This Week in Ford Racing September 20, 2005 USAC Ford Focus Midget Series Forty-one drivers competed this past weekend in the inaugural Ford Focus National Championship. Robbie Ray of Davenport, Iowa, emerged Sunday as the USAC Ford Focus...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 20, 2005
USAC Ford Focus Midget Series
Forty-one drivers competed this past weekend in the inaugural Ford Focus National Championship. Robbie Ray of Davenport, Iowa, emerged Sunday as the USAC Ford Focus National champion following a hard-fought 50-lap victory at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, the final race of a two-race swing.
Ray, driving the No. 11 Calico Coatings Ford/Beast, passed Brandon Wagner on Lap 43 and was never challenged again to score the victory and earn a four-point cushion over Californian Chris Veach for the title. Stephanie Mockler, of Westfield, Ind., finished third. It was the second title for Ray, who topped the 2003 Midwest Ford Focus points standings. Ray, Veach and Mockler discussed their weekends.
ROBBY RAY (2005 FORD FOCUS SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPION)
WHAT DOES THIS WIN MEAN FOR YOU TODAY? "I'm so overcome with emotion. You have no idea. I just have to thank USAC for putting this deal together. My family has been involved in midget racing for a long time and it just got so expensive that we couldn't do it any more. The Ford Focus Series has provided that opportunity for our family. I'd like to thank Ford Motor Company, Limaland Speedway and Anderson Speedway. Everybody just doesn't know what this means to me and my family."
HOW DID YOU FEEL YOUR CHANCES WERE AFTER YOUR RUN LAST NIGHT? "The track was so rough last night we just missed the set-up just a little bit. We were not able to get up there and race for the win, but we managed a top-10 and that's all it took to come into today with a chance at it. All we needed was a chance and to come out and win the race and the championship. It's just beyond belief. It's a dream come true for me, the crew, my dad and my family and everybody that's involved with the team."
YOU GUYS TESTED HERE? "Yeah, we tested earlier this week. Bob East stopped by for a few minutes. If he had not stopped by, I don't think we would have won today. I'd like to thank our sponsors Calico Coatings, American Driver Challenge and Team Simpson as well. It's just incredible."
TALK ABOUT THAT LAST CAUTION, WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE RESTART? "Any time you get a late race caution like that you worry because anything can happen. Guys get desperate on late race cautions and anything can happen. Brandon Wagner finished second in that deal, he raced me clean and didn't get in to me. Thanks to Brandon for running me clean."
YOU LOOKED TO HAVE THE BEST CAR OUT THERE? "I was biding my time because I didn't want to make the move too early. I saw the leader trying to hug the bottom a little bit more and more. He gave me enough room up high, so I just went around him on the outside."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE YOUR NAME ON THE HENRY FORD TROPHY. "Words can't describe it. It's like winning the Indy 500 or the Daytona 500 for the Ford Focus Series. It was the ultimate challenge. These are probably the hardest two races that I have ever driven in my life."
CHRIS VEACH (FINISHED 2nd IN FORD FOCUS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS)
HOW DID TODAY GO FOR YOU?" We stated 13th and finished in eighth place. I'm really happy with that."
HOW TOUGH WAS IT TO PASS OUT THERE TODAY? "It was really tough to pass. I made very few passes, basically it was just people going for it and taking people out."
HAVE YOU RUN AT A BANKED TRACK LIKE THIS BEFORE? "Never, all the tracks I run back in California are flatter. The track was really quick. I just tried to stay out of all the crashes."
WERE THE RED FLAG PERIODS A TIME TO GET THINGS BACK TOGETHER? "Yeah it was just a time to sit and relax. Get the strength back together."
YOU RAN A COMBINATION CAR? "This is the same car we ran last night. The guys at Limaland were really nice to let us change it over there last night. We were there about three hours last night to swap everything and clean up."
STEPHANIE MOCKLER (FINISHED 3rd IN FORD FOCUS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS)
HOW DID YOUR WEEKEND GO? "It went pretty well. It was a consistent weekend. I would have liked to come out on top but we didn't. But we tried our best."
HAVE YOU RUN AT ANDERSON BEFORE? "Yes, we ran here at the beginning of the season. We finished second."
YOU RACE OUT OF THE MIDWEST REGION? "We run all over, we run the whole Midwest series and we are second in points right now. We got the invite and we came here and our goal was to win this, but we came up a little bit short."
HOW WAS IT RUNNING WITH RACERS FROM THE WEST COAST AND NORTHEAST. "It was no different. It was just a little more competition. It was cool to see where we wound up. A podium finish would have been better."
IS THIS A COMBINATION CAR? HOW LATE DID YOU GUYS STAY UP CHANGING IT OVER? "Yeah, Dad and Dale didn't sleep. They made me go to bed around 4 this morning."