Ford Motor Co. will provide Nascar with a pair of its prototype Fusion Hybrid models as pace cars for its championship weekend in Miami.
It will be the first time a hybrid car has paced the field in the stock-car racing series, Ford said in a statement. A hybrid Fusion will lead the field to the green flag to start the Ford 400, while a 263-horsepower Sport model will be used during caution periods in the race.
Nascar has been slow to embrace alternative fuels and switched to race-blended unleaded gasoline from leaded fuel in 2007. The rival Indy Racing League switched to ethanol from methanol the same year. Ford says its hybrid Fusions, which are to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 19, will be able to get 700 miles of city driving on a tank of gasoline.
The two Fusions used to pace the race Sunday will be painted with a Nascar-themed camouflage design. Either Jimmie Johnson, who drives a Chevrolet Impala, or Carl Edwards, who races a Fusion, will be named Nascar champion after the race.