This Week in Ford Racing September 23, 2009 Going into the 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge, 2008 series champion Andrew Caddell did not know if he would be able to participate, let alone defend his title. Caddell talks about winning his second ...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 23, 2009
Going into the 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge, 2008 series champion Andrew Caddell did not know if he would be able to participate, let alone defend his title. Caddell talks about winning his second Mustang Challenge Series Championship in '09 and his plans for '10.
ANDREW CADDELL -No. 1 Kauffman Racing Ford Mustang
HOW SPECIAL IS IT TO WIN BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS? "Going into this season we knew it was going to be pretty difficult to go for the second championship, but my crew kept working as hard as they could and they made the car better. The beginning of the year was kind of tough, which made it all the more gratifying that we ended up getting the second championship."
NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT THE MUSTANGS YOU RACE COME FROM THE DEALERS READY TO RACE ON THE RACE TRACK. "Yes, they come ready to go, with everything, the driver's seat, they have a new set of tires on them, they have everything in the cars for the price that you pay for them. We picked it up last year, before going into the first race of the series, from Miller Motorsports Park before heading to the race track. That's how we took it onto the track in the first session, just how it was built. They are great cars and they do a great job with them. We went out and won the first race with the car that we picked up from the track."
YOU DIDN'T KNOW IF YOU WERE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND YOUR TITLE THIS YEAR. "This year, with how the economy was, we didn't have anything lined up. To be able to have Kaufman Racing give me a car and be able to finish this season out with a championship is another great accomplishment for the team. Kaufman gave me the car to race when he didn't really have to; he could have gone out and raced it himself. It was a pretty special year again."
YOU'RE 21 AND YOU ALREADY HAVE 59 CAREER WINS. "My dad has added up all of those and yeah, I think he said that 59 percent of them I have been on the podium. We've always had great stuff when we've gone out racing. When we go into a series we always want to have a great vehicle that is going to be able to get us wins and take us to the podium. We always work as hard as we can to be able to be up front. We don't slack on anything, we are always working to try to get better and that's what you have to do in racing."
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? YOU PARTICIPATED IN SOME KONI EVENTS THIS SEASON; DO YOU PLAN ON MOVING ONTO THAT SERIES? "We don't really have anything lined up for next year. For winning the series you get to ride in the KONI Challenge in Daytona, so we'll be doing that race. It's all up in the air right now. If anybody has any ideas, we're always looking for some ideas to be able to race next year, but it's just a tough time right now. We're going to keep working at it. If I can just get in the car a couple of times next year and keep fresh that would be really great. That's how things start to turn around. Everybody says you have a long winter, but it seems to go by pretty quick to me. We're going to work as hard as we can to get something going for next year."
IS IT HARD TO GET TEAM OWNERS' ATTENTION IN SPORTS CAR RACING WITH ALL THE SERIES OUT THERE? "I think in sports car racing they know drivers in series. Team owners are always looking for people to come up and drive their cars, so they're watching all the series that are out there. With Grand-Am, the owners are watching people in the Mustang Challenge series, and they are watching people in the Mazda MX-5. They're always out there checking to see who they want to bring in and to do testing, just so they can see what's out there. I think its hard when you're not out there with a series like Grand-Am or ALMS. You have to be with those types of series just to have the team owners be able to see you out there and get a little recognition."
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF GETTING INTO STOCK CAR RACING, OR ARE YOU STRICTLY A SPORTS CAR GUY? "I would love to be able to get out there and try the circle tracks like NASCAR and ARCA. The road racing stuff is what I've always done. That's my number one passion. The circle track stuff is very intriguing to just be able to go out there and try that type of racing. I've done circle track racing for two years and I really liked it. It was a fun time, but then we got back into the road courses and I haven't had the opportunity to go back out there and do that. If the opportunity arrived, I would definitely love to go out there and do it. I would drive anything. Race-car drivers are just happy to be able to be out there driving anything. If any opportunity comes around we would take it."
IF ANYONE WAS INTERESTED IN GETTING INTO THE MUSTANG CHALLENGE SERIES WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM? "It's just a whole family atmosphere out there in that series. You come in and everyone treats you like your part of their family. The series officials are very helpful in the whole deal. Ford sends out an engineer to every race. If you have any problems he comes over with his computer and tries to help fix it. You have a person from each team over there trying to help out. Everyone treats everyone with respect. For the past two years it's been something that's been great to be a part of. It is something that when I look back I will miss it. It's been a fun two years in the Mustang Challenge Series.
-credit: ford racing