory lane 19 times in a championship winning year last season. That’s the most wins in a single season for the blue ovals since 19 trips to victory lane in 1997. From 2009 through 2016, they had single digit trips to victory lane in seven of those eight years. Their last championship was also in 2004.
Well, they were the superior manufacturer a year ago and enter 2019 looking to continue that on. But, when Toyota switched to the Camry in 2016, they had a rough start to the season. It took them the first half of the year to really get things figured out. Likewise for Chevy last year. They never got going and had their worst season in three decades. Will Ford follow suit?
Luckily for them, there’s a different rules package to counter the body change. The new drafting package could actually help Ford in fact. Take this example, Ford won three of the four non points paying restrictor plate races a season ago and two of the four points paying events. In 2017, they won all four points paying plate races. In 2016, they won three of the four.
Where I’m getting at is, since the summer of 2014, Ford has won 13 of the last 18 points paying plate races. They even won the All-Star race at Charlotte under this exact same rules package last May.
Something has to give, but maybe it’s that Ford will actually pick up where they left off in 2018 with a similar 2019. That’s all they can ask for.