Edwards Understands Importance of Fuel Efficiency Off and On Track
DEARBORN, MI -- He may drive 200 miles per hour as part of their full-time job as a Ford Racing driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but when Carl Edwards takes off his helmet and puts away his uniforms, he is no different than the hundreds of thousands of fans who sit and cheer for him every weekend.
Approximately 35 percent of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78 percent of them support NASCAR, according to Ford research. Additionally, Ford race fans are 67 percent more likely to consider Ford products than general market consumers. Across the U.S., fuel efficiency is by far the most important influencing factor in the vehicle purchasing decision (44 percent), followed by style (16 percent), safety (15 percent) and brand loyalty (12 percent).
"I've driven a Fusion Hybrid probably 10,000 miles at home and it's really nice to fill up your hybrid and see it read 500 miles to empty. That's really impressive," said Edwards. "Over time, if fuel prices are four or five dollars a gallon, that saves a huge amount of money for a family over the life of a car. That's why I own one of those and that's why more and more people are interested in them. All signs point to that being the future."
When it comes to the current Ford vehicle lineup, no driver may be more familiar with it than Edwards, who participated in the 1,000-Mile Fusion Hybrid Challenge around the streets of Washington, DC, in 2009 and is currently featured in a series of national television ads for the new 2013 Ford Taurus SHO.
"I was at the pump the other day and it's quite a shock," said Edwards, who tied for first-place in last year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race. "Everybody is in the same boat when you fill up your vehicle, but I think what Ford is doing with these EcoBoost engines is spectacular and their small cars are fantastic. I have a bunch of friends that are looking at Fiestas and they're amazed at the quality. To be honest, I think that's the future of America, and the future of transportation is smaller, more fuel-efficient cars."
Edwards will be competing in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, which will feature the Focus Electric as the first all-electric pace car in NASCAR history.