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Ford probably paid a lot of money to sponsor NASCAR's season ending series of races at Homestead Miami Speedway in November. Dubbed Ford Championship Weekend, season enders for the Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series will precede the Ford 400 on November 19th, the last race of this season's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Where there's NASCAR racing there's going to be wrecks, and when wrecks occur you need a trusty pace car to lead the field.

Yesterday Ford unveiled its trio of pace cars for the Championship Weekend, which include an F-150 FX-2 to pace the Ford 200 Craftsman Truck race, a Ford Edge to pace the Ford 300 Busch race, and a Shelby GT500 to pace the race with top billing, the Ford 400 Nextel Cup race. The vehicles will be stock save for pace car decals and a light bar, which essentially prepares them for anything they might encounter during their pace duty. With as frequent as crashes seem to occur in NASCAR races seem as of late, we expect these three vehicles will rack up some decent mileage before the Championship Weekend is over.

Matt Kenseth was on hand at the unveiling of the pace cars, which took place at Homestead Miami Speedway itself before a test session. Currently Kenseth and his DeWalt Fusion are 45 points out of first place in the race for the cup with just a few races to go. Fellow ROUSH Racing teammate Mark Martin is ranked No. 4 in the standings, 102 points out of first place. Jeff Burton and his Cingular-sponsored Chevy Impala are currently the cup race leaders.

[Source: Ford]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      It may sound bold to you, but could it be they are just trying to make big bucks more easily than in F1? Given they are marketing poster childs for the whole series now I guess NASCAR pays them quite decently. They sure didn't come for technical sophistication.

      Btw., I take back the Hicks. I think "Mulleteers" is more appropriate anyway.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Fusion? I think it's REALLY pushing the envelope when you have a CUV/SUV as a "pace car". I know Ford is trying to get the Edge in front of as many eyeballs as possible, but come on.....can we expect to see a Mercury Mariner as a pace car in the near future?
      • 8 Years Ago
      at least they didnt call it a buick impala!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Easy there brother, no need to call people pigs.

      While I would never compare my motorsport knowledge with that of people I don't know, I've been a motorsports geek for the best part of my 32 year old life now. My best memories include riding shotgun on a gravel track with Stig Blomqvist in a Rallye Quattro during a 1983 Audi product presentation and watching the last DTM race on the Nordschleife in 1992. While I agree that F1 has seen better times (Just watch Arnoux and Villeneuve duke it out in 1979 in France, Video is on youtube) it's nothing against the downfall of Nascar. What used to be a cool racing series based on real cars has now become racing between alomst identical jellybeans. With carburettors. While that alone could be fun, sticking radiator decals on them for marketing purposes is just cynical. Even worse is people buying into this bs and starting to argue about which is better, a "Monte Carlo" or a "Fusion". This is just stupid and these are the people I was referring to as Hicks.
      Btw: My outdated technology comment was only referring to Nascar, the Le Mans Vette is a brilliant piece of engineering.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well at least Ford kept trader Mark Martin from getting any where near their announcement.
      • 8 Years Ago
      yeah, like it makes any difference which cameo stickers they put on these things. monte carlo, impala whatever. But judging by the outrage here, there are still enough backwater hicks around who believe that marketing crap.
      Ok slowly: It's not a monte carlo, it's an overweight tube frame thing with a jelly bean shaped plastic cover, powered by an engine with technology that was outdated 20 years ago and designed to go left. I admit watching it can be entertaining, but don't fool yourselves thinking is has anything to do with motorsport.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Vega wrote: "I admit watching it can be entertaining, but don't fool yourselves thinking is has anything to do with motorsport".

      I was going to stay out of this until I read your last statement. Don't know from whence you came, but you snobbish, elitist pigs really do piss me off. I guess if it doesn't say F1 or Euro&*%@# it not motorsports.

      Well I am most certainly not a backwater hick, and has probably forgotten more about motorsports than ypou will ever learn. Been a F1 fan ever since the days of Jim Clark, Started following WRC back in the days when Michelle Mouton piloted the first Audi Quattro across Europe. Long time fan of the Paris-Dakkar rally, the Pikes peak hill climb, IMSA, SCCA Trans-AM, LeMans, ALMS, the Baja 1000, Aussie Supercars, DTM, British Touring Cars, and last but not least, NASCAR. All have thier good days and bad days. It does not need your approval to qualify as a motorsport event, if you don't like it switch your freaking TV set off.

      F1 has the most technologically advanced cars, but the races for the most part really do suck. Take Monte Carlo for example. Unless it rains, that race is decided in qualifying. Hockenheim used to be a really cool track until they modified it so that they can keep the cars infront of the spectators. I like it when the cars disappeared into the Black Forest, the suspense of not knowing who was going to come out with the lead. That part of what makes LeMans such a great race. Spa is also a horrible procession. The best racing comes from sports car racing.

      Oh, and about your outdated technology comment, last time I checked, the "oldlow technology" Corvette is still kicking your "high-tech Euro-Trash" all over the French country side, as did the Viper before it.

      NASCAR is a different form of motorsports, you don't have to like it, it's still way more entertaining the F1 on it's best day.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford Fusion. The car you knew Mexico could build!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Jeff Burton and his Cingular-sponsored Chevy Impala are currently the cup race leaders."

      Yeah it really shows that you guys now cars really well. Try a Monte Carlo chief. You'd think a site like Autoblog would have a motorsports writer there that could provide a little insight for you guys. Autoblog just lost some cred in my book on that deal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Jeff Burton and his Cingular-sponsored Chevy Impala are currently the cup race leaders."

      Impala uh huh?