Ford Performance NASCAR: Seven Ford Drivers Ready for Cup Playoff Opener in Las Vegas

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: LAS VEGAS PLAYOFF ADVANCE

Two Playoff races and a regular-season finale highlight a NASCAR tripleheader this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The Gander Outdoors Truck Series will conduct a first round elimination race on Friday as their Playoff field gets trimmed from eight to six.  That’s followed by the final regular-season race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Saturday, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener on Sunday.

FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LVMS
·         Ford leads all manufacturers with 12 series wins in 23 all-time events.
·         Roush Fenway Racing tops all organizations with 7 victories, including the first three.
·         Ford has won three straight at LVMS (Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano).

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LVMS
·         Ford has 9 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at LVMS.
·         Jeff Burton and Mark Martin lead the way with 2 wins apiece.
·         Jack Roush leads all car owner with 6 series victories at LVMS.

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FORD IN THE NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LVMS
·         Ford has 5 series wins at LVMS.
·         Grant Enfinger won last year’s Playoff race at LVMS.
·         Joe Ruttman, Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil and Tyler Reddick also have one Ford win each.

CUP PLAYOFF FIELD SET

Ford has a manufacturer-best seven drivers competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs for the second year in a row.  Stewart-Haas drivers Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola join the Team Penske trio of defending champion Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney as Ford drivers who have made the 16-driver field for the second straight time.  The only change is Roush Fenway’s Ryan Newman filling the spot that Kurt Busch had last season.

NASCAR XFINITY REGULAR SEASON FINALE

The final regular season race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is scheduled for Saturday with all three Ford drivers knowing they have spots in this year’s Playoff field.  Cole Custer, Chase Briscoe, and Austin Cindric all clinched spots after winning at least once earlier in the year.  Custer is tied for the most individual victories in 2019 with six while Cindric has two wins and Briscoe one.

ELIMINATION RACE ON TAP FOR TRUCK SERIES

A year ago, Grant Enfinger punched his ticket to the second round with a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ThorSport is looking for a similar result this time around as all three of their post-season drivers look to stay in contention for the series championship.  Friday’s elimination race will trim the field from eight to six and the point standings couldn’t be closer.  Ford driver’s Matt Crafton (4th), Enfinger (6th) and Johnny Sauter (7th) are part of a group of five drivers separated by only six points.

FORD’S CUP PLAYOFF SUCCESS

Ford is coming off its best postseason performance a year ago when it led all manufacturers with six MENCS Playoff victories in 10 events.  That culminated with Joey Logano winning his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title after taking the checkered flag at Ford Championship Weekend.  Ford has 41 all-time Playoff victories by 12 different drivers and Logano is the manufacturer’s all-time leader with nine.  Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle are second and third on that list with eight and seven victories, respectively.

MARTIN LEADS FORD CHARGE IN INAUGURAL VEGAS CUP EVENT

Ford took the checkered flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the inaugural race at the 1.5-mile facility on March 1, 1998 as Mark Martin led a manufacturer runaway that saw 13 of the top 14 finishers driving a Taurus.  The win was the first for Taurus, which became the first full-time four-door entry in NASCAR, after Ford decided to use it in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starting with the 1998 season.  Martin bested Roush Fenway teammate Jeff Burton by 1.605 seconds to win the Las Vegas 400 with Rusty Wallace, Johnny Benson and Jeremy Mayfield rounding out the top-five.  The only non-Ford to finish in the top-10 was the late Dale Earnhardt, who was eighth.

SWEEP DELIGHT FOR KESELOWSKI

Brad Keselowski completed a weekend sweep in 2014 after taking the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series events on consecutive days.  Even though Keselowski led the most laps in the MENCS race, he needed a little bit of luck and got it on the final lap when Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was in conservation mode, ran out of gas on the back straightaway.  That enabled Keselowski to win going away and post the first of his six victories that season.

ROUSH RULES

There have been two Roush Fenway Racing drivers who have posted consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Jeff Burton won in 1999 and 2000 while Matt Kenseth did it in his championship season of 2003 and 2004.  In fact, Roush Fenway Racing has been a force in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series at the 1.5-mile facility.  The organization has posted seven MENCS wins and six NXS victories for a total of 13 overall, which includes back-to-back weekend sweeps in 1999 and 2000.  In addition, RFR has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series triumphs.

TEAM PENSKE ON VEGAS ROLL

Team Penske has dominated the NXS and MENCS events at LVMS in recent years with three drivers combining for seven wins.  Sam Hornish Jr. started this streak with his win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race in 2013 before Brad Keselowski swept the NXS/MENCS weekend in 2014.  Keselowski won Cup events in 2016 and 2018 while Joey Logano claimed an NXS victory in 2017 and Cup triumph earlier this year.

FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT LAS VEGAS
1998 – Mark Martin
1999 – Jeff Burton
2000 – Jeff Burton
2003 – Matt Kenseth
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2008 – Carl Edwards
2011 – Carl Edwards
2014 – Brad Keselowski
2016 – Brad Keselowski
2018 – Kevin Harvick (1) and Brad Keselowski (2)
2019 – Joey Logano (1)

FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT LAS VEGAS
1999 – Mark Martin
2000 – Jeff Burton
2002 – Jeff Burton
2005 – Mark Martin
2009 – Greg Biffle
2012 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2013 – Sam Hornish Jr.
2014 – Brad Keselowski
2017 – Joey Logano

FORD NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES WINNERS AT LAS VEGAS
1997 – Joe Ruttman
1999 – Greg Biffle
2007 – Travis Kvapil
2016 – Tyler Reddick
2018 – Grant Enfinger (2)

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