Ford Performance names Cunningham Mtrsprts driver development partner for '17

Ford Performance names Cunningham Mtrsprts driver development partner for '17

Sargeant inks contract with Cunningham championship team

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 10, 2016) – Cunningham Motorsports, in downtown Indianapolis to celebrate the team's 2016 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship, announced its plans for the 2017 season in a press conference Saturday afternoon during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show and convention.

Jeff Clark, speaking on behalf of Ford Performance, announced that the Cunningham organization has been designated as a driver development partner with Ford Performance.

In making the announcement, Clark, who is Vice President of Sales for Roush Yates Engines, said, “Ford Performance recognizes the championship caliber teams that Cunningham Motorsports delivers on track.  Ford Performance has designated Cunningham Motorsports as a driver development partner for 2017 and will support their teams with assets within the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, NC.  We look forward to another strong year in the ARCA Racing Series.”

As the next piece of the 2017 puzzle, Cunningham Motorsports co-owner Kerry Scherer announced that Dalton Sargeant has signed to drive the No. 77 for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series season.

“We are so excited here at Cunningham Motorsports to welcome Dalton to our organization," said Scherer. "Working together, we should be able to capitalize on his top finishes this season, along with our championship team.”

Sargeant, ARCA's SCOTT Rookie of the Year in 2016, competed in 15 races this year with one victory (Berlin Raceway), 10 top-five finishes and 12 top-10s.  The 18-year-old Boca Raton, Florida driver earned a 5.47 average finish, which included second-place finishes at Toledo Speedway, Winchester Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Cunningham Motorsports, Ford Performance and the No. 77 team as we battle for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series championship," said Sargeant. "I’m really looking forward to working with Chad Bryant, Paul Andrews and the entire Cunningham Motorsports team.”

Sargeant also competed in three NASCAR Camping World Truck races in 2015, finishing a career-best ninth at Bristol Motor Speedway.  In addition, Sargeant won in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Kern County Speedway and made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at New Smyrna Speedway with a second-place finish.

“Coming off a championship season, they obviously have very high expectations going into 2017 and so do I," Sargeant continued. "In the past, I’ve come so close to winning races. I feel like the package Cunningham brings to the track and the people they have within their organization will put me in a situation to contend for the ARCA Racing Series championship. To say the least, I can’t wait to get started with the No. 77 group and head to Daytona for testing.”

Cunningham Motorsports will cap off its big day of news in celebratory style when the team takes its place as the ARCA Racing Series national champion Saturday night at the Indiana Convention Center during the national championship awards ceremony. 

robert staley

One of Dalton's last wins before he moved up the ladder was at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont,N.C. I'm employed there and proud to see him doing so well.


Now, if Ford Performance & Jeff Clark would just get to work with Roush-Yates and develop a suitable ARCA, Ford-engine; so, they wouldn't have to run that damn ARCA-Ilmor-Chevy 396 in a Ford labeled plastic car! Yes, I know they can always run a used RY-D3; however, ARCA has that engine either chipped and/or geared so that it has to operate outside of its intended 9000 RPM power-band, it cannot compete. ARCA, according, has levelled the playing field. I can't stop laughing about that statement.


Glad Ford is putting more effort into ARCA. Hopefully this means more love is given to us.