NASCAR Rebirth: 2011 GT Pacing Daytona 500 on Sunday

Roush Fenway NNS No. 16 Mustang

Roush Fenway No. 16 Mustang (From aussiev8.com)

Even before Roush Fenway Racing unveiled their entry into the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, buzz was building about Ford’s official release of the deets and specs on the 2011 Mustang GT. When the presser was held for the No. 16 Con-way Freight Mustang this past October, it was clear that Ford’s marketing team was working overtime with its FRPP division and racing partners, such as Roush Fenway, to breathe new life into the Mustang brand. There was a potential Catch-22 though: would the CIA-level secretive work of Ford’s design and engineering teams match the enthusiasm of the PR effort? Muscle car junkies around the world waited for the word. Think of it this way:

Cue up your favorite road warrior music, and close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep, dual-exhaust cleansing breath. You’re standing in line at a world-class amusement park, waiting for your turn to board the newest and most awesome roller coaster ride on the property. Remove those earrings, eyeglasses, and loose jewelry. Anticipation, anticipation. You’re itching to be shot out of the barrel of a cannon. Now, open your eyes. It’s 2010.

Your ride has arrived — and it’s pacing the kickoff of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season this Sunday in Daytona…

The 2011 Mustang GT’s newly designed 5.0L V8 power plant is truly a hoss. Sporting an impressive 412 horsepower and 390 ft-lb torque right off of the showroom floor, the 32 valve DOHC engine, coupled with a 6 speed manual transmission, was built to deliver amusement park G’s (and turn heads) when the green light flashes. And turn heads it will, especially at NASCAR’s inaugural race of the 2010 season. When drivers roar past the starting line at the Daytona 500 on February 14th, they’ll be led by a 2011 Mustang GT pace car.

2010 Daytona 500 Pace Car

2010 Daytona 500 Pace Car (From autoweek.com)

It’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years since a Ford muscle car (a Torino GT) led the pack at Daytona, especially with the Mustang’s racing tradition. After previewing the new Mustang GT, it’s easy to believe that it won’t be another 40.

“This is the resurgence of Ford, and pacing the field at the Daytona 500 is a great opportunity to showcase all of the technology that the new 2011 Mustang 5.0 brings to deliver 412 horsepower and projected unsurpassed highway mileage of 25 mpg,” said Mark Fields, president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company.

Indeed. And Ford took the pace car honor one step further. On January 23rd, the actual pace car and a sweet swag package, including a first class trip to Daytona, were auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Az. The actual Daytona pace car fetched a final bid of $330,000 — in fact, four of the top ten cars in the auction were Mustangs. (Click here for a great slide show of the event at Barrett-Jackson.) And adding to the excitement at Barrett-Jackson, Carroll Shelby rolled out the new, limited edition build of the GT350. Shelby American plans to cap production at around 2,200 GT350′s, with 100 units already on order.

Prior to the auction, Ford announced that it was donating all proceeds over MSRP to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help find a cure for childhood diabetes. “Over the past three years, Ford is proud to have raised more than $2 million for JDRF through the sales of vehicles at Barrett-Jackson,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports.

The 2011 Mustang GT will be available in dealer showrooms this coming spring. While an actual sticker price hasn’t yet been officially released, Left Lane News reports that a bump over 2010 pricing is expected. The base model GT will come with an MSRP of around $30,000, and a tricked out convertible GT (with premium electronics package) will clock in about $40,000.

Ford is also building an additional 50 replicas of the Mustang GT 2010 Daytona pace car. If you want one of those ponies, get in line quickly – and be prepared to open your wallet.

(Football is soooo last week. The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season kicks off with the 2011 Mustang GT pacing the Daytona 500 field this Sunday on Fox at 1PM EST! Check your local listings for the Fox station in your area.)

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  • Chev Camaro

    The only way a Rustang leads the pack is when it’s the pace car!

    Still less HP than a Camaro, some things never change…

    Chev

    • Quality Ford

      Yeah, still less than a Camaro…and a lot less weight than a Camaro. Power-to-Weight easily goes to the “Rustang”….What size is that motor in the SS Camaro? 6.0?…6.2?…doesn’t really matter when you’re behind does it?

      • Government Motors

        We cannot help that we produce that junky, overweight, overpriced automobiles that Dear Leader orders us to make.

        If you have complaints, feel free to email us at: support@POScars.com. Please allow two to three months for us to respond.

        Thanks,

        Government Motors

      • Earnhart Junior

        “Quality Ford”, that’s one of my favorite oxymorons!

      • The Engineer

        One easy way to lose weight in a car, and thus increase the power to weight ratio, is to use thinner castings of mechanical parts in your drivetrain and suspension. Also, less sound deadening material, thinner seat cushions, more plastic parts in the interior.

        Unfortunately, this leads to early failure of mechanical parts, and a less comfortable car to drive on a daily basis.

        And this leads to the acronym “Found On Road Dead”.

        True story.

        • Ford > Chevy

          CHEVROLET= Constantly Having Every Vehicle Recalled Over Lousy
          Engineering Techniques

          I’m confused as to why all of these Chevy owners are checking the site of a FORD aftermarket site.

          • The Engineer

            Way too long winded, dude, therefore, not as witty.

          • Ford > Chevy

            Speed kills, drive a Chevy and live forever.

          • The Engineer

            Shorter, but still not as witty. Keep trying.

          • Ford > Chevy

            GM= General Mistake

            At least Ford can make and sell decent cars and not have to stoop to the level of taking taxpayer money to stay afloat.

          • The Engineer

            Shorter, but still not witty. It’s “decent”, though.

            As long as “decent” is your aspiration, you’ll probably achieve the goal most of the time. Don’t forget, that’s the same as “good enough” and “mediocre”.

            Congratulations, you’ve done it, I’m so proud of you!

          • Ford > Chevy

            Decent, in that context, was used as a literary device. I meant that Ford makes great cars. Even still, decent is far better than ******, my friend.

            You also dodged the point that GM (and by extension, Chevy) was bailed out by the people who didn’t even want to buy their cars.

            Another question you completely ignored is why you were checking this site in the first place. Hidden desire, maybe?

            Comment edited by admin to remove profanity. Don’t make me warn you guys again, I will start deleting comments. This is not the place to bicker about Ford vs Chevy. This is a place to talk about Mustangs. Mmmkay?

          • The Guy

            why is it “The Engineer”, gets to decide what is “witty” and “decent”? What are you an engineer in, because i think you have the wrong site….

          • Debbie Cunningham

            I am with you why are all these Camaro people checking out the Mustangs? I love my Mustang. I don’t care what you say about the Camaro, I have had a 1990, 2001 and now a 2007 GT..

          • Potsie

            Hi Debbie, how’s Richie and Fonzie? They’re aren’t returning my phone calls.

          • mustang lover

            yeah I know right. They should’nt even be on here. Nothing else better to do then just complain about the legendary MUSTANG!!!

        • AMStanger

          Hey guys, we respect all American Muscle but Mustangs are our favorite. That’s why AM is a site for Mustangs. Let’s keep comments polite, friendly, and on topic, please.

          • Debbie

            I respect all American Muscle. I love buying things from AM..thanks for having quality parts for my 07 GT…and I think it is great that NASCAR Nationwide is allowing the Mustang body, Challenger body and Camaro bodies but for some reason the chevy driver/owners aren’t going to use the Camaro….everyone has their own opinion at least the Mustang has been produced year after year since 1964 1/2, I enjoyed going on the Mustangs Across America tour it was so exciting seeing all of that history of a great car…so many people all over the world share my enthusiasim for this car…

          • Mustang Mike

            Actually, I’m amused by these discussions, I had them with Chevy 409 owners “back in the day” when I had a ’63 Galaxie 500 with a 390 4 speed.

            Ford vs. Chevy vs. Mopar vs. whatever has been going on for many years, and will always be active. My daily driver these days is a 2006 GT, and I still enjoy a debate with any rival car owner.

            What surprises me is the anger! Calm down guys, and don’t go running for your mama when someone tries to put down your wheels. Have some fun out there!

    • Stang

      Your right. Some things never do change. Typical chevy owners shootin there mouth off

      • Kyle

        another typical thing about chevy owners is that theyre always the first to post about ford news on a website only for ford mustangs….hmmm he must have hidden desires. sorry buddy but your 6.2 is no match for a 4v 5.0….sucks you have to lose due to poor manufacturing :)

      • Earnhart Junior

        …. and a Ford owner who can’t spell.

        • Miss Manners

          Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves!

          Please don’t post to any website until you learn to spell correctly and use proper grammar and punctuation.

          I don’t know why, but these problems are very typical of people who don’t own a Chevy.

    • ’01 Stang

      yeah but with 111 more hp chevy camaro only gets one tenth of a second 0-60 then the stang….FAIL Wait til Ford comes out with the 5.0 again, it’ll be lights out!

      • Earnhart Junior

        Then Chevy drops a Corvette engine in the Camaro. Break out the crying towels…

        • Fox5.0

          Chevy drops a Corvette engine in a camaro, and then needs to make it $45,000. The mustang has always been for a lower income person who wants to go fast. Always lighter, always cheaper, always a smaller engine. Ford is making a 5.0 making 412 hp. I can’t imagine what kind of hp a 6.2 would produce. If ford wanted to make throw a huge motor in in the mustang and have people pay through the nose for it, then they would just be chevy. What fun is that?

          • http://www.amphicar.com/ Earnhart Junior

            Ford did throw a huge motor in a Mustang and asked people to pay through the nose for it. It’s called the GT 500. Duh.

            A huge motor in a car is always more fun. Unless you drive and Amphicar.

            Hey Fox, Scully says hi.

    • mustang lover

      less hp???? what tha the camaro is a 6.2 with only 400 hp the iconic mustang is 5.0 with 412 hp!!! In your face chevy lover! Go back to your camaro aftermarket parts and stay off the mustangs.

      SHAKE & BAKE

      • Ricky Bobby

        Are you for real?? Gimme me some of what you’re smokin’!!

        Camaro SS 426 HP!!
        http://www.chevrolet.com/camaro/features-specs/

        You better learn to drive with a live cougar in your car before you get in my face!!

        And my daddy drives a ’69 Chevelle!! Well, at least until I crashed it into a house, but that’s not relevant to this discussion…

        • Debbie

          Ok guys this is a no win situation, we love our Mustangs and they love their Camaros, it will always be that way and all of the arguing in the world about horse power or what ever will never change it. Mustangs and Camaros can be built to be faster and faster, but I enjoy driving mine daily and if I had 1200hp that might be hard to do. But bickering and carrying on won’t change a thing..I truly appreciate a beautiful Muscle car of any kind, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger what ever it may be and I respect everyones opinion.

  • Remember Reach

    Literally the only reason I’ll watch the 500 this year.

    NASCAR isn’t entertaining anymore. I got sick of seeing the same three or four drivers win EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

    • Reach who??

      Who is Reach, and why should I remember him?

  • sleeper281

    5.0 DOHC can any one say return of the terminator “one down one to go” besides this is about american muscle not canadian muscle

    • Captain America

      Dude, there’s not one car manufactured in America that’s 100% American. All auto companies import parts; in fact, 30% of the Mustang’s parts are foreign made.

      We’d all like to “Buy American”, but it’s almost impossible for many products.

      • Debbie

        yeah and that is a very sad thing…there would be less unemployment if we would stick to everything being American made…

  • sleeper281

    yes that is true but its assembled in america
    mustang -american
    camaro -canadian

    • Captain America

      Assembled in a plant that’s 50% owned by Mazda.

      It doesn’t really matter where it’s assembled, as long as they do it properly.

      • Debbie

        I agree, look what has happened to Toyota…

  • Debbie

    Hi Potsie, Richie and the Fonz are out driving around in their Mustang GT convertible and can’t hear their phone for the wonderful sound of the exhausts. hehe

    • Potsie

      Cool! Thanks Debbie!

  • Nuno

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY AZ@#$%^ LIKE THESE GUYS ON THIS BLOG WOULD GO AND TALK THERE A$# OFF ABOUT HORSE POWER ETC SINCE THE CAMARO SS IS THE HIGHEST MODEL THAT U CAN GET IN A CAMARO AND THE NEW 5.0 IS ONLY ONE OF THE MODELS THAT YOU CAN GET UNDER THE GT500 WHICH IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW IS THE HIGHEST MODEL FORD OFFERS FOR THE MUSTANG BODY OHH I FORGOT THERE IS THE SUPER SNAKE AND KING OF THE ROAD, SO BEFORE YOU GO AND TALK ALL THIS, GET YOUR INFO STRAIGHT BUDDY….

    • Number One

      Sure, Nuno, let’s get our info straight about specialty vehicles.

      Shelby Super Snake, to be produced later this year: 725 horsepower.

      Nickey Chevrolet Super Camaro, built with Finish Line Performance in 2002: 1,200 horsepower.
      That’s right, TWELVE HUNDRED HORSEPOWER. In 2002.

      Nickey and FLP are building a 2010 Camaro Stage III.
      Here’s the info: http://www.nickeychicago.net/vehicle.php?id=253

      Read it and weep. Then fix your CapsLock key. End of discussion.

  • Debbie

    There is one thing that cannot be disputed..the Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production over four decades. We as Mustang owners are happy that the Camaro has come back so that Ford will improve our Mustang’s performance even more, competition is good for our souls….

  • Steve

    Now I don’t know Number One but I thought we were talking about cars that you could buy at the dealership…. The website you pulled up looked to me like an aftermarket webisite that had a twin turbo setup on it. As far as I know none of the Shelby Mustangs have turbos on them just superchargers and everyone knows turbos can put out more power than a supercharger. Here is a link to a twin turbo mustang GT500 thats only on 16 psi http://www.hellionpowersystems.com/index.php/news that puts out 1,026hp. And your big bad 2002 camaro obviously couldn’t handle the boost it requires to get to 1,200hp because they have it set to 1,011hp whenever they actually have to drive it…. Btw it’s F.O.R.D. “First On Race Day” and C.A.M.A.R.O. “Can’t America Make A Real One”

    End of Discussion.

    • Number One

      Steverino:

      Nickey Chevrolet is a Chevrolet dealership (hence their name, duh), and has been since the ’60s, which is clearly stated on their site.

      The Hellion Mustang you refer to has 1026 ft. lbs. of torque and 1006 HP, also clearly stated on their site. 1006 HP is less than 1011 HP on the detuned Super Camaro, and a lot less than 1200 HP.

      Hellion had distributors, and is not affiliated with Ford dealerships, also clearly… well, you get the point.

      Perhaps your vision was distorted while you were weeping. Possibly when watching the Daytona 500, when “First On Race Day” was a Chevrolet.

      Move over, Rover, the discussion’s OVER.

  • http://www.westsidemustangs.com SCREWd2V

    hey you should call up the President and ask him to bail you out of this coversation, cause you sure do need some kind of help posting on a Mustang only website.

    I love anything that goes fast, but it’s goobers like you who have no life that piss me off.
    why don’t you go on a weedwacker forum and talk trash there? maybe you can give them some recall tips.

    I rarely see FORD people go on a Chevy forum talking smack, but i ALWAYS SEE some Chevy Looser trying to bring a knife to a gunfight.

    back to the topic, it’s GREAT to see The MUSTANG as a pace car…. wait what was that car the Mustang replace????

    oh yeah, a vette. :D

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goober_Pyle Gomer

    I suppose you’re “SCREWd” because you sent this from your cell phone while you were found on the road dead again, waiting for the tow truck.

    Or maybe you’re “SCREWd” because you dropped out of school too early to learn to spell and punctuate properly.

    Maybe you’re “SCREWd” because you haven’t you realized the error of your ways, even after spending so much of your time on Chevy forums. It’s tough to talk smack when you’re always behind the leader.

    Yes, back to the topic- pace cars don’t win the Daytona 500, Chevys do.