Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Kid Got The Keys To The Mustang

Mark this day, NASCAR race cars are once again cool.

Tuesday in Concord, N.C., Ford Motorsports debuted the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford Mustang that will be run in four events next season. Colin Braun drove the No. 16 Con-Way Freight Mustang to the podium of the press conference at Roush Fenway Racing, while team owner Jack Roush was joined by Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash, Bill Wynne, Vice President of Marketing for Con-Way Freight and Member of the Board of Directors for the Ford Motor Company, Edsel B. Ford III.

“This truly marks the start of the next era of Mustang racing,” Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports, who was also in attendance told the gathered media. “We fully expect this Mustang, with drivers like Colin behind the wheel, to start to enjoy the kind of success so many other Mustang racing programs have enjoyed throughout the last four decades.”

“Mustang is a proud and historic brand for Ford. This is a car born to race, and NASCAR is the next logical step for its racing pedigree.”

For Braun and Roush Fenway Racing, this is the next logical step in the young driver’s development. Last year’s Rookie of the year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this 21 year-old driver is making the move to the Nationwide Series in 2010 and is bringing sponsor Con-Way Freight with him.

“I’m so happy that Con-way Freight decided to move up with me to the Nationwide Series for 2010,” Braun said after climbing from his new ride. “They have been a great sponsor for the past two years in the truck series so it means a lot to me that they will continue to support me in the future. I’m also looking forward to driving a Mustang next year. I’ve always thought they are such incredible cars, but have never owned one. Maybe when I win my first race the guys at Ford will want to give me one of my own.”

Braun’s chances at earning his own Mustang are pretty good. One of the most iconic cars in American history, the Mustang has scored in excess of 2,000 racing trophies across the globe. Add to that the fact that Jack Roush’s Nationwide organization has a series-high 107 wins, along with two drivers titles and things start to look up.

A muscle car junkie at heart, there is no one more appropriate to welcome the Mustang to the NASCAR world than Jack Roush.

“I have been a Mustang owner and enthusiast for many years myself so this is an exciting day to see this car racing in NASCAR,” the ‘Cat in the Hat’ told the gathered crowd. “My teams have won several road racing championships over the years in Mustangs, and I look forward to winning more with Colin, Carl (Edwards) and Ricky (Stenhouse, Jr.). With the continued support of Ford and Con-way Freight we plan to give Colin the opportunity for his second Rookie of the Year title in NASCAR, and ultimately a Nationwide Series championship.”

While Braun will get his chance at those goals right away in 2010, the Mustang will have to wait a bit. The Nationwide Series will run their new car only on four occasions next season, in Daytona in July, Charlotte, Michigan and Richmond.

* Photo credit Ford Racing

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