Buffomante Breaks Through at Mosport to Take Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Win Bowmanville, ONT (14 June 2009) --After missing the last two rounds of Ford Racing Mustang Challenge competition as he runs a select schedule for the 2009 season,...
Buffomante Breaks Through at Mosport to Take Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Win
Bowmanville, ONT (14 June 2009) --After missing the last two rounds of Ford Racing Mustang Challenge competition as he runs a select schedule for the 2009 season, Tony Buffomante made a triumphant return on Sunday as he scored his first career Mustang Challenge victory in a thrilling race at Mosport International Raceway. Buffomante came home just feet ahead of Andrew Caddell, with Jason von Kluge making an impressive debut at Mosport as he completed the podium with his run to third place.
Bryan Smith took his Capaldi Racing-prepared Mustang to fourth at the checkered flag, with Ben Crosland improving on his seventh place result at New Jersey Motorsports Park and his sixth place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to go one better with fifth at Mosport. Karl Thomson scored sixth in his Mustang Challenge debut as the KONI Challenge team principal wheeled the No. 00 "Media Car" in the 40 minute event, which ran the full race distance under green flag conditions.
"Taking this win is fantastic-we've had a big win drought so this is excellent," said Buffomante. "It was a great race-there was that mix-up in turn two and I was able to get by, but I felt pressure from Jason (von Kluge) every lap. I was just keeping track of where he was and then of course I knew the 1 car was coming, too. I just kept hoping that the BFG's (Tires) would hold in there, and boy oh boy, did they! I've been on the Mustang Challenge podium before, but being up here on the top step is definitely the best! Thanks to my dad and all the guys who really prepare this car so I can just get in and be fast, they worked so hard this weekend and a huge thanks for their efforts. Let's see what we can do at Mid-Ohio!"
As D. Rick Edwards's wife Mickey gave the command to start engines, expectations for a fight up front between polesitter Caddell and fellow front row starter Ted Anthony Jr, were well placed, as the two went side by side through turn two to open up the race. But it was Buffomante leading at the end of the lap as neither of the front row starters made it fully through the turn after side to side contact saw the two spinning simultaneously off course and to the back of the pack.
"I went in there pretty hard and thought I had him cleared," said Caddell after the race. "But he was right there with me and we made contact and both just did slow spins off-track."
For an incident that saw the two championship contenders making contact and going off-track on the very first lap, one might have expected the post-race conversation between the two to be heated. But in an excellent example of how much camaraderie exists between the Mustang Challenge racers even though the racing is highly competitive, the conversation between Caddell and Anthony had a lot more smiling and joking as the two recalled the first-lap battle just moments after the race ended.
"We were just racing for the lead and we were not going to give it up easily, so it was just really close racing," said Anthony Jr. "Neither of us were going to back off and we just couldn't both get through! I wish I'd been able to get back up with him and fight for the podium, but we'll just have to do that at Mid-Ohio."
Both championship contenders were able to get back to the track, with Caddell making the most immediate return to rejoin the fray back in 12th, with Anthony rejoined in 13th. The situation saw Buffomante step up to the opportunity, as he missed the mishap and emerged to take the lead as von Kluge followed him closely. The two dueled within one second of each other until the very closing laps of the race.
For Caddell, the setback was one that he shrugged off, making his way back into the top ten in just a handful of laps and keeping the scoring monitors from staying static as he moved into the top five, then fought for a podium position before then taking second place from von Kluge on the very last lap of the race.
"That last lap against Jason, I didn't really mean to go for the pass there, but when I got on the brakes, the pedal was really firm so if I didn't go to the outside, I would have hit him," said Caddell. "So I didn't mean to make that pass, but it worked and it ended up being a great move!"
For von Klug, his Mosport debut was one that he savored, fighting for the lead until the closing moments of the race.
"I have to thank Green Filter USA for their support and obviously I'm really excited to be up here on the podium again," smiled von Kluge, who took his first podium with an outstanding run in the rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park. "This is a fun track, and running this close to the lead was really exciting. This series is so much fun, and this is a big help for me in the championship so hopefully we can be this strong again at Mid-Ohio."
GoPro "Be A Hero"
The Caddell family had something extra to celebrate on Sunday in addition to Andrew's run to the podium and Roger's birthday, as the family was invited to the podium celebrations to collect the GoPro "Be A Hero" Award. Andrew, Roger and Ruth Caddell, who is on-site for every Mustang Challenge race and ensures that Andrew is on time for every drivers meeting, was awarded the GoPro "Be A Hero" award for their sportsmanship and dedication to the Mustang Challenge Series. Roger's Victory Lane Data is resource for many in the Mustang Challenge paddock and the family is a friendly and familiar sight at Mustang Challenge events.
Hendricks Nabs BFGoodrich "Take Control" Award on Sunday:
"I think this just shows how competitive this series is," said Hendricks of his race, which saw him move up 5 positions. "The racing is still really clean and so much fun. I've been working with Terry Borcheller and just trying to learn as much from him as I can and the big thing this weekend was just to be patient. I was, and things just came to me today. Thanks to BFGoodrich Tires for this!"
Thomson Takes Media Cup
Karl Thomson was also part of the podium ceremony as he received the Mustang Challenge "Media Cup" for his run to 6th in his Mustang Challenge debut.
"These cars are a blast to drive," said Thomson, who hails from Toronto. "I had a great battle with (Andrew) Hendricks. The BFGoodrich Tires are great at the start of the run, just a treat. Thanks to Mustang Challenge for having me be part of this event at Mosport, and I'm looking forward to racing next weekend at Mid-Ohio. I was pleased to come home sixth today, but hopefully I can break into the top five next week!"
Thank you from the Mustang Challenge drivers and staff to the corner workers and staff at Mosport International Raceway for a great event weekend.