DEARBORN – Three of the brightest stars in the Ford vehicle lineup will be prominently on display on track at Ford Championship Weekend beginning Friday as NASCAR crowns champions in its three major touring divisions at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The all-new Mustang Shelby GT500 is set to lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400, where Ford driver Kevin Harvick will be looking to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Before Sunday’s season finale, however, fans will get to see the Ford F-150, America’s best-selling pickup truck, pace the field in Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200. That will be followed by Ford Performance’s latest SUV, the all-new Explorer ST, leading the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday afternoon.
“Ford Championship Weekend has always been one of the highlights of the year for Ford,” said Rob Johnston, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. “This is our opportunity to give race fans who attend in person a truly immersive experience with our vehicle lineup while those watching at home get to see three of the most popular vehicles on the road today at the front of the field.
“With the NASCAR schedule changing next year and the season-finale moving to Phoenix, this will be the 18th and final Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead,” added Johnston. “It’s been a tremendous event for us to interact with the NASCAR fan base all these years, and we want to give them one more great weekend with great products and great racing.”
The all-new Mustang Shelby GT500 figures to feel right at home on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway, being the most advanced Mustang ever built for the street, track or drag strip, producing 760 horsepower.
Ford F-150 is accustomed to being at the front of the field as well, having been America’s best-selling pickup truck for 42 consecutive years, and America’s best-selling vehicle for 36 consecutive years.
Explorer is America’s all-time best-selling SUV and Explorer ST takes the vehicle to a new level as the most powerful version to date with its specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine delivering 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque.
Ford will have one driver competing for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship as ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton qualified for the Championship 4 after a sixth-place finish last weekend in Phoenix. Crafton has won the series championship twice, but this would mark his first title with Ford.
Cole Custer advanced to his second straight Championship 4 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series after a second-place run on Saturday at ISM Raceway. Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a good track for Custer, who won his first series race in the Ford EcoBoost 300 in 2017 and then led Stewart-Haas Racing to its first owner’s championship in last year’s event.
Harvick advanced to the Championship 4 for the fifth time in the last six years with a victory at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago and will be going for his second career title. Since coming to Ford at the beginning of the 2017 season, Harvick has registered 14 wins.
“Our goal every season is to win the championship,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We all know it comes down to one race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and we’re confident that the teams and drivers we have in the Championship Four can get the job done.”
This marks the 18th and final season all three of NASCAR’s top touring series will crown their champions at Ford Championship Weekend. That will change next year when ISM Raceway in Phoenix takes over as host site for the series finale.