Ford's iconic muscle car, the Mustang—which kicked off the "Pony Car" craze in 1964—will be coming to NASCAR in 2019. While this is exciting, many fear it will face the same problems that Chevrolet had with the Camaro at NASCAR's top level.
Rumors of the car's appearance came as far back as April. However, given Chevy's struggles this season with the Camaro, Motorsport speculates that Ford may face similar issues.
Former NASCAR driver Dale Jarett noted Toyota had their own problems when they switched the aero package for their Camry model last year. There tend to be growing pains when a manufacturer changes its aero package as they lag—for lack of a better term—behind the competition as Crew Chiefs tinker and figure out what makes that particular package tick. Changing it to an entirely new car just makes that learning curve much harder.
One thing that is incredibly interesting to note is that Ford is absolutely dominating with its Fusion package of cars. Of the top five drivers, only one of them isn't in a Ford— that person is Kyle Busch who is the points leader and driving a Toyota.
Since the modern era of NASCAR started, Ford utilized the Torino, Thunderbird, Taurus, and Fusion as their primary bodies in the top level of the series. Since 2010, however, Ford has used the Mustang in the Xfinity series, one level below the Cup Series in NASCAR. Chevrolet has also run the Camaro since 2010 at the same level.
Ford may not face the same competitive issues Chevrolet did when switching to the Camero however. When a manufacturer changes packages, there is always that risk that teams will be slower as they adapt, though usually, that just means the Crew Chief will need to find a way to tap into the potential of the newer model, and most of the time, the change is for the better.