This Week in Ford Racing Andrew Caddell, driver of the No. 43 Mustang FR500S, won the inaugural series championship in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, clinching the title in the first race of two races at Miller Motorsports...
This Week in Ford Racing
Andrew Caddell, driver of the No. 43 Mustang FR500S, won the inaugural series championship in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, clinching the title in the first race of two races at Miller Motorsports Park last weekend. Caddell won three of eight races during the season, captured the pole five times and finished out of the top-two spots only once.
CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE INAUGURAL FORD RACING MUSTANG CHALLENGE FOR THE MILLER CUP. "It was a relief to get it done on Friday and not have to worry about anything for Sunday's race. It's great to get the championship and there's a lot of relief now."
I'VE HEARD YOU MENTION THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT YOU WERE GOING TO COMPETE IN THE SERIES UNTIL TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE FIRST RACE. "I heard about the it [Mustang Challenge] a couple weeks before we'd even decided to do the series from Carlo [Sporacio] at TC Motorsports. We would talk about it and I would go down to his shop every once in a while and hang out down there. Then the whole place for the MX-5 Cup season fell apart, so we started talking to Carlo more seriously and he said, 'If you guys can guarantee the first three races, we can get a car for you." So we came home and thought about it and decided to guarantee the three races and go do it. It turned out to be a good deal."
KNOWING THAT YOU INITIALLY HAD FUNDING FOR ONLY THREE RACES, DID YOU THINK THAT YOU EVEN HAD A SHOT A WINNING THE TITLE? "After the first two, no. I knew we were winning them, but after the first two we didn't even know if we would even have a shot at making the rest of the races. At Mid-Ohio, the StableOne guys, Andrew [Hendricks] and Jeff [Humberson], came up to me and asked if they could have a minute to talk. After finishing Mid-Ohio and finishing second I felt pretty good about it, having a ride for the rest of the season. So, after the third race and realizing that StableOne wanted me to come over there, that gave me a lot of confidence that we were going to finish up the season."
WAS THERE ANY KIND OF TRANSITION OR ADJUSTMENT FOR YOU WHILE CHANGING TEAMS? "No, there wasn't really a transition to be made. Both teams are great. TC, they're a great team to be with. We're still great friends. They supported me every step of the way, even changing teams. Going over to StableOne, they did a lot of testing and they knew exactly what the cars were going to be doing so the transition was actually pretty easy. They made it even easier to do because the team was just so nice and everyone was just really friendly over there. That made it a lot easier."
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO COMPETE IN THE MUSTANG CHALLENGE AGAIN NEXT SEASON? "It depends on where everything else lands. We haven't really talked with StableOne about what they want to do next year. I told Andrew, 'If you ever wanted me to come back, I'll drive a Mustang Challenge car. It's fine with me.' Racing those cars is fun; being in that series is fun. We're going to have some conversations in the next couple of weeks with them and we'll see what they want to do next year and see what we have planned."
ANOTHER THING THAT COMES WITH WINNING THE MUSTANG CHALLENGE IS GETTING A RIDE IN A MUSTANG FR500C IN NEXT YEAR'S KONI CHALLENGE SEASON-OPENER IN DAYTONA. "I'm excited. It's exciting to go to Daytona. I mean, that's a track that everyone wants to race on. That will be fun to go and do. I haven't even heard a team that we would be running with yet, but hopefully we have a good run and possibly race for a win."
WITH THE HD THEATRE SERIES THAT FOLLOWED THE SEASON, YOU'LL CERTAINLY GET YOUR FAIR SHARE OF AIR TIME. ARE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT BEING ON TV AT ALL? "During the time in front of the camera is what I'm not really worried about, but possibly some of the stuff that happens in car. You get in the heat of the moment while your racing out there. You say stuff and I know that I was mic'ed up for the radio, too. That's the one thing that - I'm not really worried about it - but that's one thing that I don't really know some of the stuff they'll bring up or put in the show. That's the one thing that I am concerned about."
ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH IT ALL? OR ARE YOU THE KIND OF PERSON WHO DOESN'T LIKE TO SEE HIMSELF ON TV? "We're going to make a point to watch it. They have a pretty good time slot on Sundays. We should all be at home and be able to watch it. It will be a cool thing to watch from the first race of the year to the last race of the year. That's going to be some cool stuff to watch."
-credit: ford racing