Ford Racing is in a uniquely successful position in regards to its motorsport programs thus far in 2001. In this, Ford's 100th year of auto racing, the company's drivers currently lead three of the major North American championships heading into...
Ford Racing is in a uniquely successful position in regards to its motorsport programs thus far in 2001. In this, Ford's 100th year of auto racing, the company's drivers currently lead three of the major North American championships heading into the Memorial Day weekend. UPS Taurus driver Dale Jarrett leads the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, Shell-Ford driver Kenny Brack, fresh off a win in Japan last weekend, is now the points leader in the CART FedEx Championship series, and Castrol Ford Mustang Funny Car driver John Force is once again on top of the NHRA Funny Car standings in search of another title. Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology and head of Ford's racing programs, comments on the season so far and the success of the Ford teams at this stage of the season.
DAN DAVIS, director, Ford Racing Technology - "Well, clearly this is a position we're very happy to be in right now, although there's still a long way to go in all three championships. It's a unique position to be in, that's for sure, and a credit to our people and our teams to be able to not only get the season off to a good start, but also to put together championship-level efforts that have both the top-level performance and the week-in and week-out consistency that it takes to win championships.
"In NASCAR, it appears Dale, Todd Parrott and that whole crew have the same kind of look in their eyes that they did in 1999 when Dale won the title. But I wouldn't count out Rusty Wallace or even Ricky Rudd quite yet. And I know that people like Mark Martin and Jeff Burton are going to win some races and make some noise before this is all over. The most pleasant surprise has been the victory by Elliott Sadler and the Wood Brothers - no question about it.
"In CART, we knew that Kenny Brack was due for a break-out season and he's shown that he's definitely a contender for the championship. The win last weekend in Japan was impressive, and showed that he will race with anyone. Team Rahal and our engineers worked closely over the winter to continue to make some positive changes, so I'm not surprised at the level of competitiveness that we're seeing.
"In NHRA, what can you say? John Force is John Force. He's a money driver who performs best when the pressure is on. There's a reason he's the winningest driver in NHRA history, and every time people think he hits a little slump, well, watch out ... because that's when he's most likely to go on one of those winning streaks. We're pleased to have all of John Force Racing clicking right now."
Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack led 75 of 201 laps of the Firestone Firehawk 500 en route to his first career CART FedEx Championship Series victory in Motegi, Japan. Brack, who had been the dominant driver through the first four events of the season with four front row starts and two top five finishes, is this week's guest on the CART media teleconference.