While much of the SEMA Show is about static displays of cutting-edge products, there are some really active outdoor events. One of the most prominent is the Ford Out Front display, which showcases all of Ford’s latest hardware in a tire-torturing, crowd-pleasing interactive display. It’s fun to watch and SEMA attendees can also sign up for ridealongs. We caught up with Director of Ford Performance Dave Pericak and NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney to learn more about the action.
“We are out here at Ford Out Front. This is the biggest attraction out here at SEMA. We are showcasing all of our performance products out here,” Dave enthused. “We’ve got Mustangs. We’ve got an RS running behind me. We’ve got Raptors running behind me. I had the opportunity to take Ryan out and we were just using the new Drift Stick that we introduced, which is an electronic handbrake.”
The whole idea is getting them to experience these products. — Dave Pericak, Ford Performance
“The whole idea is getting them to experience these products and translate that experience into Ford sales,” Dave explained. “Obviously we want to sell cars, but giving this kind of access to drivers like you and engineers that work on the cars and to the cars themselves, this is what this show is all about.”
Even the Ford-sponsored drivers get to take in some of the fun, as Ryan explained to us regarding his first chance behind the wheel in a Focus RS equipped with the new Drift Stick.
“I never saw it before and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Ryan said. “…You drove it first and kind of taught me what to do and then I drove it. It’s unbelievable. You just pull the handle, it locks the rearend, and it’s in a drift.”
I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. — Ryan Blaney, NASCAR driver
“What other OEM do you know that would be doing something like that?” Dave asked with a smile.
For more on the Ford Performance Drift Stick, check out our full coverage here. And, if are planning to hit the SEMA show next year, don’t miss a chance to participate in Ford Out Front.