Set to make its racing debut at the Daytona 500 on February 17th, the model marks the first time that a Mustang will compete in NASCAR’s top-level racing series.
While a number of NASCAR racers don’t have much of a resemblance to their production counterparts, Ford said their design and performance teams worked together to translate the Mustang’s “signature style to meet NASCAR rules.” The end result is pretty impressive as the race car is instantly recognizable as a Mustang.
Interestingly, Ford decided to make the racer look like a Mustang Shelby GT 350. This makes sense some sense, but it also means the car looks like a bit different than the standard Mustang which received a facelift last year.
The automaker didn’t release technical specifications, but Ford Performance Motorsports’ global director, Mark Rushbrook, said “Our Ford Performance team has worked hard with the Ford Design team to create a Mustang that will be competitive on the track while remaining true to its proud heritage.”
His sentiments were echoed by NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell who stated “We look forward to seeing the Ford Mustang, a cultural icon, on the track in the most competitive series in all of motorsports.”
While this will be the Mustang’s first time competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the company has fielded a Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011. In that series, the Mustang has dominated the competition as it has won a championship in every season expect for one. Notably, Ricky Stenhouse Jr won back-to-back driver’s championships with the car in 2011 and 2012.