Ford to introduce Mustang model for 2019 NASCAR Cup season  4/17/2018 1:12:17 PM   Tom Errington

Ford has announced it will introduce the Mustang for the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

The manufacturer's Fusion model is currently used in the top-tier Cup series and is the oldest make on the grid after Chevrolet introduced its new Camaro for 2018, a year after Toyota brought an updated Camry.

There has been speculation in the early part of the 2018 season that Ford would introduce a new car, and its leading teams such as Penske and Wood Brothers asked for improvements to the current car over the off-season.

The Mustang already competes in the Xfinity series, but will now replace the Fusion in Cup next year.

Ford is second in the Cup's 2018 manufacturer standings and has not won a championship since 2004 with Kurt Busch.

"We're combining America's favourite sports car with America's top stock car racing series," said Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook.

"Mustang always has been about affordable performance, which can be traced to innovations we've made competing in racing, like NASCAR.

"Mustang is a perfect fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow."

The car is currently in its initial phase of testing and will be presented for NASCAR's approval in the summer, while Ford said a public unveiling of the car would "soon follow".

Edsel Ford II, Ford Motor Company's board of directors member and great-grandson of Henry Ford, added: "This announcement makes me very happy.

"Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it's only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR's most visible series. I can't wait."

The Blue Oval also confirmed its return to Australian Supercars on Tuesday with a works-backed Mustang programme.

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