Trevor Bayne: “It’s going to be tough for sure”
2017 was the year of the Toyota in NASCAR. They were granted a brand new Camry body shape. The new design clearly worked well for them.
Toyota went on to win 19 of the 41 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, nearly 50%. In the playoffs it was even worse. Toyota teams won 8 of the 10 playoff races.
Ford didn’t have a bad year in 2017. They won 11 races of their own. However, if you look a little closer you’ll see why it might appear concerning. For example, 3 of those wins came in the first 5 races.
Ford also dominated the restrictor plates tracks, winning 5 of 7 restrictor plates races. That sounds like a great year! But, Brad Keselowski says that was only because of a lack of downforce. The same reason they struggled at intermediate tracks, made them great at superspeedways. So overall, that wasn’t a good thing.
In 2018, Chevrolet receives an upgrade of their own. It hasn’t raced yet, but the looks of it have a lot of the same design aspects as the new Toyota does.
Ford will have the oldest body in the field for 2018. The Ford Fusion NASCAR race car made it’s debut in the 2016 racing season.
Where does that leave the ford camp for 2018?
“It’s going to be tough for sure with [Chevrolet] having their new bodies and kind of built to fit the new rule specs, with the spoiler and splitter and all the stuff since Ford had come out with their body,” Trevor Bayne comments on the year ahead for Ford teams.
It will be tough, but we just got to work in the gaps as much as we can, refine what we have. … I thought Kevin Harvick did a great job making it to the final round last year with a Ford. It can be done, and hopefully we can do that.”
Likely, it’s going to be tougher than the 2017 season. Though, if you’re a NASCAR fan that bets on these races, my advice is to place your bets on a Ford at Daytona.
Chevrolet’s move to add the Camaro to the NASCAR Cup Series is interesting. In years past, they used the highest sold sedans in this series. The series with the largest appeal used the most sold cars in their marketing efforts. It made sense on that front.
But, we’re racing, a sportscar just makes more sense. It’s also a move that’s appreciated by the fan base. It’s likely that Ford will make the same move on their next transition. I fully expect the Mustang to join the NASCAR Cup Series soon.
Why do I say that?
“I don’t know what we’re going to do yet, but I think it’s the right play,” Edsel Ford II told motorsport.com at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC back in August 2017.