DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Performance is in the midst of a NASCAR youth movement and when the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge kicks off in Daytona on Jan. 26, four of its NASCAR drivers will be on full display.
Ford Performance Development Driver Chase Briscoe, along with Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski will be mentored and joined on track by IMSA champion driver Scott Maxwell as part of a two-car Mustang GT4 team in the GS class that weekend.
“We have an outstanding group of young drivers coming up and we feel putting them in this kind of environment with Scott Maxwell will benefit them for the rest of their careers,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “You have to be good on all types of tracks to compete for a NASCAR championship and this will give each of them valuable road course experience in our exciting Mustang GT4 with Multimatic Motorsports.”
Briscoe, 23, was announced as the first driver of Ford Performance’s Driver Development Program last year and he’s coming off a season that saw him take home his share of honors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver awards after qualifying for the series Playoffs and winning the Ford 200 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Cindric, 19, was a teammate of Briscoe’s at Brad Keselowski Racing in 2017 and won his first major NASCAR race in September at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. That helped him qualify for the inaugural NCWTS Playoffs, where he advanced to the Championship 4 at Ford Championship Weekend and finished third. Cindric has road racing experience, including a successful run in Multimatic Motorsport’s Ford Shelby GT350R-C program.
Custer, 19, enjoyed a standout rookie season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the newly-formed team at Stewart-Haas Racing. He had a solid Playoff run that saw him advance to the Round of 8 and win his first series race in the season-ending Ford 300.
Majeski, 23 and a former three-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion, made his debut with Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017 and competed three times. He qualified in the Top 10 for each event and finished the year on a high note with a 10th-place run in Homestead.
It was recently announced that Briscoe, Cindric and Majeski will share the full-time No. 60 Roush Fenway-prepared Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY series in 2018, in collaboration with Team Penske and Ford Performance.
All four drivers will benefit from the expertise of Maxwell, whose credentials include the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS championship in 2016 with co-driver Billy Johnson and victories at some of the sport’s marquee venues, such as Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans.
Driver pairings for the four-hour endurance event will be announced at a later date. All five drivers will participate in a three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway, beginning Jan. 5.
COLE CUSTER – “I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’ve never done any endurance racing, but I’m looking forward to having some fun and learning what it’s all about. This is obviously a big race and great way to start the season. Being able to race with the other guys is going to be a lot of fun as well because we’re all pretty much the same age and have a lot in common. I never thought I would get the chance to do something like this, but road course racing has really grown on me. I think it’s fun to learn the different sides of things and this is going to be a chance for me to learn as a driver and make myself better.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC – “For me with my background some of my biggest moments in the early part of my career have been with Multimatic racing Mustangs in the Continental Tire Series, so for me I’m coming home. I come from a different background than the other guys and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, learn a few things and hopefully bring home some hardware because I know those Mustangs are pretty strong around Daytona. Scott and I have become really good friends and he’s been a big help to me in my career and I look forward to being teammates with him again and having a little fun throughout the weekend.”
CHASE BRISCOE – “This is something I certainly never thought I would get an opportunity to do, but I’m super-excited for it. This will be something new and I’m going to do a lot of it this year, so I think it’s going to be a good learning curve. I’ve only run two road courses my entire life and even though we ran decent, I didn’t feel like I ever knew what I was doing. Hopefully, I can get to the point by the end of this year where I know what I’m doing on a road course. Even though I’ll be driving two different kind of race cars, the principals of how you drive and the technique it takes will be something I can learn. I’m also looking forward to having a teammate and competing in an event where both of you have an impact on how well you run.”
TY MAJESKI – “I have virtually no road course experience at all. I’ve been on one road course my entire life and that was this past summer when I was sent out to the Ford Performance Driving School in Utah. Outside of that I have not been on a road course, so this will be great for me to get some experience and be around people who know a lot about it. I’m looking forward to working with Chase, Austin and Cole as well. They’re good guys and I’m excited for the opportunity Ford has put in front of us. It will be a learning experience, but it will be a lot of fun working with those guys and learning together.”
SCOTT MAXWELL - “The Ford Mustang GT4 has been a great project from the start, and I'm glad to get back in the seat in Daytona. It's just a fun car to drive. I'm happy to work with the young NASCAR drivers Ford has signed up, too, to help these drivers get acclimated."