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Ford F-150 Lightning To Pace NASCAR Cup Events At Martinsville

The Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford's newest entry in the electric pickup truck market, will pace this weekend's NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville. The drivers are excited about the prospect of seeing the powerful electric.

When the NASCAR field gets underway at Martinsville on Saturday night, a Ford F-150 Lightning electric will be leading the way as the pace truck. It may seem like a recent development in Ford's move to an all-electric fleet, but it isn't.

Not The First All-Electric Pace Vehicle

Last year, a Ford Mustang Mach-E served as the pace car at the Talladega Superspeedway. And, even before last year's pace run by the Mach-E, another Ford electric – an all-electric 2012 Focus – served as the pace vehicle at Richmond, VA.

The fully-electric Lightning is helping to change the future at Ford. This weekend it will debut as a pace truck for the NASCAR Cup Series. The Lightning has received nearly 200,000 reservations since its unveiling last May. It is part of Ford's growing EV (electric vehicle) portfolio that includes the Mach-E and the E-Transit van.

"Ford is fully invested in electrification. Lightning's response has been so overwhelming that it was an easy decision to bring it to a NASCAR event," said Jeannee Kirkaldy, motorsports marketing manager at Ford Performance. "One thing we 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."

"We can't wait to show our Ford fans how capable the F-150 Lightning is. I think it will turn some heads out on the track with 563 horsepower, 775 pounds-feet, 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." said Darren Palmer, vice president of Ford electric vehicle programs.

Second Year Of Pacing NASCAR Race

It marks the second year an all-electric Ford vehicle will pace a NASCAR race after the Mustang Mach-E led the field at Talladega Superspeedway [2021].

"I haven't driven the Lightning yet, but it will be a blast if it's anything like the Mustang Mach-E," said NASCAR Cup driver Ryan Blaney. "I hope it ends up being the only thing before me once the race starts."

The Ford F-150 is part of Ford's highly successful F-Series of trucks. The F-Series has been America's best-selling truck for the last 45 years, and F-Series recently reached a milestone when the 40-millionth unit rolled off the assembly line in January. When Ford hit the milestone F-150 Torque News lauded the fact with a piece covering the event.

Martinsville To Host Top Three NASCAR Series

Martinsville Speedway, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, will be hosting all three top NASCAR touring series, beginning with the Camping World Truck Series on Thursday at 8 p.m. The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes to the track on Friday, with the NASCAR Cup Series scheduled for Saturday. According to race information, the races will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Courtesy Ford Motor Co.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.