For the first time in almost 40 years, a Ford pace car will lead the fields for Speed Weeks races at Daytona International Speedway.
The honor goes to a 2010 Shelby GT500, which will pace three events on Daytona’s famous 2.5 mile tri-oval, with a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport prepped and ready to go in case a backup is needed.
Both cars are completely stock mechanically, the only extra equipment being light bars supplied by Whelen Equipment. The Fusion Sport also has a special vinyl wrap applied, giving the car its colorful and distinctive flame motif.
The Shelby GT500 is powered by a 540 horsepower V8 engine. The car’s features include a hood extractor to remove heat from the engine, and a Gurney Flap spoiler to tune rear downforce.
The Fusion Sport is a new model for 2010, powered by a 263 horsepower V6 engine and equipped with an upgraded suspension and 18-inch wheels.
Their pace car duties begin on Saturday in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, opening round of the 2009 ARCA/ReMax Series. Next up is the Gatorade Duel on Feb. 12— the twin 150-mile Daytona 500 qualifying races. And on Feb. 14, the cars again will be on the scene for the Camping World 300, the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opener.
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