Ford Racing Announces Long-Term Extensions With 3 Key Teams
Posted August 1, 2003 2:55 a.m. EDT
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, has announced five-year contract extensions with Robert Yates Racing, Roush Racing and the Wood Brothers.
The announcement was made Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to practice for Sunday's Brickyard 400.
"We wanted to send a strong message to everyone that we're committed to NASCAR racing long-term, and continuing our association with these three teams does that," Davis said. "We feel the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will undergo even more changes over the next few years, and we wanted to ensure that the continuity and chemistry we've developed with these three organizations would continue."
All three teams have been synonymous with Ford since becoming involved in the sport.
The Wood Brothers, by the legendary Glen Wood, began racing their relationship with NASCAR in 1953 and have driven nothing but Ford products in that time. The team, which is now led by Glen's sons, Eddie and Len, has amassed 97 series victories, which includes at least one victory in five straight decades.
Roush Racing has posted 65 NASCAR Winston Cup Series triumphs since beginning competition in 1988 with driver Mark Martin. The organization boasts a series-high five teams, including that of current points leader Matt Kenseth.
Robert Yates Racing became a NASCAR Winston Cup owner after purchasing the team from Harry Ranier in 1989, and the team has won 54 races. Recognized as one of the top engine builders in the sport, Yates led Ford to only its third driver's championship in the modern era (1972-present) when Dale Jarrett won the title in 1999.
"We couldn't be prouder to have these three organizations represent Ford," Davis said. "We're grateful for their loyalty to Ford, and we feel this is a way of showing how much we appreciate that loyalty. These teams are the teams we are going to go forward with in the future, and we wanted to publicly state that fact."
In addition to continuing its relationship with current programs, For remains open to expanding its roster, Davis said. He noted that the days of one manufacturer having as many as 20 cars in a field on any given Sunday are likely over.
"The sport of NASCAR is continually changing, and we're looking to position ourselves so we'll be able to adapt to those changes," Davis said. "As we look toward long-term development and long-term projects, we know who we will be working with, and we know there's a level of trust there from both sides.
"We've picked our dance partners for the future. And now it's time to dance."