DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford unveiled its all-new Mustang NASCAR Cup Series car on Thursday at their world headquarters, ahead of its on-track debut in NASCAR’s top division next season.

The 2019 season will the first time the Mustang – the world’s best-selling sports car – will compete in NASCAR’s premier series.

“Mustang has raced since it was first sold in 1964,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing, who was on hand to help unveil the car.  “After more than a half-century, it feels great to finally let Mustang run in the top echelon of America’s most popular stock car racing series.”

Mustang’s first competition was in 1964, when it surprisingly won the Tour de France Automobile, a grueling 4,000-mile, 10-day rally. Soon after, it began a racing legacy in SCCA Trans-Am, IMSA, NHRA, Formula Drift and NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.

“Ever since we announced in April that Mustang would be going to the Cup level in 2019, we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.  “Our Ford Performance team has worked hard with the Ford Design team to create a Mustang that will be competitive on the track while remaining true to its proud heritage. We can’t wait to see it winning races in the NASCAR Cup Series next year.”

Ford Design and Ford Performance worked carefully to translate the Mustang’s signature style to meet NASCAR rules, ensuring the new car will look on the oval as close to what it does on the street.

All 13 Ford drivers currently competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series were on hand for the unveiling for employees at the company’s world headquarters, along with team owners and NASCAR executives.

“We look forward to seeing the Ford Mustang, a cultural icon, on the track in the most competitive series in all of motorsports,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Our sport eagerly anticipates the performance, style and fanfare the Mustang will bring to the track each weekend beginning at the 2019 Daytona 500.”

Mustang has been competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011 and has won a championship in all but one season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won back-to-back driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012, while Roger Penske has claimed the owner’s title in four of the last five years.

Current Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski has also been a part of the Mustang brand’s success in the Xfinity Series and is looking forward to seeing the new Cup Series machine hit the race track next year.

“It’s great to see the Ford Mustang make its way into the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Keselowski. “When you think motorsports, you think performance, and when you think of performance in relation to the Ford family, the Mustang is right at the top of the list. It’s such a natural crossover between the two and I can’t wait to be able to hit the track with it next season.”

Thursday’s reveal comes on the heels of a celebration of the 10 millionth Mustang to come off the assembly line in Flat Rock, Mich., one day earlier.

The first race for the new NASCAR Cup Series Mustang will be the 61st annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019 at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway.