Motorsport News

Is Ford Repeating History and Losing Top Talent?

Nascar Cup Series #10: Noah Gragson, Stewart-Haas Racing, Bass Pro Shops Winchester Ford Mustang, #4: Josh Berry, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang at Charlotte NKP

On Monday (June 24) it was announced that current Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driver Chase Briscoe will leave at year’s end to replace Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

While SHR largely dissolving is scattering a lot of Ford ashes to the wind, not having a home for them to go to within the Blue Oval camp may be cause for concern – after all, it’s not the first time we’ve seen them cut ties with flagship drivers and send them to the competition – usually with instant success. Vito Pugliese and Wyatt Watson take a look under the hood in 2-Headed Monster.

The Cyclical Nature of Contraction That Is Very, Very Ford

When Christopher Bell announced Truex’s replacement Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he inadvertently broke the worst-kept secret in NASCAR. Not just that longtime Ford driver Briscoe was headed to Toyota, but that Ford continues to shed teams and talent at a pace not seen since the late 2000s and 2010s. But are things really that bad?

As its ads stated in the 1960s, Ford has a better idea.

Now this hasn’t always been the case. You could make the argument that historically it’s led the league in talent disbursement dating back to the 1960s. It only had Richard Petty for one year, Junior Johnson left Ford to switch to Chevrolet, David Pearson was canned by Wood Brothers Racing in the middle of the season in 1978, and we all know how it couldn’t insult Jeff Gordon or Kasey Kahne quick enough to drive them to different manufacturers.

Ford is in a transition period at the moment. Stewart-Haas is closing (though Haas Factory Team will have one Cup charter), and there have been rumors of a possible third charter for RFK Racing, but that doesn’t appear to be the case at the moment.

If anything, it appears to scaling back to where Toyota and TRD were a few years ago. There is one engine supplier for Ford as there is with Toyota – Roush Yates Engines. There are two flagship teams that are now on equal footing with Brad Keselowski bringing the No. 6 and 17 back to prominence not seen for 20 years. the Wood Brothers No. 21 is essentially a fourth Team Penske entry, and Justin Haley in the No. 51 sure looks more like an RFK Racing car than the usual Rick Ware Racing entries that bring up the back half of the field.

Front Row Motorsports has grown from a team that was a threat to win on drafting-style tracks to Michael McDowell having the car in position for wins more than…

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