- Ford’s Ryan Blaney drove Mustang to its second straight NASCAR Cup Series championship today at Phoenix Raceway.
- Blaney’s title capped a weekend that saw Ford win all three of NASCAR’s major touring championships for the first time in its history.
- The championship is Blaney’s first and marks consecutive titles for Team Penske after Joey Logano won in 2022.
- Ford has won the Cup Series championship 11 times by nine different drivers.
Avondale, AZ., November 5, 2023 – Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney drove Mustang to its second straight NASCAR Cup Series title by winning today’s championship race at Phoenix Raceway, capping a weekend that saw Ford claim all three of NASCAR’s major touring titles for the first time in its history.
Blaney got the job done by finishing second in the race, and beating fellow Championship 4 drivers Kyle Larson and William Byron, who ended up right behind in third and fourth, respectively.
The race came down to a 31-lap dash to the finish. Blaney restarted sixth while Larson was third and Byron fifth, but the Team Penske driver passed Byron three laps later and then battled Larson for the next eight circuits before finally getting past him on lap 292 of the 312-lap event.
From that point on, he was able to maintain his advantage and finish second to race-winner Ross Chastain.
“I didn’t want a caution,” said Blaney after he passed Larson for the championship lead. “Once I got to the white, I felt pretty good about it, but it’s just about getting there and finishing it off.”
For Blaney, it capped off a 10-race playoff season that saw him win twice (Talladega and Martinsville) and finish the last six races with an average finishing position of 4.0.
“It was somewhat of an up and down year, but you’re going to have those moments,” said Blaney. “Through the summer, we just worked really hard to get back to where we needed to be and set a deadline for the playoffs and we met that deadline.
“I was telling everybody all week that having the opportunity to go back-to-back Cup champions for Mr. Penske hasn’t been done,” continued Blaney. “He hasn’t done that and it’s not very often you get to do something in motorsports that RP hasn’t done because he’s done everything and accomplished everything, so to be able to be a part of this and bring him another championship and be a driver that’s brought him a championship is very special.”
The championship is the 11th for Ford in NASCAR’s top series with Blaney becoming the ninth different driver to achieve the feat.
“We didn’t win as many races as we would have liked to this year, but to win three championships just makes a statement about the team we have at Ford Performance and the partnership and the family that we have racing our cars and trucks on track, so I’m really proud of what everybody has done,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Things could have gone in any direction, but Ryan was so strong today that he was driving to the front on every run and he was racing hard against everybody. He certainly earned the championship today.
“We’ve increased the emphasis on our program every single year and we were really big at pushing for the Next Gen car back in the early days when it was first being talked about because of the relevance. That made it even more important for us to be successful with it, so we were working hard, obviously, on the Next Gen car before we were ever racing it, and not just on the body but also making sure we understood what the common chassis was, running it in our simulator, and really understanding what it takes to be successful.”
Ben Rhodes kicked off the trio of championships by winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night after four overtime restarts, and then Cole Custer followed suit on Saturday as he won his first NASCAR Xfinity Championship in a dramatic overtime finish that saw him go from third to first in the space of one lap.
The Ford weekend championship sweep marks the first time a manufacturer has accomplished that feat since 2001, and it’s the sixth time in NASCAR history.
FORD’S NASCAR CUP SERIES CHAMPIONS
1965 – Ned Jarrett
1968 – David Pearson
1969 – David Pearson
1988 – Bill Elliott
1992 – Alan Kulwicki
1999 – Dale Jarrett
2003 – Matt Kenseth
2004 – Kurt Busch
2018 – Joey Logano
2022 – Joey Logano
2023 – Ryan Blaney
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.
About Ford Performance
Ford Performance is based in Dearborn, Mich. It is responsible for Ford’s performance vehicle development and major racing operations globally, including NASCAR, IMSA, SRO British GT, FIA World Rally Championship, Supercars Championship, World of Outlaws, Ultra4, SCORE-International, FIA Rally-Raid, Formula Drift, NHRA, Rebelle Rally, Thailand Super Series and our latest commitment in Formula 1 with Red Bull Ford Powertrains. Ford Performance also maintains a constantly evolving fleet of electric performance demonstrators to showcase the limits of electrification technology. In addition, the organization also oversees the development of Ford’s racing engines, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing’s activities, please visit Performance.Ford.com or follow @FordPerformance on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.