A look at Ford’s Cup teams
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013
This is the first of a three-part look previewing each manufacturer’s full-time entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Ford not only picked up teams in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, but it also added the reigning series champion.
Long before last year’s title was decided, Penske Racing announced it would move from Dodge to Ford for 2013. It turned out to be a bigger catch when Penske’s Brad Keselowski won his first series championship in a duel with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson.
Ford also will add a former Toyota driver in Joey Logano, who joins Penske as Keselowski’s teammate.
Roush Fenway Racing still remains the foundation of Ford’s Cup operation and will field teams for Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and two-time Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
RFR, in its alliance with Doug Yates, will provide engines for RFR, Penske and two Cup teams at Richard Petty Motorsports.
Biffle is the only returning Ford driver to make the Chase last season and should be a favorite to qualify again.
Q&A with Greg Biffle
Q: What is your outlook on how the Roush-Penske situation will work this season?
I don’t think it’s going to change a tremendous amount for us, more so probably for the engine shop will get another opportunity to have more engines on the race track and maybe collect more data. I don’t see a tremendous amount of stuff crossing back and forth.
Q: Do you see any major positives to the reduction in weight on the new car?
The more weight we get out of them, and, truly, the more left-side weight we can get in these cars, which is a difficulty. When you add left-side weight to a car that has a higher center of gravity, it makes the car handle much better and it makes the left sides do more work. The more we can migrate back to getting all four tires to do more work, then it will be easier on the tire. The tire can be more aggressive and that will help it.
Q: How much testing do you plan this season?
I think we’re allowed four tests this season, so I think with a new car it’s in NASCAR’s best interest to let us get to the race tracks we’re going to race at and do some testing. I think two to four tests per year is not a bad number, so a team can go someplace that they really want to work on stuff, instead of having to go to Nashville (Tenn.) every week or other places that don’t really count.
Sprint Cup’s Ford teams
Car no., Driver, Crew Chief, Team
No. 2, Brad Keselowski, Paul Wolfe, Penske Racing
No. 9, Marcos Ambrose, Drew Blickensderfer, Richard Petty Motorsports
No. 13, Casey Mears, Bootie Barker, Germain Racing
No. 16, Greg Biffle, Matt Pucia, Roush Fenway Racing
No. 17, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Scott Graves, Roush Fenway Racing
No. 22, Joey Logano, Todd Gordon, Penske Racing
No. 26, Josh Wise, Frankie Kerr, Front Row Motorsports
No. 34, David Ragan, Jay Guy, Front Row Motorsports
No. 38, David Gilliland, Steven Lane, Front Row Motorsports
No. 43, Aric Almirola, Todd Parrott, Richard Petty Motorsports
No. 99, Carl Edwards, Jimmy Fennig, Roush Fenway Racing