NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Stewart-Haas Racing to Field Fords Beginning in 2017

Bye-bye, bow tie. hello, blue oval.

Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that its four teams will run Ford Fusions in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2017.

SHR has spent its entire existence with General Motors since the team’s non-Stewart inception under just Gene Haas in 2002, utilizing both the Pontiac and Chevrolet brands. The team has won two championships under the Chevrolet banner, one with owner-driver Tony Stewart in 2011 and another with Kevin Harvick in 2014. The team has also won 30 points-paying races, all since Stewart came to co-own the team in 2009.

Ford’s coup of SHR is a huge boost to the manufacturer, which also supports Team Penske, Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Richard Petty Motorsports. While Penske won seven races in 2015, none of Ford’s other teams visited victory lane, and the once-flagship RFR has floundered in recent years, losing high-profile drivers Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards to rival Toyota.

“We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program,” Ford Executive VP and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair said. “Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we’re trying to do in the sport.”

SHR’s 2017 lineup will consist of Harvick, 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch (who won his title in a Ford), Danica Patrick and new addition Clint Bowyer, taking over for Stewart following his retirement.

“I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today,” Stewart said in a statement. “This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing.”

The team will continue its relationship with Chevrolet through the remainder of 2016. When the team rolls its 2017 Fusions onto the track next season, they will be powered by Roush Yates Engines.

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

16 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aaron

That must have been a whole lot of $$$. For Ford they had to do it. Roush has been in decline since 2008. Penske essentially carried the banner last few years.

’15

Chevy – HMS, SHR, RCR, CGRwFS, Furniture Row, HScott
Ford – Penske, RFR, Front Row
Toyota – JGR, MWR

’17

Chevy – HMS, RCR, CGRwFS, HScott
Ford – SHR, Penske, RFR, Front Row
Toyota – JGR, Furniture Row

SHR’s move is about the available resources, saturation of teams, and the pecking order at Chevy, compared to being a 1A/1B team with Penske at Ford.

dh

yeah – i think i agree on why the move happened. But for Smoke to move the team was a huge surprise to me. Huge. I’m a huge Harvick fan, i’ll follow him through manufacturers, but quite honestly – it’s gonna take a while to get used to that fusion with a number 4 and Harv’s name on it.

I wonder how many drivers will bolt once the contracts are up – i don’t see the drivers having much of a manufacturer affiliation (at least not as vocally as Smoke was about the move from Chevy to Toyota when he was with Gibbs), but – it’ll be interesting.

Still kind of shocked though

Bill B

Very surprising.
Wow, it’s hard to imagine SHR having any more success with Ford than they’ve had with Chevy. Two championships in four years is about as good as it gets. Do they think their results can get much better with Ford?
I guess this is all about money and how much Ford was willing to give them to switch. I suppose that if a manufacturer is willing to just give you the money you don’t have to worry about winning races and championships to turn a profit.
Also hard to believe Stewart leaving Chevy as he’s been a vocal supporter. But, once again, money talks and I suppose everyone has their price.

janice

I thought the same thing bout Stewart leaving Chevy. One of the reasons he was unhappy at Gibbs was when they went to Toyota. Interesting hoe this is happening after Stewart retires as a driver. Be interesting to see how involved he’ll be with she, or if Haas will buy him out.

Tim S.

I’d love to see how many zeroes are on that check. Would have to be several to make someone say, “I don’t want Hendrick tech support anymore.” But then again Furniture Row had a pretty good tech alliance with Childress, and they couldn’t get to Toyota fast enough. Makes one wonder if maybe Roush is planning on doing something different.

DoninAjax

I wonder what Mr. Hendrick did?

Bill B

Gave them good enough equipment to win two championships.

DoninAjax

I meant to make them change.

Johnny

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????? BY BY SHR, I CAN NO LONGER FOLLOW THIS TEAM.

Upstate24fan

Really shocked and a big coup for Ford. I always thought Tony was as diehard a Chevy guy as their is. I thought one of the reasons he left Gibbs was because they went to Toyota. This was the last Chevy team I thought could be poached. I can see why Ford did this and probably shelled out big bucks to do it. With Roush still in the doldrums, they needed another top notch team to carry the banner and help Penske. Ford looks poised to get back to their early 2000s power.

Tim Walgren

RFR can,t hit their ass with either hand set up wise. Obviously ford wanted some help for the captain.

Rod

FOOLISH !!!!! HOPEFULLY THEY FALL FLAT ON THER FACE.

Intomidator

That’s very cool. Now Danica will have yet ANOTHER excuse.. D”AMM FORDS DON’T DRIVE FOR SH*T”.

DoninAjax

Now she can drive Ricky’s Mustang to the track and it won’t look so bad.

kb

…..So interesting these comments…I hate Kez and Logano and blah, blah, blah. But it seems it is more of a Chevy love. Yawn, Stevie Wonder did see these comments coming. SMH. I also said Kes was loved when he was in a Chebbie, Logano would get the love if he drove won. Never a nasty comment for sure if they were in the “bowtie”. I would bet the house on it. Nascar fans are interesting.

Bill B

“So interesting these comments…I hate Kez and Logano and blah, blah, blah”

What the hell are you talking about? I had to re-read the comments section a second time and still couldn’t find any comment that seemed negative about either driver. So I copied all the comments into Word and did a search and still couldn’t find anything mentioning them.

Either you posted this comment in the wrong article or you are hallucinating.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com

Frontstretch