NASCAR: Electric Ford F-150 Lightning To Serve as Pace Truck at Martinsville

by Joe Rutland
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Legendary NASCAR track Martinsville Speedway is going to have the electric Ford F-150 Lightning as the pace car on Saturday’s race. That’s right. At the famed “Paper Clip” track, Ford Motor Company will debut its 2022 model in the NASCAR Cup Series. This truck is extremely popular with the public. It has received nearly 200,000 reservations since being unveiled in May 2021. It’s part of the growing EV portfolio for Ford, including the Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.

NASCAR Will Have EV F-150 Lightning As Pace Truck at Martinsville

Now, this marks the second straight year an Electric Ford pace car will be at a NASCAR race. The Mustang Mach-E led the field in April at Talladega Superspeedway.

Ford actually became the first OEM to use an electric vehicle to pace a NASCAR race. It happened back in April 2012, when the all-electric Ford Focus paced the field at Richmond. “I haven’t driven the Lightning yet, but if it’s anything like the Mustang Mach-E, it’s going to be a blast,” Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney said. “I hope it ends up being the only thing in front of me once the race starts.”

Martinsville Speedway is celebrating its 75th anniversary. All three NASCAR touring series will run there, beginning with the Camping World Truck Series on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central. Then, the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes the track on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The NASCAR Cup Series is also set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

Ford Marketing Executive Shares Thoughts About EV Truck

Jeannee Kirkaldy, who is the motorsports marketing manager for Ford Performance, had some thoughts about their EV truck being an Electric Ford pace car. “Ford is fully invested in electrification and the response to Lightning has been so overwhelming that it was an easy decision to bring it to a NASCAR event,” she said. “One thing we definitely know is that our fans love trucks and we’re confident that feeling will only grow when they see Lightning out on the track leading the field to green,” she told NASCAR.com.

”We can’t wait to show our Ford fans how capable the F-150 Lightning is,” Darren Palmer, vice president for Ford EV programs, said. “With 563 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of near instantaneous torque and a 0-60 mph time in the mid-4-second range, I think it will turn some heads out on the track.”

Drivers do love the Ford F-150, which is part of the F-Series, America’s best-selling truck for 45 years in a row. F-Series recently reached a milestone when the 40 millionth unit rolled off the assembly line in January. Heck, even Dwayne Johnson wants a Ford F-150 Lightning, too.

Outsider.com