BRASELTON, Ga. – In January, Ford Performance announced it would take four of its up-and-coming NASCAR Xfinity drivers and rotate them through races in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge behind the wheel of Multimatic Motorsports-prepared Mustang GT4s.
The goal was to develop them as overall race car drivers, while using the opportunity to create a bond between them on and off the track. Drivers in the program, with mentor/co-driver Scott Maxwell, have found their way to the podium twice going into Friday’s season finale (Daytona/Laguna Seca). All four drivers praised the success of the effort.
Ford Performance’s Ford Mustang GT4 customer teams will cap off a successful IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season at Road Atlanta this Friday.
CHASE BRISCOE – “Honestly, the experience of the whole thing has been cool. Growing up a sprint car guy, I never expected to be road course racing, especially at places like Daytona. Never in a million years did I think I would ever race there, and then to go there with a top-quality team and be competitive at it was never something I thought would happen. To be able to go to some of these race tracks – like Sebring or Lime Rock – well, just to see how different things are, from the way the garage is set up to the competitors to the way the fans are…It’s just been cool. BONDING: “To race with these (NASCAR) guys…I think we’ve all become good friends. We look out for each other and have the others’ best interest at heart. We race against each other on Saturdays, but we all have a common interest and want each other to succeed. For example, when I won the Roval race, it was cool to see how they were pumped. Obviously, when we’re racing here, we’re part of the same team and help each other as much as we can, but on the Xfinity side we try and help each other out when we can, too. So, in terms of bonding, this has been a great deal for us four, but it also has really helped us develop our road racing skills too.” HAS THERE BEEN ONE COOL MOMENT? “Yeah, I think taking the green flag at Daytona was really cool. To run anything at Daytona is special, but to do it in a road course race on the same weekend as the Rolex 24 was really, really cool.”
COLE CUSTER – “I think this has been an awesome program because it has allowed us all to see a different kind of racing. Everything from the flow of the weekend, to the way you drive the cars. It definitely has expanded what I know as a driver, so that’s been good.” BONDING: “I think it has helped a lot with the team building between us (four). We really started to get to know each other a lot better through this deal. You have to make driver changes, and work on the car together, so it really helps you get to know each other. I’m thrilled I got to be part of this. It’s made me a better driver and helped me get to know these guys better too. It’s been positive in all aspects.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC – “For me, coming back to Multimatic, where I raced in 2015, was kind of like a homecoming for me. It was definitely a throwback coming back and racing these Mustangs, and it was nice because it was such an integral part of my career.” BONDING: “It’s really been a team-building exercise for all of us. I’ve really had fun doing it. It’s kind of my background…my playground, so to speak. It would be kind of like me going sprint car racing with Chase (Briscoe). But I really have enjoyed doing this. I kind of wish Chase and I had gotten a chance to do it before we went Truck racing together as teammates, because I think it has made Chase and I better teammates, and Ty and I better teammates. And I think it has helped me and Cole, even though we aren’t on the same team in Xfinity. It’s been a unique opportunity that not a lot of manufacturers can take advantage of, so I am glad Ford decided to take advantage of this opportunity for us. We’d love to get hardware out of it!”
TY MAJESKI – “If I had to pick one thing that was cool about this program, I think to be on the podium at Daytona in my first-ever road course race has to be considered cool. I wouldn’t have expected that. Cole and I both had good stints and Scott (Maxwell) brought it home, so to do that was pretty special. It’s been a long year, but I have learned so much. Ford Performance gave us this opportunity to be able to hone our road racing skills and now I feel like I am pretty decent at it. I also won a Trans-Am race in a Mustang at Road America and stood on the podium at the IMSA race at Laguna Seca, so I feel like my skills have been coming around.”