JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Crew Had Strong Support Team at Pure Michigan 400
August 21, 2011 - Normally, at a Sprint Cup race, a race team and its sponsors are represented mostly by the driver, crew chief and car owners.
But at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, the JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team had a special spokesperson at the track and an honored guest on the pit box.
Katie Hahn, the seven-year-old from Omaha, Neb., who designed the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation paint scheme that adorned the No. 21 Ford Fusion, represented the team and the JDRF like an old PR pro. She did interviews, met with fans and was introduced at the driver’s meeting.
“Katie was awesome, she and her whole family,” said Trevor Bayne, who drove the multi-colored JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion to a 24th-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400.
“I think they really enjoyed being here with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The car looks awesome. She has a bright future ahead of her in design work hopefully.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said Katie also might have a future in front of the cameras and microphones.
“She did an excellent job when she was interviewed on Sirius and in the other interviews she did,” Wood said. “She did it herself, and she handled herself really well.”
The Woods also were honored to have Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, watching the race from atop the Motorcraft/Quick Lane pit box.
“It’s not every day that you have someone of Mr. Mulally’s stature visit you at the race track, It is truly an honor to be part of the Ford Motor Company family." Wood said.
Unfortunately for the Woods and their special guests, the 400 didn’t play out exactly like they’d planned.
"We fought changing conditions all afternoon,” Wood said. “At times there was cloud cover, and at other times the sun was out.”
Bayne said there were times when he felt like he was poised to move up from middle of the pack.
“We started making ground on the car at about the third run,” he said. “I thought ‘Man, we’re going to be pretty good,’ because we started passing people and coming up through the field a little bit.
“Then, at the end of every run it’d kind of fade on me….At the end, the track kept changing every time the clouds came over, and it would just really change a lot.
“It was kind of hit or miss.”
When the race boiled down to a green-white-checkered-flag finish, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team put on fresh tires for the run to the finish. Bayne lined up 19th but was unable to take advantage of his last chance to move up.
“On the restart I just spun the tires a little bit and [A.J.] Allmendinger got us four-wide there, and we ended up finishing 24th.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew will return to the circuit on Sept. 16-18 at Chicagoland Speedway for the Geico 400.