Can Anyone Compete With Ford?

Ford has done nothing short of dominating the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series (MENCS) season. Eleven races into the 36 race season and Ford has managed to find their way into victory lane six total times. While it is true that four of the six wins came with Stewart-Hass Racing driver Kevin Harvick, the other Ford drivers in the field have been strong. There is no shortage of talent, or speed, in the Ford camp.

So far in 2018, Ford has amassed 2,145 laps led, 48 top 10s, 17 stage wins, and six race wins. Things seem to be picking up for the “Blue Oval.”

Stewart-Hass Racing has obviously been the dominant Ford team this season, accounting for five of the six wins that Ford has, of which Kevin Harvick owns four, and Clint Bowyer has one. Team Penske driver Joey Logano has the other Ford victory that came at Talladega Superspeedway in the 10th race of the Cup Series season.

The fact that Harvick and Logano are the only two Ford drivers to win so far this season is not a reflection of the strong cars that the manufacturer has brought to each track this season. Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have all had some really great runs this season. Blaney probably should have won Bristol, until he was caught up in a wreck coming to the end of the second stage.

Keselowski has had a strong car at several races this season but has fallen into the clutches of bad luck. At Bristol, he blew a tire toward the end of the race and erased any shot he had at winning. At Talladega, he got caught up in the big one on lap 165 by running into the back of teammate Blaney, who were both a part of the 14 cars involved in the calamity.

Roush Fenway Racing has shown some speed with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who drives the No. 17 for the team. Those strong runs, combined with the recent announcement that 2003 MENCS Champion Matt Kenseth will be returning to the team to run a part-time schedule in the No. 6 car currently driven by Trevor Bayne, could be the shot in the arm that team needs to become a contender again.

But, Ford’s domination isn’t limited to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. They are also flexing some muscle in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Of the 10 races run in the series, Ford has snagged four wins with four different drivers. Harvick, Keselowski, Logano, and Blaney have all taken home a trophy this season driving a Ford.

In the Xfinity Series, Ford has recorded 631 laps led, 22 top 10s, five stage wins, and four race wins. Team Penske accounts for three of the four wins, between three different drivers (Keselowski, Logano, and Blaney). Stewart-Hass Racing has the fourth win with Harvick.

Ford has scored a win at four very different race tracks, including ISM Raceway, Atlanta, Auto Club, and Texas. These tracks range anywhere between one mile in length to two miles in length, showing that Ford is capable of winning regardless of the tracks that they run on. We will have to wait until later in the season to see if they will be able to keep the momentum going on the road courses and the bigger tracks like Michigan and Pocono.

In short, if you are a Chevrolet or Toyota team, you need to be doing some serious digging to try to shut these Fords down this season. We do have to give credit where it is due; Toyota has won four races this season. Three with Kyle Busch and one with 2017 MENCS Champion, Martin Truex Jr. But if you are a Chevy team, you need to be worried. With only one win coming at this year’s Daytona 500, Chevy has not seen the early success that it is used to. Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time champion and one of the strongest, consistent Chevy drivers, has struggled this season and currently sits in the longest winless streak of his career, dating back to the spring Bristol race of 2017. Kyle Larson, though, has shown some strength this year. He battled with Kyle Busch for much of the third stage at Bristol but could not capitalize on the run after spinning out while leading the race.

It may still be early in the season, but I don’t think it would be a surprise for us to see a Ford taking home the championship in the MENCS when they make their final stop of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18. And don’t be surprised if it is the No. 4 Fusion for Stewart-Hass Racing claiming his second MENCS title.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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