Penske set to return to Ford in 2013
Roger Penske has confirmed that he will be returning to Ford Racing hardware in NASCAR from 2013.
After 10 years running Dodge cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, the man known as ‘The Captain’ most recently ran a two-car Ford operation for nine seasons (1994-2002). During this period his cars took 27 wins and 33 pole positions among three drivers – Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield. Wallace was the main man for Penske and Ford during this period with 23 of the 27 wins.
The new deal is a multi-year arrangement.
“We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013,” said Roger Penske.
“We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport.
“We don’t really comment on length of different agreements, but this is a multi-year agreement and we’ve obviously have multi-year agreements with Ford and Dodge in the past, so it’s consistent with what we’ve done in the recent deals that we’ve had.”
Penske Racing officially takes the track with Ford at the Daytona Speedweeks in 12 months time and will be part of the competition debut of the 2013 NASCAR Fusion.
“It was important to get this agreement in place early so that we can plan ahead for the debut of the new 2013 NASCAR Fusion,” said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director.
“We will work with Roush Fenway on the final development of the new car during this season, but we want to be able to have our teams building their new cars for the 2013 season before the end of the year, as the transition to the new body is taking place.
“With the operations and technology resources Penske brings from all forms of racing, we know they will be a strong addition to our program, and we look forward to working with them and all our teams to create a stronger Ford NASCAR program with even greater depth.
“Penske Racing contends for the Sprint Cup title every year, and our goal, with the addition of this program, is that Ford will compete for the manufacturers’ title every year as well.
The deal with Ford shows the high esteem Penske is held. Unlike most racing operations, Penske has been able to race in a wide range of categories from Formula 1, GT Racing, NASCAR and of course IndyCar Racing where he has forged an outstanding championship and Indianapolis 500 reputation.
Penske has also been able to separate its programs across different manufacturers. This year, the IndyCar team will run Chevrolet power after switching from Honda. The IndyCar operation includes Australian drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe.