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Ford Mustang NASCAR Nationwide Race Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Forget the Fusion, Ford is making a move to bring the Mustang to Nascar's Sprint Cup Series. Ford has informed NASCAR decisionmakers that it wishes to begin racing the Mustang in the highest level of left-turning motorsports.

Replacing the Fusion is a process that could take all year, and Ford is required to show that the Mustang is a competitive equal to the cars it will race against. The reason behind the move is that Ford wants to show fans they can buy a car right off the showroom floor that mimics the one they watch every weekend on TV.

As fans of the roundy round are already aware, the Blue Oval already races a Mustang stock car in NASCAR – in the Nationwide Series. The pony car shown above made its competition debut last July during the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

We understand you can't purchase the same exact Mustang that will be hunting down rival racers around the county. In fact, we already know that you won't be able to purchase anything like a Sprint Cup Mustang for street use. But Ford knows that millions of people tune-in and show up to support their favorite drivers and brands. At least on some level, adding the Mustang to the mix makes more sense since the production car provides real driving thrills for its owners. Besides, unlike the Fusion, it's actually available in a coupe bodystyle like those used in NASCAR.

Now... if we can get Chevrolet to bring in the Camaro and Dodge to show up with the Challenger, we could be on the cusp of something special. Thanks for the tip, JR!

  • October 13, 2009, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA �2009, autostock, USA Brian Czobat
  • October 13, 2009, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA The 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford Mustang GT. �2009, autostock, USA Brian Czobat
  • October 13, 2009, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA �2009, autostock, USA Brian Czobat

[Source: ESPN]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's it, the next F1 and WRC article that pops up, I am going to bash the hell out of the sport since you guys seem to want to bash NASCAR for all its worth.

      Do I come into the F1 and WRC threads and bash the sport? No. Because I'd rather not. I'd rather not show that F1 bores me to death and the WRC has nearly fallen down the drain because of the small amount of manufacturers in the field.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the bashing comes from the series trying to be something that it isn't. I would have no problem calling the cars a: Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota rather then the fakery calling them a Fusion, Camry, Charger etc by adding stickers of fake grills, lights and dressing up the car to pretend it is a Camry. The engines should originate from the manufacturer of origin and the car. It is as much as me getting a makeover to look like and calling myself George Clooney.

        If they want to parade themselves as Fusion, Mustang, Camry then the cars should be a modified 'body in white' and run as they do on the streets ie FWD or RWD. Mercedes F1 team does not call their race car a C class. While F1 can be boring at times WRC is real driving and I think is clear display of a drivers talent and racing than turning left for 500 miles.

        The Mustang pictured has zero DNA to any road Mustang save for the badge, and while we are on the topic the Craftsman Truck series is just as guilty and are anything but the pickup that is on the street. It is because of this that the world and some of us bash the series.

        European Touring car as well as Aussie V8 is exciting and the cars do share something with the on road version and are closer to the 'stock car' racing

        I don't like NASCAR but do appreciate what it takes to run at 200mph drafting someone with a 3500lb car. Just cut the fakery and call a spade a spade, without the stickers all the cars look the same
        • 4 Years Ago

        That's where you're wrong. NASCAR is NOT trying to be something it isn't. Just because it has the word "stock" in its name, doesn't mean that are trying to be something they aren't. The name is derived from the early days of NASCAR. If that's your problem, then the NFL should change its name since it isn't technically "football". They don't use baskets anymore in BASKETball.

        Also, PLEASE DO NOT compare the difference in talent between all 3 series. You have never driven in ANY of them to find out who has more taken than the other. You're just ignorant for even commenting on it.

        Aussie V8s aren't close to "stock" at all. They use tubed chassis and the Commodore is shortened to fit this tubed chassis. Next year or the year after that, they will be using one engine not manufactured by Holden or Ford.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't see why the poster is excited about turning NASCAR into a coupe series. It's been a sedan series.

      Besides, putting Mustang, Challenger and Camaro stickers on NASCARs isn't going to make it into anything different than it is today. You aren't actually allowed to change the vehicles much.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, up until 1998 when Ford went to the Taurus from the old Thunderbird, all NASCAR teams had used "coupe" cars. The Chevy Lumina and Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand-Prix, and as mentioned the Ford Thunderbird were all coupe bodystyles. In fact, Ford had to have the rules changed in 1998 to allow the use of a car that wasnt available in a two-door body style. That rule change also allowed Toyota to enter later with the Camry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to using real cars in NASCAR?

      This is more like a a tin can around a chassis and an engine then it is a real car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm too lazy to check, do they still use factory trunks and roof panels?
        I know they USED to.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "And the Mustang was beaten by the Camry, Impala, and Avenger."

      I'm not commenting on the strength of any particular car (which should be obvious because they're all the same), but that's a headline that could happen.

      It's a terrible idea to put a quick and good production car into a series that doesn't use any parts of the production vehicle. The name of a manufacturer's NASCAR entry is just for marketing, but the Mustang doesn't need this marketing, it's already a good car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford and Toyota don't even produce a push rod engine anymore. How NASCAR has changed the rules so much in the past 10 years. There is nothing stock about these cars anymore. Should be call " NAPFAR " National Association of Pre-Fab Auto Racing "
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sick of these ignorant comments towards NASCAR. If the sport doesn't appeal to you why not just leave it alone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here's a thought:

      Instead of using specialized tube-frame chassis, how about mandating factory body-in-white shells as the start of the racer - much like how the C6R is built from a highly modified Corvette frame...

      At least it would allow NASCAR to approximate the "stock car" in its name...
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Then again, bodies-in-white can be made pretty darned cheaply - they are just simple steel stampings welded together. They could probably be made cheap enough to replace rather than repair them... especially since many teams already use more than one car."

        A tub car (your body in white based car) can't be repaired anywhere near as cheaply as a tube frame car. Many wrecks in tub cars are unrepairable. I've had some crashes in my RX-7 GT-2 car that would have been write-offs in a tub car. In one NASA race two years ago, on the restart after a full course caution, I was hit my right side rear which turned me into a Mustang tub car at over 100 mph. My total damage cost less then $3000 to repair, the Mustang was a write off.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ spin cycle:

        Then again, bodies-in-white can be made pretty darned cheaply - they are just simple steel stampings welded together. They could probably be made cheap enough to replace rather than repair them... especially since many teams already use more than one car.

        And to add to the thought - how many times would you think a bent frame can be repaired before needing replacement anyway?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @spin cycle & Joe - both of you make good points. I should have mentioned that my car was repaired in a few hours and I was back on track the next day and on the podium in 3rd place.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Too expensive. Repairing unibodies is more difficult and expensive. With a tube frame you just cut off the damage and weld on new tubes.

        NASCAR races every weekend and they wreck a lot, it's really perfectly optimized for steel tube frames.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Julius It doesn't JUST come down to price, it comes down to reliability and repairability. Good NASCAR shop crews can tear down a car in quick order, but if they need to completely tear down a car to swap out a 'body-in-white' then swap a new one in, they've then got to rebuild the entire car. With the tube frame, they can remove only what they need to, like the rear quarterpanel, cut out the old tubing, and weld a new pre-fab'd tube in.

        It's all about design for maintainability, supportability, and reliability. Tube chassis have that, uni-bodies, in this series, would not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pretty sure the amount of added support and additional modifications necessary to reach the 200+ MPH sustained speeds in relative saftey would also make using a stock bodied car a very difficult task to achieve.

        Pretty sure they started using tube frame cars to achieve the saftey required to run the speeds they were getting up to on the super speedways.

        The last thing they're going to want to do now is to reduce the speeds when fans are already used to seeing them blur by (and more to the point, wreck) at 200 mph. Difference is with the specialized tube frame car and it's aero, the drivers can sustain that speed and wreck at that speed and not die every time they do so.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Tom Winch:

        "My total damage cost less then $3000 to repair, the Mustang was a write off."

        Which is true; then again, at this level repair cost isn't as big a factor given that a stock tube-frame CoT NASCAR racer runs around $150k... I'd hate to think that a $7k stamped-steel body-in-white would be that much of an issue with cost.

        Besides, the manufacturers kick in with engine support for the teams - NASCAR can have the OEM's add chassis subsidization as well.

      • 4 Years Ago
      There's nothing Ford Mustang about this car; I doubt it shares one single part with the real Ford Mustang....

      This is stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ah, this picture. I still laugh at the "parking brake".
        • 4 Years Ago
        makes me laugh because of "The reason behind the move is that Ford wants to show fans they can buy a car right off the showroom floor that mimics the one they watch every weekend on TV"

        that was the appeal of classic Nascar.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM & Chryco will follow suit shortly.

        Bring it!
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least that 'parking brake' is more real than the headlights, grill, badges etc.

        Wondering who they think they are fooling that this car mimics the same car they see on the streets. All I know is the ones that are lured by this I would not want them to being doing my taxes, surgery designing airplanes or representing me in court

        NASCAR: simple cars for simple people; The Forest Gump of racing

        Still trying to find a V8 RWD Fusion or Camry, the dealers say that it doesn't exist, but I tell em I saw it on tv!
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about we get the real Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger back together and restart Trans-Am. That sounds like a better idea.
        • 4 Years Ago
        SCCA Pro Racing restarted the Trans Am series in 2009. This year they're running a nine race schedule:

        March 17 - 19 Sebring International Raceway - Sebring, Fla.

        April 30 – May 1 Miller Motorsports Park - Tooele, Utah.

        May 13 – 15 VIRginia International Raceway - Alton, Va.

        May 20 - 22 Mosport International Raceway - Bowmanville, Ontario (Canada)

        August 5 – 7 Streets of Trois-Rivieres - Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada

        August 19 - 21 Road America - Elkhart Lake, Wis.

        September 2 – 4 Brainerd International Raceway (Doubleheader) - Brainerd, Minn.

        Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 Road Atlanta - Braselton, Ga.

        Great racing, although it's now like the golden age of Trans Am back in the late 60's - early 70's. The cars are run to GT-1 rules, so you see a lot of Corvettes, Vipers, Jaguar RSR's, and an occasional Mustang and even a GT-1 spec Mazda RX-7. Tomy Drissi won the championship last year in a Jaguar RSR.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...and then Porsche will show up with a 911 and kill the series all over again :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Great racing, although it's now like the golden age of Trans Am back in the late 60's - early 70's."

        I meant to say "it's NOT like the golden age of Trans Am".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Porsche's 917 killed Can Am, not Trans-Am. The 5-liter Trans-Am class used domestic cars exclusively. Porsche only competed in the under 2-liter class, then later the under 2.5-liter "two-five" class.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...cause they can't beat Corvette in the American LeMan Series.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Speaking of which, I feel bad for all those people in Kentucky who have to look at what I imagine is an over-abundance of ugly Camries.

        Poor guys. =(
      • 4 Years Ago
      For those people bashing Ford, or NASCAR, they're planning on putting a Mustang front clip, and hopefully fenders, hood, and rear end on the car, similar to what Dodge did with the Challenger in the Busch Series (sorry, I refuse to say 'Nationwide').
      • 4 Years Ago
      Probably the best looking nascar I have seen yet... beside when they were real cars of course.
        Junior Lee
        • 2 Years Ago
        it's a NASCAR stock car. it's not a nascar. NASCAR stands for National Association of Stock Car Automobile Racing.
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