Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano have clinched spots in the Championship Four of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after winning the first two races in the Round of 8. Ford will look to add to that total this weekend at ISM Raceway as Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer all have one more opportunity to advance. Here’s a look at Ford’s season to date, along with where Blue Oval drivers stand in the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.
CUP WIN TOTAL CLIMBS TO 18
Ford’s best season in recent memory continued on Sunday when Kevin Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, marking the Blue Oval’s 18th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. This marks the most wins for Ford in a single-season since NASCAR expanded the schedule to 36 races in 2001 and is the first time it will win at least half of the events since 1997 when it captured 19-of-32 events.
FORD WINS – SEASON
20 – 1994 (31 races)
19 – 1997 (32 races)
18 – 2018 (Through 34 races)
16 – 1992 (29 races)
16 – 2005 (36 races)
15 – 1998 (33 races)
CLOSING IN ON MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
Ford has won 9 of the last 12 MENCS races to take control of the manufacturers’ championship battle with only two events remaining. Ford has had seven drivers win races this season, which has helped produce a 24-point lead in the standings. The Blue Oval has won the manufacturers’ title 15 times with the last being in 2002.
EIGHT AND COUNTING FOR HARVICK
Harvick leads all drivers this season with eight MENCS victories, making him the first Ford driver to win that many events since Carl Edwards in 2008. Harvick, whose previous career high for wins in a season had been five, will be looking for his 10th career series victory at ISM Raceway on Sunday after winning the spring race there earlier in the season. In just two seasons with Ford, Harvick has already amassed 10 victories, which makes him one of only 23 drivers in the manufacturer’s NASCAR history with double-digit wins.
PLAYOFF WINS MOUNTING
Ford has matched its single-season high for MENCS Playoff victories with five, equaling the total from 2005 and 2008. Joey Logano, who registered Ford’s first Playoff win at Martinsville Speedway two weeks ago, is tied with Carl Edwards for the most Playoff victories in Ford’s NASCAR history with eight. Greg Biffle is next on the list with seven while Brad Keselowski has five with the Blue Oval. Overall, Ford has 40 all-time MENCS Playoff triumphs.
ROUND OF 8 MENCS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
1st – Kevin Harvick (Clinched spot in Championship 4 with Texas win)
2nd – Joey Logano (Clinched spot in Championship 4 with Martinsville win)
5th – Kurt Busch (-25 from final transfer spot)
7th – Aric Almirola (-57 from final transfer spot)
8th – Clint Bowyer (-73 from final transfer spot)
ROUND OF 8 NXS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
1st – Cole Custer (Clinched spot in Championship 4 with Texas win)
8th – Austin Cindric (-61 from final transfer spot)
ROUND OF 6 NCWTS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
5th – Grant Enfinger (-18 from final transfer spot)
6th – Matt Crafton (-23 from final transfer spot)
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT ISM
· Ford has 16 series wins at ISM Raceway.
· Alan Kulwicki won the first series race at ISM Raceway in 1988.
· Kevin Harvick is looking for his third career season sweep at ISM Raceway.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT ISM
· Ford leads all manufacturers with 13 series wins at ISM Raceway.
· Jack Roush is tied for the most owner wins in the series with eight.
· Ford is going for a season sweep at ISM Raceway after Brad Keselowski won in the spring.
FORD IN THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SERIES AT ISM
· Ford has 3 series wins at ISM Raceway.
· Joe Ruttman (1997), Mike Bliss (1998) and Greg Biffle (2001) have won with Ford.
· Kevin Harvick has won the most series races at the speedway with four.
KULWICKI WINS FIRST CUP RACE IN ISM OPENER
Alan Kulwicki, driving the No. 7 Zerex Ford, won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in the debut event at ISM Raceway on Nov. 6, 1988. Kulwicki, who celebrated by taking a Polish Victory Lap for which he is still remembered for today, passed leader Ricky Rudd with 16 laps to go and ended up taking the checkered flag in his 85th start by 18 seconds over runner-up Terry Labonte. Fellow Ford drivers Davey Allison and Bill Elliott finished third and fourth, respectively. Kulwicki, who ended up leading four times for 41 laps in taking the next-to-last event of the season, went on to win four more Cup races during his career.
BUSCH WINS DEBUT NIGHT RACE
Kurt Busch made ISM Raceway history when he drove his No. 97 Irwin/Sharpie Ford Taurus to victory in the first MENCS night race held at the track on Apr. 23, 2005. Busch dominated from the start as he led 132 of the first 133 laps, and while others like Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip led multiple laps at different stages of the event, it was Busch who proved to be too strong down the stretch. He passed Waltrip with 44 laps to go and was never threatened again as he won by 2.315 seconds. Busch led 219 of the 312 laps as ISM hosted the first of two annual Cup dates each season for the first time.
WALLACE RAINS IN 1998
Rusty Wallace had only three more chances to keep his streak of winning at least one race a season alive when he rolled into ISM Raceway in 1998. He had gone to victory lane in each of the previous 12 seasons and didn’t want to see it come to an end, so that’s why what he did on Oct. 25 was so impressive. Wallace, who started sixth, made a beeline to the front and pretty much stayed there all afternoon until rain came and halted the race after 257 laps. The event was eventually called, marking the first rain-shortened race in the track’s NASCAR history, but there was no doubt Wallace deserved the win. He led 196 of the 257 laps, including the final 73. Wallace’s streak eventually reached 16 seasons before it was snapped in 2002.
EDWARDS ENDS DROUGHT
When Ford went to victory lane at ISM in the second race of 2013, it snapped a 70-race winless drought for Carl Edwards, whose previous victory came in Las Vegas in 2011. Edwards led 122 of 312 laps, including the final 78, to win the, but there were anxious moments, particularly at the end when a green-white-checker finish had most of the leaders wondering if they had enough gas in the tank to reach the end. Edwards did and managed to beat Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line.
LOGANO QUALIFIES FOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE
Joey Logano needed a victory at ISM in 2016 in order to assure he would be one of the four drivers eligible for the series championship, and he got it in dramatic fashion as he beat Kyle Busch on a green-white-checker finish. The dramatic restart came about after an incident involving Alex Bowman, Busch and Matt Kenseth on the first overtime attempt. Kenseth was the leader, but he got collected in an accident when Bowman tried to block Busch from passing on the inside lane going into turn one. The resulting yellow enabled Logano to take advantage and win for the third time in 2016.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT ISM RACEWAY
1988 – Alan Kulwicki
1989 – Bill Elliott
1991 – Davey Allison
1992 – Davey Allison
1993 – Mark Martin
1995 – Ricky Rudd
1997 – Dale Jarrett
1998 – Rusty Wallace
2000 – Jeff Burton
2001 – Jeff Burton
2002 – Matt Kenseth
2005 – Kurt Busch (1)
2010 – Carl Edwards (2)
2013 – Carl Edwards (1)
2016 – Joey Logano (2)
2018 – Kevin Harvick (1)
Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance