Sprint Cup preview: Ford

The Charlotte ObserverFebruary 10, 2013 

NASCAR Charlotte Testing Auto Racing

Greg Biffle pauses as he speaks to the media before testing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race car at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHUCK BURTON — THE Associated Press

    CarDriverCrew ChiefTeam
    2Brad KeselowskiPaul WolfePenske
    9Marcos AmbroseDrew BlickensderferRichard Petty
    13Casey MearsBootie BarkerGermain
    16Greg BiffleMatt PuciaRoush Fenway
    17Ricky Stenhouse Scott GravesRoush Fenway
    22Joey LoganoTodd GordonPenske
    26Josh WiseFrankie KerrFront Row
    34David RaganJay GuyFront Row
    38David GillilandSteven LaneFront Row
    43Aric AlmirolaTodd ParrottRichard Petty
    99Carl EdwardsJimmy FennigRoush Fenway

Ford not only picked up new teams this season in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series — it added the reigning series champion.

Long before the 2012 title was decided, Penske Racing announced it would move from the Dodge camp to Ford in 2013. It turned out to be a bigger catch when Penske driver Brad Keselowski won his first series championship in a last-race duel with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Ford will also add a former Toyota driver in Joey Logano, who joins Penske as Keselowski’s teammate this season.

Roush Fenway Racing remains the foundation of Ford’s Cup operation and will field teams for drivers Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and two-time Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

RFR, in its alliance with Doug Yates, will provide engines for RFR, Penske and two Cup teams at Richard Petty Motorsports.

Biffle is the only returning Ford driver to make the Chase for the Cup last season and should be a favorite to qualify again. Edwards, who lost the 2011 title in a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart, is looking to return to the Chase and end a nearly two-year winless streak in the series.

RPM should continue to improve. Almirola had several solid results in his first fulltime season as a Cup driver in 2012 and Ambrose picked up his second career Cup victory.

Front Row Motorsports made several crew chief changes in the offseason in hopes of improving performance in 2013.

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