Series Birmingham round four race notes

Anthony Jr. Goes Two for Two in Ford Racing Mustang Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, AL-- (19 April 2009) Ted Anthony Jr. made it a near-perfect weekend as he scored his second Ford Racing Mustang Challenge race win of the...

Anthony Jr. Goes Two for Two in Ford Racing Mustang Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park

Birmingham, AL-- (19 April 2009) Ted Anthony Jr. made it a near-perfect weekend as he scored his second Ford Racing Mustang Challenge race win of the weekend in round 4 of the 2009 season to draw closer to leader Andrew Caddell in the championship points standings.

Caddell came home just .671-seconds behind Anthony Jr. at the end of the 45-minute event, which was staged at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the 45th Anniversary celebrations of the Ford Mustang. Joe Lee Middlebrooks made his second Mustang Challenge podium appearance of the season with his run to third place as Mike McGovern finished fourth with Dan Aweida improving on his Saturday result to score fifth at the finish.

After the field got the call to start engines from Grand Marshal Tommy Kendall, the race got of to a hectic but clean start, as Caddell took the lead, with Tony Buffomante moving up to second as Anthony Jr. slotted into third. But the hottest racer in the series was quick to move back up to second before stalking Caddell as the two raced within tenths of each other lap after lap. But as Caddell had a small hold up from lapped traffic, Anthony Jr. pounced, taking the lead under braking in turn five. The point position wasn't the only one in dispute, as battles raged throughout the field once again.

The green flag run was interrupted for a yellow flag to remove the No. 5 machine of Andrew Hendricks, who had an off course excursion while at the same time on a different section of the track, third-place runner Buffomante made contact with a slower lapped car, which spoiled his run to the podium as his drive-through penalty set him back in the pack late in the race. The restart set the stage for another battle up front, but Anthony Jr. held off Caddell to cap off a highly competitive race weekend.

"The TC Motorsports boys did a great job once again," said Anthony Jr., who has now taken wins in four of the last five Mustang Challenge races. "I was just fighting to get ahead of Andrew because he's got the championship lead, so every point counts. I had the quicker car over all. At the start, when I couldn't get by him, I just decided to follow him at the beginning and from there I was just watching to see where I could make a move. I finally got him in the hairpin at turn five, and then made it stick. On the restart I was a little nervous because it's always nerve racking when you have a guy like Andrew Caddell behind you, but I managed to get a good start and bring it home to the finish."

The result was a modest disappointment for Caddell, who despite his championship lead, is firmly focused on taking the top spot every chance possible.

"We were hoping for rain in the race today," said Caddell, who set times well clear of the field in the wet morning warm-up. "I'm getting a little bit tired of second place, but he only gained seven points over the weekend. We have the best-handling car out here, but there are some other areas we are going to need to work on if we are going to be able to beat him. Ted had a great restart so I wasn't able to make it happen there, but it was still a great weekend for Kaufmann Racing."

The penalty for Buffomante saw the final points position in dispute once again, as Jim Click Racing pilot Mike McGovern and Middlebrooks battled for third. But after some close dueling, the local racer grew that gap to take third.

"I can't tell you how great this feels to take a podium here in my hometown with my friends and family here with me," said Middlebrooks, who was welcomed by a huge round of applause as he made his podium approach. "I'd really like to say something about the Austin Hatcher Foundation-I got the chance to visit the Children's Hospital this Thursday, and that was really amazing. I got so much more out of it than they did, I was really touched by it and want to urge everyone to support this great cause."

The big Mustang event, which attracted not only the likes of Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally, but also thousands of Pony car fans from across the globe, created a legion of new memories and new fans as the fabled brand was feted all weekend long. The weekend was also successful off the track, as over $10,000 was raised for the Austin Hatcher Foundation, which hosted some special guests through the weekend as Mustang Challenge drivers and Mustang enthusiasts proved to be not just quick, but also generous.

"All of our race weekends are good, but this one at Barber Motorsports Park as part of this 45th Anniversary was something very special," said Mustang Challenge Series Director Lynda Randall. "To have guys like Scott Pruett and Tommy Kendall, Mr. Mulally, and all the guys from Ford Racing all with us in our paddock this weekend was just fantastic. We are also really happy to have had such a great start to our efforts with the Austin Hatcher Foundation this weekend. To see the huge line of fans looking for autographs from our drivers, and then to put on two great races as the highlight of a very successful weekend, we are over the moon with how things went this weekend and can't wait to see everyone again soon at New Jersey."

The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge would like to thank the Mustang Club of America, the staff at Barber Motorsports Park, and the corner workers for making the weekend such a success.

Special Awards:
Steve Phillips won the GoPro "Be A Hero" award for his sportsmanship and dedication to the Mustang Challenge Series.

"I want to thank Capaldi Racing-they've absolutely changed my racing this year, and they have an awesome crew," said Phillips. "I had a great time, and what a wonderful series. Thank you!"

Crosland Takes Control in impressive racing debut:
Driving for SpeedWorks R&D, Ben Crosland made an impressive debut in his first professional race weekend as he joined the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park. After finishing 18th in round one, the 16 year old moved up from 19th on the grid to finish 12th in race 2. The effort scored Crosland the BFGoodrich Tires "Take Control" Award, and two new BFGoodrich tires.

-credit: www.mustangchallenge.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Scott Pruett , Dan Aweida , Jim Click , Mike McGovern , Tony Buffomante , Andrew Caddell , Steve Phillips , Andrew Hendricks , Ben Crosland , Tommy Kendall , Ted Anthony Jr.
Teams Capaldi Racing