Fans weigh in: Stewart-Haas Racing switch to Ford is ‘bad idea’

We asked and, once again, the race fans have spoken.

This time, loudly — and nearly evenly divided on the subject of Stewart-Haas Racing’s switch in 2017 in manufacturers to Ford. The company had been fielding teams that ran Chevrolet cars since it began competing in what is now the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in 2009.

SHR won a total of 36 NASCAR Premier Series races and two championships while running Chevys. Team co-owner Tony Stewart, who retired as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top series only at the end of last season, won the title in 2011 — while Kevin Harvick did so for SHR in his first season with the team in 2014.

Forty-one percent of the nearly 14,000 fans who checked in said they thought the switch from Chevy to Ford was a “bad idea.”

But here’s the Catch-22: there were a lot of folks weighing in who thought it was just the opposite. Thirty-two percent, in fact, said it was a “great idea.”

Bringing up the rear in the voting results were the 20 percent who said it was “OK, but there will be an adjustment period;” and a scant 7 percent who said they “don’t care.”

It seems like the vote may have broken along the lines of fans who are loyal to the Chevy and Ford manufacturers. But that’s exactly why Ford is betting big on SHR and hopes that results on the track in 2017 will help bring more fans — and as a residual effect, more car buyers — into the Ford camp.