Caddell Takes Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship in Style With Miller Victory TOOELE,UT--19 September 09-- Andrew Caddell secured his second consecutive Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship with a flag-to-flag run to victory lane...
Caddell Takes Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship in Style With Miller Victory
TOOELE,UT--19 September 09-- Andrew Caddell secured his second consecutive Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship with a flag-to-flag run to victory lane at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, with Ted Anthony Jr., sealing second in the year-end championship with his second-place finish. Jason von Kluge returned to the Mustang Challenge podium with his third-place finish to move up to third in the overall championship.
The 45-minute race got off to a clean start through the tight turn one after BFGoodrich Tires "Ride of your Lifetime" contest winner Linda Wilson threw the green flag. But as the 26-car field made raced into lap one, an incident slowed the field after D. Rick Edwards got turned around in traffic, and Pratt Cole had nowhere to go and the two made contact despite his quick evasive maneuver.
Von Kluge jumped into third on the start, but his expected battle with Dan Aweida--which had significant championship implications as the two were just two points apart heading into the weekend--didn't play out as Aweida's run was thwarted by a throttle problem, which took him out of the front-running pack in the early laps.
On the restart, Caddell again established his lead after holding off the advances of Anthony Jr., and went on to grow his lead to take the checkered flag, flown by Series Manager Lynda Randall to close out the 2009 season.
As has been the case throughout the season, the racing was intense throughout the field, with the battle for fourth the hottest contest. After a full race of dicing, Zach Lutz held on to take the position, with Mike Mcgovern and Andrew Hendricks nearly on his quarter panels as the threesome crossed the line nearly in the same shadow.
"It wasn't that easy!" Caddell said after his fourth win of the season. "I started with a good gap but he got really close to me under braking going into one and I think I went deeper into that corner than I had all day! But it feels great to get this championship finally locked up and now I'm really ready to celebrate. It's been a great season and this was the best possible way to wrap it up with a win here at Miller and the home track for the series."
"I did everything I could do today, but Andrew had a great car and there was just no way to keep his pace," said Anthony Jr. "I was just trying to manage the front tires because we had a bit of a push this morning. It was everything I could do. But congratulations to Andrew, he is a deserving champion. This was a great season for me, and for TC Motorsports. Those guys do fantastic work and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to race with them."
"This is great-to come home on the podium to finish out the season," said von Kluge. "I love to spray some champagne and to get some new hardware! I was happy to get in front of Dan (Aweida) although it's too bad he didn't get the chance to race more. I'm mote sure what happened with his car, but I was focused forward. I'm really happy to come out at the end of the year third in the championship. The Mustang Challenge is a great place to race and I had a blast today."
Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Special Awards:
The "Go Pro, Be a Hero" Award went to Pratt Cole in the No. 88 RP Motorsports Mustang for his sportsmanship and dedication to the Mustang Challenge Series.
Series newcomer Richard Picut made quite an impression, racing with the Miller Performance Training Center team, moving from last on the grid to 17th at the checkered flag to score the BFGoodrich "Take Control" Award.
"The car was excellent, just fantastic," said Picut as he was part of the post-race podium ceremonies. "I was able to avoid some of the carnage up front and just kept on moving up with how quick the car was, so it was a great day today!"
High-flying skater has a blast in Mustang Challenge
Skateboarding star Bucky Lasek made his Ford Racing Mustang Challenge debut on Saturday, and the high-flying skate star enjoyed himself as he brought home a 13th place finish, driving with the MPTC team. Lasek knows his way around the track, having raced on the shorter courses and he had no problem putting the pieces together as he raced the full 4.4-mile track on Saturday.
"It was awesome! I think there could have been a little more tweaking with the car but it was pretty good and I had a lot of fun out there. I am looking forward to spending more time with Dan McKeever and working on what I am doing in the car and continuing to improve. I learned a lot today, and I really want to do more of this!"
Stuck throttle makes for some on-track mechanical work for Aweida
Dan Aweida was looking to hold on to third in the championship, but a stuck throttle meant that he had to stop the car to effect repairs, getting out of the machine, doing the quick fix, and getting strapped back in to race to the finish.
"I didn't want to just give up, and it was something simple to fix but of course, I was trying to do it with my helmet on, and I'm hot, and mad that I've lost the track position, and it was a pain to get to!" said Aweida as he decorated his Pinewood Derby Car for the Austin Hatcher fundraising activity on Saturday night. "But I was able to fix it and get back in there. The car was great, so it was too bad that I couldn't fight with Jason out there but I knew that I had to get back in there just in case he had a problem. It's disappointing, but you know I love racing here so I'll be back!"
Thank you from the Mustang Challenge drivers and staff to the corner workers and staff at Miller Motorsports Park.
Every car in the 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge championship carries a small black "LHM"decal to commemorate the passion, vision, and commitment that Larry H Miller had for Ford and the Ford Mustang. The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge is just one of the countless living legacies of Mr. Miller, and the drivers, team, and fans of the Mustang Challenge are proud to honor his memory and carry on his passion. Thank you, Mr. Miller.