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LVMS stop puts charge in long Focus trip

The new Ford Focus, on the verge of setting what promoters say will be a record for the quickest cross-continent trip by an electric car, will stop in Las Vegas before completing the trek Sunday at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Pier.

The car, which left New York on April 11, will arrive at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. After charging the battery, Tanner Foust - host of “Top Gear USA” – will take the Focus onto the speedway track at around noon for a 30-minute ride.

Six other drivers involved in the cross-country trip also will be at LVMS, including American Le Mans Series driver Martin Plowman, former Navy SEAL Coleman Ruiz and former Miss Indiana Nicole Pollard.

After another battery charge, the car will leave at 4 p.m. for Santa Monica. Men’s Health magazine will chronicle the trip in its August issue with what is expected to be a 12-page spread.

The Focus, which tops out at 84 mph, isn’t exactly a sports car. This trip, in fact, has largely avoided interstates.

With gas prices around $4 per gallon, however, speed might not be the primary consideration for Focus buyers.

Ford is trying to get the word out about the Focus, which requires three hours for a full battery charge, compared with roughly eight hours for many models.

“It makes driving an electric car really reasonable for us,” media contact Joe Petersen said.

■ BUSY WEEKEND AT LVMS - Opening night at the Bullring last Saturday was postponed because of rain.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series, instead, will take place this Saturday. Scott Gafforini in Super Late Models, James Wingard in Super Stocks and Pete Meyer in Bombers are the defending series champions.

Also, the Tony Rowe Enterprises Bracket Racing Series and Fun Ford Weekend will occupy the dragstrip.

The Fun Ford Weekend is a first for Las Vegas. A 4 p.m. car show on Fremont Street highlights today’s festivities, and time trials and eliminations take place Saturday. Las Vegas is the first of 11 stops in the series.

TRE Bracket Series time trials and eliminations are Saturday and Sunday.

■ GOLF FOR CHARITY – ESPN/ABC pit reporter Jamie Little, a Green Valley High School graduate, is the honorary chairwoman for a golf tournament June 4 at Canyon Gate. Proceeds benefit the Las Vegas chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

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