Coming off of their first NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) win of the season last weekend at Watkins Glen International with driver Joey Logano, Team Penske today announced plans to return their NXS operation to a two-car Ford Mustang effort in 2017. The second Team Penske entry also clears the way for Ford Performance to use this entry as an extension of their new driver development program as both organizations continue to build for the future.
"Our NASCAR XFINITY Series program has been one of the best in the series since we started running full-time in 2009," said team owner Roger Penske. "For several years, we ran it as a two-car operation and then decided to focus primarily on the No. 22 for the last few years. Along the way, we developed a lot of people that have moved into our Cup programs, including all of our current NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chiefs. We want to win another XFINITY Series Championship while continuing to utilize our program to build human capital."
Team Penske's NXS program ran sparingly between 2001 and 2008, winning nine races with drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch. The team began competing full-time in 2009 and earned the NXS Driver's Championship with Brad Keselowski in 2010. Since joining Ford in 2013, Team Penske has earned 29 XFINITY Series wins and has won back-to-back-to-back NXS Owners' Championships.
"Obviously, we've really enjoyed our relationship with Team Penske and the success that they've brought to the Ford family in the NASCAR XFINITY Series," said Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance. "The addition of a second Team Penske XFINITY Series car will allow all of us to work on developing talent behind the wheel and across the board.
A driver and sponsorship on the second Ford Mustang will be announced at a later date.
Since its inception, Team Penske has earned 55 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins, 53 pole positions and four championships. Newman, Busch, Justin Allgaier, Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr, Logano, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney have all visited victory lane for Team Penske in the XFINITY Series.