Slone Breaks Through for Mid-Ohio Mustang Challenge Win (LEXINGTON, Ohio) 21 June 2008-- The third time turned out to be a charm for Jamie Slone of Tucson, Ariz., in the third round of the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup ...
Slone Breaks Through for Mid-Ohio Mustang Challenge Win
(LEXINGTON, Ohio) 21 June 2008-- The third time turned out to be a charm for Jamie Slone of Tucson, Ariz., in the third round of the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday. Slone converted pole position into a flag-to-flag run at the front to score his first career Mustang Challenge win with a .635-second victory over championship points leader and fellow front row starter Andrew Caddell. Team BRE racer Tony Buffomante made his second Mustang Challenge podium appearance in as many races with a run to third place after 45 minutes of racing.
Slone took charge at the start, establishing a two-second gap over the field before a full course caution regrouped the field late in the race. Despite losing his advantage, Slone didn't lose his cool on the restart as he held off Caddell's charge to keep the lead right to the checkered flag. Behind the podium fighters, a thrilling battle ensued, as Pratt Cole, Ricky Ehrgott, Mike McGovern, and Carlo Sparacio all dueled for the fourth position with Cole putting all his speed and experience to good use as he came home with another top-five finish, his third in three races.
"My car was great, my team Rehagan Racing Ford Mustang was great, my coach was great, what can I say?" said Slone. "I love my sponsors GoPro and Molecule and at the end, I just took care of my BFGoodrich tires because I knew we'd have a restart and I just wanted to be ready for that. It's an honor to be racing against these guys, and I have some experience here at Mid-Ohio and just put it all to use today! I'm thrilled!"
Caddell was hoping to make it three wins on the trot, but still added to his points tally with a run to second place.
"We just missed a little bit on the set up and we just weren't getting the power down the way we wanted to," said Caddell, who visited both the Henry Ford Museum as well as the production line where his TC Motorsports Ford Mustang FR500S was built on his way down to Mid-Ohio after the Mosport round.
Buffomonte made his first podium appearance at Mosport, and backed that up with another run to third place at Mid-Ohio.
"We are still fighting a push, but we are just going to keep on trying because we get closer and closer," said Buffomonte. "Andrew and the others are still the class of the field. I didn't think I had anything for them on the restart, but I did get on the outside of him at the Keyhole, and I thought, 'lets give it a shot' because I had good momentum and I had him on the outside but I wasn't going to hit him. He was clean as heck as well. He got off there better and there it was, third place. I'm not happy unless we win, but I want to thank LevyRacing, Peirspeed and MXK.com"
Ehrgott strong for SpeedWorks
Ricky Ehrgott of Tampa, Fla. decided just over a week ago to contest round three of the Mustang Challenge. The full time National USAC Midget driver reasoned that more road racing experience would benefit his driver development. Having raced Mid-Ohio once before in a formula car competition, it was an obvious place to jump in as was the SpeedWorks Mustang FR500S. Ehrgott visited the SpeedWorks facility on Monday of this week to get fitted and from there on in, it was smooth sailing all of the way as demonstrated by his fifth- place finish in today's race. Ehrgott fought for fourth with the very experienced Pratt Cole and even though he came home fifth, he made Cole work for it right to the finish.
"I really enjoyed this weekend. The whole experience was awesome from start to finish. The SpeedWorks team has only had these cars for about a week and it seemed like they've had them for a year. The preparation was phenomenal," said the 20-year old who recently finished 10th at the USAC National Night Before the 500 race at O'Riley Raceway Park in Indianapolis. "The race itself went really well. I found myself being more mentally exhausted than physically just dealing with the heat and the level of concentration needed on a track like this where the competition is tight. I definitely want to find another opportunity to come back again this season."
Special Post-race Awards:
In addition to the traditional podium ceremonies, three drivers earned special awards in the post-race awards.
Carlo Sparacio won the Barbasol "Closest Shave" Award and a check for $250 with his 6th place finish, which was just .389-seconds ahead of Mike McGovern.
Jamie Slone won $250 from Zantrex-3 by leading the most laps and taking the Zantrex-3 Insta-Shot Award.
George Winkler netted two BFGoodrich Tires for use in his next round of Mustang Challenge competition by scoring the BFGoodrich "Take Control" Award after moving up to take fourteenth at the checkered flag, making more upward progress than any other racer in the field.
"I had to be a little patient, but also get aggressive when the time was right!" said Winkler. "I'm having fun out there, and this was a great track for us to race on."
Joe Lee Middlebrooks picked up the "Sunoco Setting The Standard Award," as he stood out from the crowd with teamwork, sportsmanship, and a strong measure of both camaraderie and competitiveness thorough the Mid-Ohio weekend.