Sponsorship

Ford ups the horsepower at the Kentucky Derby, becomes multi-year partner of Churchill Downs

The Ford F-Series will be on display during the Kentucky Derby.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Every running of the Kentucky Derby kicks off with the crowd together singing "My Old Kentucky Home". Traditionally, the sun shines bright in the land of Churchill Downs, which is also where Ford makes the Ford F-Series Super Duty, Ford Escape, and Ford Expedition.

Ford has announced a new multi-year partnership with Churchill Downs, unseating Ram as the official automotive company of the famed horse racing track.

"With Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant practically in the backyard of Churchill Downs, Ford's participation in this uniquely American tradition is long overdue," said Matt Van Dyke, Ford marketing director. "While our workhorse trucks naturally play a huge role supporting the many aspects of the equine and racing industries, our legendary sports car is named Mustang and our much-anticipated off-roading icon is Bronco. Ford products capture the freedom synonymous with the relationship between a winning horse and jockey."

The new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty will serve as featured vehicle of the 146th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

As official truck, non-luxury SUV, car and van of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, Ford is hosting on-site activations throughout Derby Week, including special access for FordPass Rewards members plus celebrations for veterans and active duty military personnel.

Each Kentucky Oaks and Derby horse owner will also receive a Ford Explorer to use during the event.

In addition, Derby attendees can experience a wide variety of displays highlighting the Ford lineup, including the new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty that recently began production at Kentucky Truck Plant and the 2020 Ford Escape, which is built at Louisville Assembly Plant.

"Our employees here in Louisville are proud to be building products that play an integral role in our customers' lives, and now for the great American tradition that is the Kentucky Derby," said Joe Bobnar, Ford director of manufacturing for Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant. "This partnership means something special to our thousands of dedicated employees, retirees and dealers in the Louisville community."

The company will also host a Ford Day during the 2020 racing season, granting Ford employees and their guests free admission to a race day at Churchill Downs.

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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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Three two-women teams will compete in a new Bronco or Bronco Sport.

Ford

As the pandemic ramped up last summer, auto event organizers were canceling left and right to avoid gathering groups of people to spread the virus. A few events went on, especially outdoor racing events such as the Rebelle Rally. The all-woman off-road event covers desert terrain in Nevada and California, and this year Ford Motor Company is sending three teams to compete in different versions of the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs.

All three teams will compete in some sort of Bronco SUV. Shelby Hall and Penny Dale, who drive a Bronco Sport in last year's Rebelle Rally, return to the competition in 2021, this time with a Bronco two-door. Pro off-roaders Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen will pilot a Bronco Sport in the X-cross class and novice racers Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant from accessory supplier 4Wheel Parts will drive a four-door Bronco in the 4x4 class.


2021 Rebelle Rally Two Broncos and a Bronco Sport will compete. Ford


The Bronco Sport and Bronco four-door are both Badlands models. The two-door Bronco is a Wildtrak model. All of the SUVs have been decked out in special Bronco 4600-inspired race livery. The two-door Bronco will enter the competition equipped with the Sasquatch package, but will otherwise retain is factory stock configuration. The Bronco Sport will also remain stock, other than having its back seat removed. Ford says the 4Wheel Parts team will accessorize the four-door Bronco.

The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally in the United States. Teams are not allowed to use electronic maps, such as in-dash navigation or mapping tools built into smartphones. Ford says its teams will disable the features in the Broncos they'll be driving in the event.


2021 Rebelle Rally The Bronco Sport will remain stock, but will have its back seats removed.Ford

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