Ford Performance sweeps Kentucky

Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines sweep Kentucky with Cole Custer winning his first NASCAR Cup Series race as a rookie and Austin Cindric capturing back-to-back wins on Thursday and Friday in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“Congratulations to Cole and Austin on their wins,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “The Ford Mustangs ran strong at Kentucky and to see Cole win his first Cup race as a rookie and Austin win his first two races of the year is special. Ford Performance and our Ford Performance race teams have been working really hard to deliver fast race cars to the track every week and to see the guys in Victory Lane is a testament to everyone’s dedication and teamwork.”

On a late race restart with two laps to go, in Sunday’s Quaker State 400, Stewart-Haas Racing driver, Custer in the No. 41 Ford Mustang started from the third row. With a strong push from Ford teammate, Matt DiBenedetto, during the restart he was able to make a monster move from the outside on the white flag lap to take it four wide and pass the race leader and veteran drivers Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney for the lead. Custer took the checkered flag .271 seconds ahead of second place driver Truex, punching his ticket to the All-Star race on Wednesday night and into the Playoffs.

“I knew I just had to get to the top,” said Custer. “The top rolled pretty good and once I got past and I was like in third I was like I’ve just got to take a shot and do whatever I can here. And it ended up the 4 and the 19 got together a little bit and I was able to take advantage of it. It was just an unbelievable car and I was able to take advantage of it. I just can’t thank all my guys and everybody at SHR enough, and everybody at Roush Yates Engines – just an absolutely amazing car.”

Six Fords finished in the top-10, led by Custer, DiBenedetto P3, Harvick P4, Blaney P6, Stage 1 winner and leader of 128-laps Aric Almirola P8 and Stage 2 winner Brad Keselowski P9.

Ford leads all manufacturers with 10 race wins while Stewart-Haas and Kevin Harvick lead the owner and driver points standings. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Austin Cindric battled hard against Ford Performance teammate Chase Briscoe to bring home his first two wins of the 2020 season for Team Penske. This marked three NXS wins in a row at Kentucky for Ford Performance and 4th consecutive win in 2020.

Thursday night, Cindric took the lead with 40 laps to go and it appeared he would take the checkered flag, but late race cautions set the stage for a thrilling over-time finish as he battled with Ford Performance teammate Briscoe.

The two Ford Mustangs lined up side-by-side on the front row for a green-white-checkered finish. Cindric took the outside lane and Briscoe the inside. Briscoe was able to get a slight jump on Cindric at the restart, but the No. 22 would not be denied and got a huge run off the corner to rocket right by the No. 98 to take the lead and the checkered flag in Kentucky. Briscoe finished P4.

“I don’t care what shape the track is, if it’s dirt, oval, I don’t care I’m just so happy this Snap-On Ford Mustang is in Victory Lane,” said Cindric. “We’ve come so close all year. These guys have given me so many awesome race-winning cars. This is awesome. All the credit to my guys for getting me here.”

In a double-header at Kentucky Speedway the Xfinity series returned Friday night, where the No. 22 Ford Mustang dominated the Alsco 300. Cindric led a career high 130 laps out of the 200-lap race and took the checkered flag 2.262 seconds ahead of No. 98 Briscoe, making it a 1-2 finish for Ford Performance.

“I’m just so excited. This is all a credit to my team,” commented Cindric. “I’m the lucky one that gets to drive this Snap-On Ford Mustang. Thank you to everyone – Ford Performance. A one-two between me and Chase. That was a lot of fun.”

Briscoe and Stewart-Haas Racing continue to lead the driver and owner points standings and with back-to-back wins Ford leads manufacturers with seven wins and a 10-point lead. Cindric and Team Penske are in a strong third place position.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads into All-Star week with the All-Star Open and All-Star Race being held in Bristol, TN on Wednesday, July 15th. Reference the full 2020 schedule on