Ford driver, owner earn special awards

MACLEOD RECIPIENT OF 2008 USAC KARA HENDRICK AWARD; EAST TAKES HOME OPPORTUNITY AWARD * Alison MacLeod, driver of the No. 4 Ford Racing Beast midget in the USAC Regional Midget Series, was awarded the USAC Kara Hendrick Spirit award...

MACLEOD RECIPIENT OF 2008 USAC KARA HENDRICK AWARD; EAST TAKES HOME OPPORTUNITY AWARD

* Alison MacLeod, driver of the No. 4 Ford Racing Beast midget in the USAC Regional Midget Series, was awarded the USAC Kara Hendrick Spirit award at the 6th Annual Women in the Winner's Circle luncheon.

* Legendary engine and car builder Bob East, who manages and operates the Ford Racing Driver Development Program, was awarded the Opportunity Award at the 6th Annual Women in the Winner's Circle luncheon.

Indianapolis, July 24, 2008 -- Alison MacLeod, driver of the No. 4 Ford Racing Beast Midget in the USAC Regional Midget Series, is the 2008 recipient of the prestigious USAC Kara Hendrick Spirit Award and her car owner Bob East was presented the 2008 Opportunity Award today at the 6th Annual Women in the Winner's Circle luncheon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

MacLeod, 19, led a star-studded field of female drivers from various forms of motorsports who were saluted at today's luncheon. This season, she has raced partial schedules in the Ford Focus Midget Series and the USAC Regional Midget Series.

MacLeod started racing at the age of seven and won six championships in karting before moving up to USAC Midgets. In the past three years, she has earned several USAC feature wins, including her first Regional Midget feature victory, which came at Grundy Speedway in Morris, Ill., on June 14, and a victory in last night's Regional Midget feature at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind.

"None of this would have been possible without the support of Ford Racing" said MacLeod. "Dan Davis had an amazing vision when he put together the Women's Driver Development Program, and I couldn't have won this honor without that vision, and all Ford Racing has done for me."

The award is presented by USAC to a woman in racing whose spirit, determination and driving ability are reminiscent of the excellence demonstrated by Kara Hendrick during her career. Hendrick earned two feature wins in USAC TQ Midget competition before losing her life during a USAC Western Midget event at El Cajon, Calif. in 1991.

"This award is so appropriate considering Alison's win last night at Anderson Speedway, which has made her the winningest female driver in USAC history with six feature wins," said Kevin Miller, president of USAC, after presenting the Kara Hendrick Award.

MacLeod was chosen by Ford Racing to participate in its Women's Driver Development Program in 2004, the same year she graduated from the Lyn St. James Driver Development Program in Phoenix, Ariz. The Ford Racing Women's Driver Development Program seeks to guide female drivers through the racing ranks and into NASCAR competition.

Legendary engine and car builder Bob East, who manages and operates the Ford Racing Driver Development Program, was one of the honorees for the Opportunity Award in recognition for his efforts in providing opportunities for female drivers in the USAC Ford Focus Midget Series. The Opportunity Award was developed to honor racing teams, race series and sponsors that create significant opportunities for women drivers to excel within the industry.

In addition to MacLeod, East also manages and operates the USAC National Midget program for Stephanie Mockler, the USAC Kara Hendrick award winner last year. East has helped with the early development careers of such drivers as Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.

-credit: ford racing technology

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Lyn St. James , Kasey Kahne , Stephanie Mockler , Alison MacLeod
Teams CIP