The iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion race car of Wood Brothers Racing will have a new face behind the wheel in 2018, but for 14 races it will have a very familiar look to race fans as Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers return as major sponsors of the team for the 18th season.
Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD), the parent organization for Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers, signed an extension to be the primary race sponsor for 14 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup events next season. The partnership between FCSD and Wood Brothers Racing began in 2001.
It was announced last month that Paul Menard, a 14-year NASCAR Cup veteran, will replace Ryan Blaney as driver of the No. 21 car. Blaney will transition to a third full-time Cup Fusion with Team Penske in 2018. Menard, the 2011 Brickyard 400 winner, also will have Menards sponsorship on the No. 21 car for 22 races. In more than 380 career Cup races Menard has posted 19 top-five and 58 top-10 finishes.
“We are very excited about the future of our association with Wood Brothers Racing with Paul Menard behind the wheel of the iconic No. 21,” said Brett Wheatley, executive director, North America, Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD). “The announcement today solidifies the full-time status of Wood Brothers Racing going forward, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of that.”
“We have certainly enjoyed having Ryan behind the wheel of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion these past couple of years and look forward to watching him the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs and hope to send him off to Team Penske with a NASCAR championship and help to score the Wood Brothers their historic 100th win.”
Blaney has blossomed in his second full-time season driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, earning the team’s 99th career victory, and his first Cup win, at Pocono in June. The win locked Blaney and the Wood Brothers into the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
In 2017, FCSD has used three of its primary brands as part of the No. 21 sponsorship – Motorcraft, Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers and Omnicraft Auto Parts. Details of which 2018 events the FCSD brands will be the primary sponsor on the car will be announced at a later date.