DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In 2017, it was Toyota’s turn for a remodel. This season, it’s the new Chevrolet Camaro.
It appears 2019 will be Ford’s turn to update its product.
Speaking after Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway in a Ford, NASCAR team owner Roger Penske said that manufacturer’s racing teams would be getting a new Cup Series body next season.
“We can’t really use that as an excuse. There’s no reason to,” Penske said when asked if Ford’s older body model put it at a disadvantage. “I think we thought the same thing coming out of St. Petersburg last year in IndyCar that we might not have the power Honda had and we won 10 races. I keep reminding the team that. We’ve got to race all year. We’ll have a new body next year.”
In Sunday’s race, the top four finishers were in Ford Fusions.
Ford’s last remodel came in 2016, when the manufacturer updated the Ford Fusion that has been used in NASCAR since 2006. Penske did not say whether the new body would be an upgrade to the Fusion, or if Ford would switch to another name, such as the Mustang.
Updates to the Toyota Camry before the 2017 season were a huge part of the success Martin Truex Jr. had last year en route to his first Cup Series championship. Along the same line of thought, Alex Bowman drove the new Chevy Camaro at Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday and won the pole.
The top seven qualifiers were all either Chevy or Toyota drivers.
Keselowski, who made the championship four last season in a Ford, was asked if he knew anything about a new body for 2019.
“If (Roger Penske) says it, I would say go with him. He’s always pretty trustworthy,” Keselowski said. “They don’t tell me those kind of things because they know I’ve got a little bit of a big mouth and they don’t trust me, which is probably smart.”
Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, told NBC Sports he could not confirm that there would be a new Ford make in 2019.
“This is racing, and we are always working on actions to improve performance and that includes engine, body, aero, everything on the car,” Rushbrook said. “We will make an announcement on any future body actions when we are ready.”