|Set to pace the field at Richmond.|
Two Focus Electric vehicles will perform pace car duties for the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The cars were unveiled by Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer of Ford Global Electrified Programs, NASCAR’s managing director of Green Innovation Mike Lynch and Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.
With Bolling and Kuehn in one pace car and Lynch in the other, the vehicles drove through the streets of Richmond after the ceremony to Richmond International Raceway, where they were turned over for weekend duty to Dennis Bickmeier, president of RIR.
“It will be a special moment for NASCAR fans across the country, Virginians and the Ford family on Saturday night when the Focus Electric completes its first lap as the official pace car for the Capital City 400,” said Kuehn. “As Ford and NASCAR make history with the first all-electric pace car, we will also be demonstrating to thousands of race fans and millions more on TV that you can combine performance and fuel-efficiency.”
Bolling said the state of Virginia takes pride in having the all-electric pace car debut in Richmond.
|Ford's New 2013 Sprint Cup Car|
“I was delighted to unveil the 2012 Ford Focus Electric pace car at the Virginia State Capitol. Virginia is the energy capital of the East Coast so it’s only fitting that the first ever all-electric pace car will debut at the Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” said Bolling. “NASCAR is not just great fun, but it is also big business, having a huge economic impact on the metro Richmond area each year. We love to have folks visit Richmond for our annual NASCAR races and take advantage of all that the Commonwealth has to offer.”
NASCAR’s Lynch pointed out that this weekend marks another historic moment in the sport’s history.
“The arrival of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric pace car is a strong example of how the innovation cycle around green transportation is accelerating,” said Lynch. “The Ford Focus Electric was held to the same highly demanding standard of any pace car, and more than met the performance requirements. Seeing it on the track at Richmond International Raceway will be another historic moment for our sport.”
In addition to being the first manufacturer to compete with a four-door sedan as its flagship model in 1998, Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.
In January, Ford became the first manufacturer to show off its 2013 NASCAR race car when it unveiled the new 2013 Fusion racer to media in Charlotte, N.C.