2013 Ford Escape NASCAR Pace Car
  • 2013 Ford Escape NASCAR Pace Car
  • 2013 Ford Escape pace car at Louisville, KY assembly plant with NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and Louisville Assembly Plant manager John Savona

  • 2013 Ford Escape Pace Car
  • Matt Kenseth with 2013 Ford Escape Pace Car
  • Matt Kenseth with the NASCAR Ford Escape pace car at the Louisville, KY assembly plant

Ford has great plans for the 2013 Escape, but serving as a NASCAR pace vehicle at Kentucky Speedway is not something we expected to find on the list. It makes sense, really. The Escape is built at the Louisville Assembly Plant, where the pace vehicle was unveiled on May 15 by two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth.

Being a crossover, the 2013 Escape is sort of a truck (okay, not really), so it's sort-of a natural fit for the June 28th NASCAR Camping World Truck UNOH 225 race in Kentucky, the first of three events the Escape is pacing that weekend. Ultimately, Ford's just showcasing its latest product at a track that uses its brand of safety cars.

It's publicity, not glory, and all kinds of vehicles are called upon to keep the speed down, which is why, as weird as a 2013 Ford Escape pace car may seem, it's downright normal compared to, say, a Toyota Camry Hybrid or an electric hatchback like the Focus Electric pace car.

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All-New 2013 Ford Escape Set to Pace NASCAR Stable of Races at Kentucky Speedway

· The all-new 2013 Ford Escape will pace all three NASCAR races at Kentucky Speedway in June, including the June 30 Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup series event.
· Two-time Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth unveiled the pace car version of the Escape today in a media program at the Louisville Assembly Plant.

· The race marks the Ford Escape's debut as a pace car, the latest in a series of pace car firsts for Ford in NASCAR.

· The 2013 Escape is being produced at the newly transformed Louisville Assembly Plant.

LOUISVILLE, KY – Ford Motor Company rolled out its latest NASCAR pace vehicle today – the all-new 2013 Ford Escape – which will make its pace vehicle debut during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend at nearby Kentucky Speedway June 28-30.

The Escape pace car was unveiled at the Louisville Assembly Plant by two-time Daytona 500 champ and Ford NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, who was on hand to drive the vehicle for the first time as part of a media program outside the plant where the new vehicle is built.

The new Escape will pace all three events -- Thursday's (June 28) NASCAR Camping World Truck series UNOH 225 event, Friday's (June 29) NASCAR Nationwide series Feed the Children 300 race and Saturday's (June 30) NASCAR Sprint Cup series Quaker State 400 race in prime time.

"I am glad I got to be part of this ceremony today," said Kenseth. "Not only did I get a chance to drive the all-new Escape for the first time, but I had a chance to tour the new plant and meet some of the workers who built the vehicle, which was really neat."

"They are proud of the new Escape, as they should be. It's a really sharp vehicle that will look great leading the field at Kentucky."

The Escape pace vehicle recently rolled off the assembly line at the newly-transformed Louisville Assembly Plant. It's just a short, one-hour trek to Kentucky Speedway where one of America's best-selling vehicles will lead the field to the green flag in NASCAR.

"We're delighted to highlight another exciting new vehicle to the huge and passionate NASCAR fan base," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "The all-new Escape is the perfect match for Kentucky Speedway because it is built in Louisville.

"The new Escape offers a blend of exciting styling and the performance attributes to handle the pace car duties that weekend," said Allison. "And we are sure there will be a lot of proud Ford workers in the grandstands who helped build the pace vehicle."
Ford and its Cincinnati Region Area Ford Dealers are one of the original sponsor partners of the Kentucky Speedway, a relationship that began during the construction of the track in 1999. Ford has been the only "official automotive vehicle" partner of Kentucky Speedway since the first race at the track in 2000.
This marks the latest in a line of exciting pace car debuts for Ford. In addition to being the first manufacturer to use an all-electric pace vehicle with the 2012 Focus Electric which paced April's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond, Ford was also the 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.

Ford also was the first manufacturer to unveil its 2013 race car model, when it showed off the '13 Fusion to media in January of this year.


Since the original Escape debuted more than a decade ago, it has consistently been one of the best-selling vehicles in the Ford lineup. The new Escape arrives in the market offering two EcoBoost engine choices and delivering up to 33 mpg highway.

The Escape also boasts a wide array of clever technologies, including the hands-free liftgate, a new technology debuting in Escape which gives easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys.

In addition to providing more cargo volume than today's model, the new Escape includes 11 features no other small SUV offers, and driving dynamics that make the drive experience more engaging on-road and a new Ford Intelligent 4WD System that provides even better traction off road.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an idiotic move
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really don't understand how Americans enjoy the NASCAR race?! It is round, round, round and round. Oh did I say, it is round?
      Ken Mason
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am still getting used to 4-door Camry's - I'd prefer a Mustang, Camaro, Challenger -- even the hot Focus! ..a pseudo performance car --
      • 3 Years Ago
      Imagine an F1 race paced by a GLK350 instead of an SLR or SL63. This is a dumb trend that makes the parent brands seem clueless. Put a Boss 302 out there, or a Shelby, or a Focus ST. At least a Raptor or SHO. C'mon Ford.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Or an indycar race paced by an Olds Bravada. Oh, no, that happened.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Even Ford Escape is too much for your NASCAR! Do not compare with F1 please!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I somehow doubt the first choice of vehicle for a die hard NASCAR fan would be a Escape much less any of the sedan nameplates they race. I only say this because the in field is always covered with pick up trucks. Mind you these may just be support vehicles for the teams and fans who tow RVs but out on the roads it seems fans decorate their trucks more so then cars. Makes me wonder why the truck series is not more popular.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why not use the hail-damaged one for this purpose? The golf-ball sized dings apparently will make a car more aerodynamic!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Those dimples only work on a sphere, FWIW -Dan
          • 3 Years Ago
          Not according to the mythbusters. Also- The same elitists who make fun of oval racing will watch grown men kick a ball up and down a field for 90 minutes, and go nuts when 1 goal is made. Raucous fun you're having there guys....
          • 3 Years Ago
          Dimples should improve aero at locations of tight radii to prevent separation flow, for example, around the tail lights and back of the roof. Fluids have a hard time bending around such features (thus separation occurs) an that causes a low-pressure void behind the car, which increases drag. The dimples cause the flow to go turbulent, which has an easier time sticking to the shape of the car, and thus reduces the size of the low pressure region behind it and thus reduces drag.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a great move from Ford, built in Kentucky, what a great way to build excitement and pride for the Kentuckians behind the launch of the new Escape!
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