This Week in Ford Racing May 2, 2006 USAC Stephanie Mockler wins first career Midget race. Stephanie Mockler, new driver of the No. 6 East Enterprises Beast/Clorox/Ford Racing USAC Midget, won her first career series race Saturday night at...
This Week in Ford Racing
May 2, 2006
Stephanie Mockler wins first career Midget race.
Stephanie Mockler, new driver of the No. 6 East Enterprises Beast/Clorox/Ford Racing USAC Midget, won her first career series race Saturday night at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park. Mockler, 18 and part of the Clorox/Ford Racing Women's Driver development Program, qualified second and finished second in a four-lap dash before winning the 25-lap feature. Last year, Mockler finished second in the Midwest Ford Focus Midget Car series points standings, finishing with one victory and 14 top-10s in 17 starts, and finished third in the inaugural USAC Ford Focus Midget National Championship. Mockler will race at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway Wednesday night.
STEPHANIE MOCKLER -- No. 6 Beast Enterprises/Clorox/Ford Racing Midget -- ON HER VICTORY. "Great. It was my first race out so it was sweet. It really was. That was my first race in a midget and that was my first race out and my first race for any midget, besides Phoenix."
WHAT WAS YOUR GOAL PRIOR TO THE EVENT? "Definitely to be competitive, maybe not to win my first race, but definitely to be there and learn and improve."
IT SEEMED TO BE A GOOD DAY ALL THE WAY AROUND, STARTING WITH QUALIFYING... "Qualified second and finished second in the dash, and then we didn't have to run a heat race because the top four locked into the feature, so we only had to run the four-lap dash. I pretty much finished side by side in the dash, so that was really sweet."
YOUR CONFIDENCE MUST'VE GROWN THROUGHOUT THE EVENT. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO THE FEATURE? "I knew we definitely had a winning car. Evan [Avart], the guy who works on the car, was amazing all night. He knows those cars like the back of his hand. He worked with me all night, and we worked really well together. Going in there, I definitely knew we could win. We were supposed to start fifth, but someone screwed up the lineup and we had to start seventh. So, it was awesome to be able to come from seventh and win it."
HOW CLOSE WAS THE FINISH? "I looked up with 11 laps to go and it was one of those things that I thought I was running out of time, I was running third at that point, and I didn't think I had a lot of time left, so I looked up at the lap counter and it said lap 11, so I thought, 'Sweet, I have some time.' At that point I had just gotten to third and I had had a terrible time getting into third. I was definitely faster, and then once I got into third for good, I started to catch the guys that were in first and second. They were about a half a lap ahead, and I started to catch them real, real quick. Then, we got a yellow at lap 11, and at that point I knew I had a good chance -- especially with how fast I started to catch them. Then, from there, they kind of tangled up in [turns] three and four, and I was right behind them and dove low. And from there, I guess, I started to pull away quite a bit."
WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU TOOK THE CHECKERED FLAG? "Amazing. Unreal, I guess. Just being my first race, it wasn't something I expected. I expected to go in and learn. Bob and Evan have been amazing to work with. I've already learned so much and I'm not even close to being done learning; I'm not even going to say I am. Yeah, I won, but there's so much more to learn. We have IRP the night before the 500 to go, and we're going to Concord, we're going to Anderson this week. It's going to be a cool year. It's going to be fun to learn. Thanks to Bob, Evan, Justin [Carey], Clorox and Ford -- there's no way I could've done it without any of them. That's why I'm here."