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Ford’s rising NASCAR stars team up for IMSA opener at Daytona

A talented group of Ford Performance’s youngest prospects will join forces ahead of the NASCAR season, with Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski teaming up in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge opener next month at Daytona International Speedway.

The four drivers, who all are slated for competition in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2018, will share driving duties in the Jan. 26 event in a two-car Mustang GT4 effort in the GS class. They’ll be joined in the four-hour race by former division champion Scott Maxwell, who will serve as co-driver and mentor.

RELATED: Briscoe, Cindric, Majeski to share Xfinity ride

Briscoe, who turns 23 on Dec. 15, was Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He was one half of the Brad Keselowski Racing driver lineup last year with the 19-year-old Cindric. Both drivers scored breakthrough victories in the Truck Series last season.

Custer, 23, secured his first career victory in the Xfinity Series, dominating the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Majeski, a current member of the NASCAR Next development class, made his Xfinity debut last year while continuing to thrive in the Super Late Model short-track ranks.

MORE: Meet the 2017-18 NASCAR Next class

It was announced Nov. 20 that Briscoe, Cindric and Majeski will share the No. 60 Ford in the Xfinity Series next year for Roush Fenway Racing. Ford Performance also previously announced that Briscoe, a part of the manufacturer’s driver development program, will compete in other IMSA and Trans-Am TA2 events.

Full driver pairings will be announced at a later date. All five drivers are scheduled to participate in the Roar Before the 24 three-day test session Jan. 5-7, helping them gain valuable road-course experience ahead of the event.

A glimpse at what the young drivers are saying about the road-racing opportunity, in comments provided by Ford Performance:

Briscoe: “This will be something new and I’m going to do a lot of it this year, so I think it’s going to be a good learning curve. I’ve only run two road courses my entire life and even though we ran decent, I didn’t feel like I ever knew what I was doing. Hopefully, I can get to the point by the end of this year where I know what I’m doing on a road course. Even though I’ll be driving two different kind of race cars, the principals of how you drive and the technique it takes will be something I can learn. I’m also looking forward to having a teammate and competing in an event where both of you have an impact on how well you run.”

Cindric: “For me with my background some of my biggest moments in the early part of my career have been with Multimatic racing Mustangs in the Continental Tire Series, so for me I’m coming home. I come from a different background than the other guys and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, learn a few things and hopefully bring home some hardware because I know those Mustangs are pretty strong around Daytona. Scott (Maxwell) and I have become really good friends and he’s been a big help to me in my career and I look forward to being teammates with him again and having a little fun throughout the weekend.”

Custer: “I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’ve never done any endurance racing, but I’m looking forward to having some fun and learning what it’s all about. This is obviously a big race and great way to start the season. Being able to race with the other guys is going to be a lot of fun as well because we’re all pretty much the same age and have a lot in common. I never thought I would get the chance to do something like this, but road course racing has really grown on me. I think it’s fun to learn the different sides of things and this is going to be a chance for me to learn as a driver and make myself better.”

Majeski: “I have virtually no road course experience at all. I’ve been on one road course my entire life and that was this past summer when I was sent out to the Ford Performance Driving School in Utah. Outside of that I have not been on a road course, so this will be great for me to get some experience and be around people who know a lot about it. I’m looking forward to working with Chase, Austin and Cole as well. They’re good guys and I’m excited for the opportunity Ford has put in front of us. It will be a learning experience, but it will be a lot of fun working with those guys and learning together.”