Ford announces pace vehicles for Homestead finale

TRIO OF NEW FORD VEHICLES SET TO PACE FIELD AT FORD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIO OF NEW FORD VEHICLES SET TO PACE FIELD AT FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND * The all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, featuring best-in-class fuel economy from the new 3.5 TiVCT V-6, will...



* The all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, featuring best-in-class fuel economy from the new 3.5 TiVCT V-6, will pace the Ford 400, the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship race. This marks the first time Explorer has ever paced a race

* The limited-production 2012 Mustang Boss 302, the quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered by Ford, and based on the world-class foundation provided by the 2011 Mustang GT, will pace the Ford 300 Nationwide series race

* An F-150, powered by Ford's new 3.5-liter TiVCT EcoBoost truck engine, will pace Ford 200 Camping World Truck Series race

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 15, 2010 - NASCAR officials will leave it to a trio of new Ford products, including the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, to pace the three championship races at NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway Nov. 19-21.

Headlining the pace car trio is the 2011 Ford Explorer, the iconic SUV that boasts best-in-class fuel economy and an all-new look, which will lead the field to the green flag at the season-ending Ford 400 - the Sprint Cup championship event. It will mark the first time Explorer has ever paced a major auto race.

Explorer will be preceded on the track during the weekend by the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, which will pace Saturday's Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide finale, and the 2011 Ford F-150, powered by the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which will handle pace car duties for Friday night's Ford 200 Camping World Truck Series finale.

"We have always used the high-profile, Ford Championship Weekend to help launch some of the company's most exciting new products," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsport. "From the Bullitt Mustang, to the Fusion Hybrid to the SVT Raptor, we've always allowed the thousands of spectators on hand, and the millions more watching on network television, a chance to see some of our latest products, even before they hit the showroom floors.

"This year will be no different, with the new Explorer, the Boss 302, and the new F-150 powered by our EcoBoost engine getting the prestigious job of pacing these championship races. Race fans will be excited to see not how great these products look, but also how well they perform on the track."

About the 2011 Ford Explorer

The all-new Ford Explorer delivers a bold new design - yet is instantly recognizable as an Explorer and a Ford - and raises the bar on customers' expectations for a modern, capable, fuel-efficient SUV with unsurpassed aerodynamics

"When we made our annual trip to Ford World Headquarters in June, we got to see the new Explorer before it was unveiled to the public and I think it's spectacular," said NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, one of three Ford drivers who qualified for the NASCAR Chase for the Championship playoffs. "I think the race fans are going to love seeing it up close at Ford Championship Weekend and it's just another reason of why I'm so proud to represent Ford."

The Explorer 3.5-liter TiVCT V6 is offered as standard equipment across base, XLT and Limited models. Delivering an anticipated improvement in fuel economy of more than 20 percent versus the current Explorer, with an estimated 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque.

This V6 engine has been highly developed for the Explorer application, with multiple actions that enhance mechanical efficiency, increase fuel economy, lower emissions, reduce operating costs and bolster durability. The 3.5-liter TiVCT V6 also features improved deceleration fuel shutoff technology to maximize fuel economy in closed-throttle situations.

The Explorer 3.5-liter V6 delivers best-in-class fuel economy yet offers power to tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

About the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 The Mustang Boss 302 will lead the Nationwide field to the green flag 42 years after being given the green light by Ford Motor Company as a special project to create a car that sacrificed nothing in its quest to be the best all-around, road-going performance machine ever created by Ford Motor Company. That car became the 1969 Mustang Boss 302, and it remains one of the world's most sought-after examples of American performance. In the 2012 version, a team of Ford engineers, designers and stylists - all Mustang enthusiasts to the core - distilled a new model to its purest form, strengthening, lightening and refining each system to create a race car with a license plate.

Matt Kenseth, one of three Ford NASCAR drivers competing in the Chase, is himself a Mustang fan and is excited to see the Boss lead the field this year.

"I got to unveil the Fiesta when it was named the official pace car for the race at Michigan earlier this year, so to hear the Boss 302 will do the same thing for the Nationwide race at Homestead is really great. I own a Mustang myself and think it's already one of the coolest cars on the road today, so to see them bring the Boss version back is pretty exciting."

About the 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost With its new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, the 2011 Ford F-150 will deliver best-in-class towing capability and torque with outstanding fuel economy.

The key technology built into every EcoBoost engine, including turbocharging and direct fuel injection, is particularly relevant to customers of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine.

This combination of turbocharging and direct fuel injection delivers a wealth of low-end torque and maintains it across a broad rpm range, which is key in towing applications. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine delivers 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 365 horsepower to enable best-in-class towing of 11,300 pounds - more than enough to tow a fully loaded three-horse trailer or 30-foot boat, for example. Plus the EcoBoost truck engine does it all on regular fuel and with outstanding fuel economy.

F-150 is one of Ford NASCAR driver Greg Biffle's favorite vehicles, ever since taking one home as part of his Truck Series title.

"My F-150 is so much fun that I use it as my everyday driver," said Biffle. "There's nothing better than a Ford truck. Now that it's going to be offered with the EcoBoost engine, it's going to be even more fun. I'll be able to go further on gas without sacrificing performance. I've already got my order in. I know it's going to look great leading the field during the Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead."

Ford Championship Weekend began in 2002 and is currently in the middle of a deal that runs through the 2014 season where Ford serves as title sponsor of the final NASCAR races of the season.

-source: ford racing

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Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Carl Edwards