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Ford eases V6 Mustang around Bristol track for 1,457 laps

Thu, 24 Jun 2010

As you may have expected, the team at Ford was able to run a V6-powered 2011 Mustang for at least 1,000 laps on the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway track on Wednesday before running out of gasoline.

In fact, the Mustang lapped Bristol 1,457 times before its 16-gallon fuel tank ran dry. The run was part of a marketing push touting the 31-mpg highway rating for the 2011 Mustang V6 and its six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford ran a contest, asking people to guess the total number of laps that would be run. One person guessed correctly and will get a V6 Mustang, Ford says.

One the face of it, the challenge looked tough. The car's 31-mpg rating and 16-gallon fuel tank gave it a potential range of 496 miles--a tad short of the 533 miles it would take to run 1,000 laps at Bristol.

But that highway rating is based on running at highway speeds. The Ford guys didn't do that.

Ford says the Mustang lapped Bristol at an average speed of 43.9 mph. That's slower than the pit-road speeds for most NASCAR races.

The driving team boosted their fuel economy by limiting use of the air conditioner, driving at a constant speed and keeping the rpms low--conditions that real-world Mustang driver aren't likely to employ.

In all, it took 17 hours and 40 minutes to ease the Mustang around Bristol and take the tank from full to empty.

By Dale Jewett