Series awards banquet notes

Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Celebrates 2009 Season at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, UT (22 September, 2009)--The 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge season raced to a close on Saturday as Andrew Caddell locked up his second consecutive ...

Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Celebrates 2009 Season at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, UT (22 September, 2009)--The 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge season raced to a close on Saturday as Andrew Caddell locked up his second consecutive championship by taking his fourth win of the season.

But the fun wasn't over at the checkered flag, though, as the drivers, crew, spouses and special guests reconvened in Legends Hall at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday night to celebrate all the racers who participated in the series' strong sophomore season.

The event was also dedicated to celebrating the continuing legacy of series founder Larry H Miller, who passed away in February. His wife Gail, and several members of the Miller family were on hand for the event, as Greg Miller, CEO of the Miller Group of Companies, awarded Caddell the champions Miller Cup trophy.

"Last year, when my father was in the hospital, he called the executive team together and urged that no matter what happened to him, that this company continue to do things that make a difference. And being here today with all of you, I feel as though this series does exactly that," said Miller.

Ford Racing's Jamie Allison called Caddell "....the pride of the Ford family" as he handed Caddell a model Mustang as a token of Ford Racing's support of his KONI Challenge race outing next year at Daytona International Speedway.

Jason von Kluge received his third place honors from Grand-Am Support Series Manager Mike Kraemer, with BFGoodrich Tires Motorsports Manager Roberts Kukainis awarding Ted Anthony Jr. the second-place championship trophy.

Kukainis, along with BFGoorich Tires "Ride of Your Lifetime" winner Linda Wilson, also gave out a special year-end award. BFGoodrich Tires, which at every race meeting provides four tires to the driver who makes the most improvement of positions from their spot on the starting grid for the "Take Control" honors, gave a new award for the driver who moved up the most positions cumulatively from the entire season.

In a moment that could well be expected within the competitive but fun-loving Mustang Challenge community, Steve Phillips received a large round of applause--from many of the guys he'd passed through the year--when his name was called as the driver who had made the most passes and "Took Control" the most throughout the season.

Tom Mikwold took to the stage to present the year-end GoPro "Be A Hero" Award to Carlo Sparacio of TC Motorsports for the entire organizations' efforts to promote the Mustang Challenge series as well as for the sportsmanship and competitiveness that the team has demonstrated ever since winning the series' first-ever race back in May 2008.

And it wasn't just the champions that got the big checks, Series Director Lynda Randall handed Austin Hatcher's Joan Tishkevich a check for $30,000, which was raised by the efforts of the series and the support of the racers through the 2009 season.

For those who had not had enough racing in their day, there was also a pre-banquet pinewood derby event, to raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation. The contest gave out a variety of awards, including one for best design.

The winner of that award was Chris Kauffman, whose inscription of "Thanks, Larry" on his racer inspired the most votes as Ford Racing's Mikey Matus gave him a custom-designed Mustang mini-sculpture from the Ford design group. Hurst Performance also provided a prize for the "Fastest Elapsed Time," while BFGoodrich Tires also stepped up to donate a set of tires for the overall winner.

The event, which featured a photographic review from Wes Duenkel Photography as well as video highlights from Compass360, was deftly emceed by Mark Osmundon of Miller Motorsports Park, and was produced by Compass360 and Sunday Group Management with the support of the dedicated staff at Miller Motorsports Park.

Thanks again to the racers and their families for an excellent 2009 season. See you in March!

-credit: frmc

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Series Road racing
Drivers Andrew Caddell , Steve Phillips , Jason von Kluge , Ted Anthony Jr.