Anthony Jr. Nabs Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Pole for HARRAH's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda JOLIET, IL--25 July 09--Ted Anthony Jr. has just one goal for the HARRAH's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda weekend--to score as many...
Anthony Jr. Nabs Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Pole for HARRAH's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda
JOLIET, IL--25 July 09--Ted Anthony Jr. has just one goal for the HARRAH's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda weekend--to score as many points as possible as he fights for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge championship with Andrew Caddell. And with five points available to the pole winner, he did just that on Saturday afternoon as his 2:40.268-second lap of Autobahn scored him the first slot on the grid for Sunday's race.
Anthony Jr required only two tours of Autobahn Raceway to secure the pole in the No. 9 TC Motorsports Mustang. On his second pass, he recorded the fastest lap of the weekend thus far when it counted most around the 3.560, 19-turn circuit. The pole position fuels his bid to send the title fight to the final round at Miller Motorsports Park with current points leader Andrew Caddell managing just the third best time. Chicagoland resident Tony Buffomante, who was fastest in practice on Friday, split the title- fighting duo with the second best time.
"The car was good right off the trailer, and that allowed us to just refine the set-up through the weekend," said Anthony, Jr, 25, of Kirkland, Washington. "My second lap is almost always my best qualifying lap and this one felt really good. I thought about going for a third lap, but mid way through I felt the tires getting hot so I rolled out of it and parked it."
Coming into the race tomorrow, how does he feel on the race and keeping his title hopes alive?
"Andrew (Caddell) is a clean driver so despite him starting behind me, I'm not worried at all," said Anthony. "He needs points as I do, so I'm not going to focus on what's behind me and focus on keeping a clear track ahead of me. The driver who makes the least mistakes tomorrow will prevail," he added.
Buffomante, driving the No. 34 Team BRE Mustang, was particularly pleased with his performance given that this will mark his final Mustang Challenge appearance for the year. He held the pole briefly before Anthony , Jr bested his time by a scant 0.225 seconds. Buffomante has run a select schedule in 2009, but it hasn't hampered his competitiveness one bit as he broke through for a dramatic race win at Mosport and will look to do so again on Sunday.
"This was a really good run," Buffomante, 36, of Napier, Illinois, said with a smile. "We've been on the pace with those two (Anthony, Jr and Caddell) all weekend, which is really satisfying since they've been clearly ahead of the field for most of the season. Hopefully, tomorrow we can have a clean consistent run and score another win like we did in Mosport. I'd really like to end our season that way as a big thanks to mxk.com, Stahl Motorsports and especially my dad. I haven't picked up a wrench on this car for quite a while. It's been all them, and win would be a great reward for their effort."
Caddell, 21, from Graham, Washington, driving the No. 1 Kaufmann Racing entry knew he didn't have it from the time he parked the car in pitlane after his third lap. He emerged from his Mustang shaking his head and looking down at the car.
"We missed the set-up a bit by going too low on the ride height," said Caddell. "It's our fault, but we'll fix it. I knew from yesterday that we might not have it over one lap, but I know we've got it over the course of the race. All things considered, I'm glad we're third rather than second as we'll line up on the clean side of the track, which I think will be important for turn one at the start," said Caddell seemingly unconcerned with his 0.301 sec. deficit to Anthony, Jr. "We're going for as many points as we can get tomorrow -- that's the most important thing. But, if there's an opportunity to go for the win, we'll take it."
Rounding out the Top 5 were Autobahn Country Club member Gunter Shaldach in the number 09 TC Motorsports Mustang and Dan Aweida piloting the number 17 Mustang of Flying Horse Motorsports.
Race number 9 of the 2009 Mustang Challenge takes the green flag tomorrow, Sunday, July 26 at 9:25 AM CDT.