Speedway Digest Staff
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Henry Ford’s win over Alexander Winton on Oct. 10, 1901 in what proved to be his only race as a driver was a milestone victory that helped launch the Ford Motor Company.
Since then there have been several more memorable moments with the latest coming today at Michigan International Speedway, where Greg Biffle took the checkered flag and registered Ford’s 1,000th all-time NASCAR victory. That total includes 100 wins from Lincoln-Mercury in what is known today as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and 900 combined Ford-branded victories in NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Series competition.
“Here we are in the summer of 2013 celebrating Henry Ford’s 150th birthday and in the same year we’re celebrating our 1,000th win in NASCAR,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “We all know how Ford Motor Company started, and I think reaching this milestone really honors the spirit of what Henry Ford started.”
Jim Roper won the very first NASCAR-sanctioned Sprint Cup Series race in a Lincoln on June 19, 1949 in Charlotte, NC. That was the first of Lincoln’s four all-time victories in the series with the others coming from Jack White, Harold Kite and incoming NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock.
Mercury had 96 wins from 1950-80 in NASCAR’s top series as David Pearson and the Wood Brothers teamed up to win 43 times, including the 1976 Daytona 500 which is still considered one of the most dramatic finishes in the sport’s history.
The Ford brand recorded its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 1950 when “Shirtless” Jimmy Florian scored an upset victory at Dayton (OH) Speedway, beating the likes of Lee Petty, Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly. More than 60 years later, Trevor Bayne duplicated that unlikely win by capturing the 2011 Daytona 500 in only his second start to give Ford its 600th series triumph.
“That’s an indelible race for me because of all the circumstances involved,” recalled Allison. “It was Daytona, it was our 600th Sprint Cup win, Trevor had just turned 20 years old the day before, it was a 1-2-3 Ford finish, and our entire Ford team, including Edsel and his family, were there to celebrate that milestone. Every time we win it reminds me of these joyous moments and the passion our fans have for Ford.”
Bayne was front-and-center again last week as he recorded his second Ford Racing milestone victory in three years by winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway. The win was Ford’s 200th series win and second overall for Bayne.
In addition to 1,000 race wins, Ford has celebrated 20 manufacturer’s titles and 13 driver’s championships in NASCAR’s top three series while also seeing 19 of the first 25 inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame have significant Ford Racing backgrounds.
“Ford has been an important part of our sport since their first win,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “We congratulate the entire Ford Motor Company and the race teams, past and present, that have contributed in this very significant milestone of their 1,000th win.”
While drivers such as David Pearson, Ned Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Mark Martin and Dale Jarrett appear among Ford’s all-time leading winners, their success wouldn’t have been possible without a strong organization behind them.
From a Ford perspective, there has been no more successful operation than the one put together by Jack Roush, who has amassed 313 NASCAR victories in 25 years of competition. Now known as Roush Fenway Racing, the team boasts 131 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and holds the record for most wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (132) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (50).
Wood Brothers Racing has been aligned with Ford Motor Company since its inception in 1950 and ranks seventh on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win list with 98. Founder Glen Wood was the team’s first driver and won four races before taking control behind the scenes and teaming with his brother, Leonard, to form one of the most potent combinations in the sport’s history. Both men are members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and are credited with being the ones who revolutionized the modern-day pit stop.
Other NASCAR Hall of Fame car owners such as Bud Moore (43 wins) and Junior Johnson (38) combined to win more than 80 races in Ford products while the legendary Ford factory-backed team of Holman-Moody won 92 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and back-to-back championships with David Pearson behind the wheel. Roger Penske, who celebrated his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship last year with driver Brad Keselowski, has 31 Ford wins in his stock car career (27 NSCS, 4 NNS), including three Nationwide wins this season by three different drivers – Sam Hornish Jr., Joey Logano and Keselowski.
Overall, 124 different drivers have won at least one race for Ford Motor Company in NASCAR’s top three divisions, including superstar figures such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon.
“I’m sure if my great-grandfather was alive today he would be extremely proud of our racing program’s accomplishments,” said Edsel Ford. “We’ve come a long way since 1901 and still have more to achieve, but winning 1,000 races at NASCAR’s highest level is something we can all take great pride in.”
Ford Motor Company Wins By Series (1,000):
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 715 -- Ford (615), Mercury (96), Lincoln (4)
NASCAR Nationwide Series: 200 -- Ford (200)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: 85 -- Ford (85)
All-Time Ford Motor Company Top-Five Winning Drivers (All Series Combined)
1. Mark Martin 89 (35 NSCS-47 NNS-7 NCWTS)
2. David Pearson 73 (73 NSCS)
3. Carl Edwards 64 (20 NSCS-38 NNS-6 NCWTS)
4. Greg Biffle 53 (19 NSCS-18 NNS- 16 NCWTS)
5. Ned Jarrett 43 (43 NSCS)
All-Time Ford Motor Company Top-Five Winning Owners (All Series Combined)
1. Jack Roush 313 (131 NSCS, 132 NNS, 50 NCWTS)
2. Wood Brothers 98 (98 NSCS)
3. Holman-Moody 92 (92 NSCS)
4. Robert Yates 58 (57 NSCS, 1 NNS)
5. Bud Moore 43 (43 NSCS)
All-Time Ford Motor Company Driver Championships (13):
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Ned Jarrett (1965); David Pearson (1968-69); Bill Elliott (1988); Alan Kulwicki (1992); Dale Jarrett (1999); Matt Kenseth (2003); Kurt Busch (2004)
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Greg Biffle (2002); Carl Edwards (2007); Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011-12)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Greg Biffle (2000)
Manufacturers Championship Seasons (20):
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 1956, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, ‘02
NASCAR Nationwide Series: 1995, 2002, 2011
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: 1999, 2000
Ford Racing PR
Travis Pastrana and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) team overcame an early incident during Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) to bring home his No. 60 Ford Mustang in 17th.
“I learned from last week and knew I was starting to spin so I locked it down,” said Pastrana. “Then we got cleaned out and hit, and hit into the wall. My crew did such an amazing job. The fact that we even salvaged what we did was amazing. Really I am disappointed for them because we had such a great car – such a great car.”
The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) took the green flag shortly after 2:30 p.m. ET under overcast skies and the threat of rain. In his first visit to the two-mile track, Pastrana qualified the No. 60 Ford Mustang 12th.
Unfortunately, the No. 60 would not complete two laps before a spin and contact with another competitor would force Pastrana to pit road for repairs. The crew visited pit road multiple times under caution to assess the damage and repair the car as quickly as possible.
Pastrana returned to the field on the lead lap in time for a Lap 5 restart. The caution flag flew for the second time on Lap 7, bringing Pastrana back down pit road for more repairs, this time to the toe of the car.
After multiple pit stops under the second caution flag of the day, the No. 60 restarted 34th and began to climb back into the mid-twenties. With severe damage to the car, Pastrana struggled with the handling of his Mustang for the remainder of the race. The No. 60 team battled all day, ultimately crossing the line in 17th.
“My dad always said that you create your own luck,” Pastrana said. “That is frustrating. I watched it from last year and saw that was going to happen. I kind of had the option to give up a lot and just drop in two wide behind, but I thought I would be clear behind the 16, three-wide on the outside. It looks like a wide track but once you get outside the groove there is just nothing there.”
Current points leader, Regan Smith took the checkered flag, with Kyle Larson, Paul Menard and Kyle Busch rounding out the top-four. RFR teammates Trevor Bayne and Chris Buescher finished fifth and seventh, respectively. Pastrana remains 15th in the NNS standings heading into the first road course race of the season next weekend at Road America.
Battling an ill-handling car throughout the majority of the 125-lap event, Eric McClure posted a disappointing 28th-place finish in Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan Int’l Speedway after qualifying in the 37th position. With this finish, the TriStar Motorsports team dropped three positions to 24thin NASCAR Owner Standings.
Two early cautions on lap one and seven allowed McClure, running in the 33rd position, time to inform his new crew chief, Todd Myers, about the handling of the No. 14 Toyota. After describing a car that was “darty,” the team decided to make two chassis adjustments during the initial pit stop on lap eight. When the race resumed on lap 11, McClure was scored in the 26th position.
As the race progressed, the car’s handling showed no signs of improvement and McClure slid to the 31st spot. In hopes of improving the car’s drivability, the team changed four tires, added fuel, and made air-pressure and track-bar adjustments on lap 43 during a round of green flag pit stops. After all cars had visited pit road, McClure was still holding on to the 31st position.
Over the next 20 laps, the car’s handling improved and allowed the 34-year-old driver to advance one position as the event’s third caution flag waved for debris on the front stretch. Taking advantage of this opportunity, McClure brought the orange and blue Toyota to pit road for four tires, fuel, and a track-bar adjustment. On the lap 68 restart, the team was scored in the 30th position.
Nine laps later, the event’s fourth caution flag waved. McClure radioed his crew that the previous adjustments had helped the car’s handling, stating, “The car is now to the point where I’m driving it and it’s not driving me.” With this information, Myers instructed his driver to stay on the track during the caution period. When the race resumed on lap 87, McClure occupied the 29th position.
The event’s final caution flag waved on lap 98, allowing McClure to again visit pit road for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment in an effort to continue improving the car’s handling. After restarting in the 29th position, McClure immediately began posting his fastest lap times of the event. McClure advanced one position in the running order with 22 laps remaining to finish Saturday’s event in the 28th position.
Driver, Eric McClure Quotes:
“It wasn’t a good day at all; we kind of realized we were in trouble yesterday. We recognized some things we will address at the shop, but we tried to make the best of what we had today. We thought we were headed in the right direction yesterday, but we just struggled today. We got faster as the race went on, but something is wrong with this car and we need to figure out what it is. All in all we didn’t tear anything up and it’s a long season, so we will come back and try it again next week.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined on lap 105
DID YOU HAVE ANY VIBRATION OR INDICATION AT ALL?
“No, I had no indication. We were just cruising. We had a really good Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. I knew it was going to be a battle with Jimmie (Johnson) today. He’s fast and I thought we were really good. We were on the loose side but I think we could have tightened it up a little bit more and gotten a little bit better. But I felt really good about it. We’ll see what happens here through the rest of this race.
“But I know it’s been a tough week for a lot of people. Jason Leffler was a good buddy of mine and it’s neat to see how the racing world and the fans and his friends and everybody has supported him for the last four or five days. That showed the person and the racer that he was. I’m just glad I could say he was one of my good friends.”
“Something broke. I don’t really know. I would say it was a tire that went down, but I don’t know for sure. I just was going into the corner and then it ‘boom’ and turned right went straight into the wall. It was a hard hit. We had a great Farmers Insurance Chevy. Things were working out. I thought it was going to be between myself and Jimmie (Johnson). We both had two really fast cars.”
HOW SLICK IS IT OUT THERE?
“It was slick at the start. It’s still slick. We were still on the loose side so I thought as the race went we still had an opportunity to tighten up and hopefully get a little better. My car would move around some on exit, but I felt really good. I felt like our Farmers Insurance Chevy was fast and Jimmie (Johnson) is going to be tough to beat. I thought it was going to be between me and him. It would have been a shootout.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD ‘MAN OF STEEL’ CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined with engine failure on Lap 132
HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT TO BE RUNNING UP FRONT WHEN AN ENGINE LET’S GO?
“Yeah, that is worse than if it happens when you’re running in the back. I’m real proud of the car. We were really struggling in practice and I’m just real proud of (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and the whole team. They made a lot of great changes. And that car was just flying at the end there. I don’t know if we had as good a car as Jimmie (Johnson), but we had certainly made some gains on it, even in the last stop. So, I’m just real proud of my team. I hate to run into trouble. They’ll figure it out and we’ll get it sorted and we’ll be able to come back here and expect to run strong again. I just hate it. Hendrick Motorsports, they work harder than anyone in the business. They’re the best company in the business and we ought to be out there running up front still, but we’ll get it eventually.”
WAS THERE ANY WARNING WHEN THE ENGINE LET GO?
“No there was no warning at all even after I think we lost a cylinder. The gauges all looked really good. Flipped all the switches I could flip and nothing was really making a difference. We just had something come apart in the motor. Really happy though with the engine. Happy with the way the car performed. Weren’t really happy with the National Guard Chevrolet yesterday. Made a lot of changes last night. Steve Letarte (crew chief) and the whole crew made some great changes last night. We had such an awesome car. Look forward to coming back here and try to get a win.”
YOU TALKED QUITE AWHILE WITH YOUR CREW CHIEF ONCE YOU CLIMBED OUT OF THE CAR. WHAT WERE YOU DISCUSSING?
“I was just telling him how proud I was of him and the team because we were really frustrated yesterday after practice. Really frustrated with how the car was driving and where our speed was. Just telling them guys to hold their head up they did a great job overnight getting the car competitive. We had a first or second-place car right there.”
Team Chevy Racing PR
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in crash on Lap 4:
“Bobby Labonte (No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet SS) just lost it over there in Turn 2. He just did one of those slow spins where I couldn’t tell which direction he was going to go, so I had to guess and I guessed the wrong way. I didn’t really have anywhere to go.
“But I just can’t believe the way this season is going for us in this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. It seems like we can run all day long when we can’t get the car right but when we finally get the car right, something like this happens. At Charlotte, I thought our car was awesome and I was really pleased with the way the car took off right there. We were really going to march up through the field. It’s unfortunate. This team just continues to have to face adversity and I appreciate how strong they are during it, but I just wish we didn’t all have to be tested quite this much.”
WOULD YOU SAY THE TRACK IS SURPRISINGLY SLICK?
“It’s not surprising because I expected it. When you have these fast practices in the mornings and then it loses a little grip in the next practice, you know when the sun comes out on race days it’s going to be pretty slick. So, I just wasn’t surprised.”
TELL US WHAT HAPPENED:
“Bobby Labonte lost it off of turn two in front of me. It was just such a slow spin that I didn’t know which way he was going to go, so I had to guess. I tried to go around him on the outside and that was not the right way. I don’t know if I would have missed him even if I went to the inside. It’s unfortunate this season we are having is just unbelievable to me. We are at times struggling to get the speed then when we get the speed we struggle to finish because of stuff like this. I thought we were being tested last year, boy we are really being tested this year. Nobody has more fight in them than this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet team.”
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE FRUSTRATION OF BEING INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT THIS EARLY IN A RACE?
“It’s not like we have any choice. You have to just deal with it and move on. You feel for the guys that are working so hard. There are some guys that are doing their job perfectly and things are out of their control and they don’t deserve this. There are other guys that, like myself, we contribute to being back there starting 29th. That is something we have to do better. I was really happy with the way the car was running. I’m happy with the way this team is sticking together, but boy I tell you these moments when they add up they really can be frustrating. That is the thing we have to work through the most. We are a great organization, a great team and we can rebound, it’s just we have to get the finishes.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LUCK?
“For years I’ve always said I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck that you make it. Just in that instance right there I call that being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I also know that we contribute to where we started. We started back there and we were moving forward which I’m proud of, but the fact that we are back there. I put as much blame on myself. I really struggled this weekend when we went into qualifying trim. I’ve struggled all year. Shoot, the last two years with qualifying and I don’t know what it is, but we have to get it better. Starting back there you are only putting yourself into those positions to have those kinds of things happen.”
HOW MUCH IS THIS TESTING YOUR PATIENCE?
“I’m a pretty patient person, but it’s testing my frustration level and my confidence that is the biggest thing. We all know how big confidence is in this sport, any sport really. I don’t want to see the team get down and I don’t want to see myself get down. I have a lot of fight in me and so does this team. I’m looking forward to going to Sonoma.”
Team Chevy PR
With rain approaching late in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, crew chief Eric Phillips rolled the dice and kept Parker Kligerman on the track late in the race, hoping the rain would reach the 2-mile oval before the completion of the scheduled distance. The rain didn't start until after the race and Kligerman, who had led 13 consecutive circuits, was forced to surrender a 1.5-second lead with just over 10 laps remaining to come down pit road for fuel. After a quick splash-and-go stop, the Bandit Chippers Camry returned to the track in the 14th position, the last car on the lead lap. Bad luck struck a second time with just two laps remaining, when the splash of fuel wasn't enough to make it to the end of the 125-lap event and Kligerman was forced to return to his pit stall for more fuel. With no time left to recover, the team ended a once promising run with an undeserving 25th-place finish.
"We played it perfectly for that situation and I'm not down on Eric (Phillips, crew chief) or anyone about that," said a dejected Kligerman post-race. "I was fully for it, but it sucks when you run top-five all day. This Bandit Chippers Camry right in front of a Bandit Chippers home crowd and a car that could win on speed alone and -- we drove away from the field there -- and it just didn't go our way. Disappointing day result-wise, but a lot of positives in terms of the speed we had in our Camry and we'll get them next time. Have to thank Toyota, Bell Helmets, Bolle, ButlerBuilt, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines and Nationwide Insurance - everyone that makes it possible for us to come out here and put on a show for the fans."
Kligerman started the race from the 16th position and after narrowly escaping a first-lap melee, emerged from the smokein what he called "Days of Thunder" fashion, scored in the ninth position. After another quick caution and the ensuing restart, the Bandit Chippers Camry quickly made its way into the top five, where it ran from laps 12 to 20. As the green-flag run continued, the No. 77 became loose on entry and the team fell back one spot to the sixth position.
On lap 46, the Connecticut native made his first appearance on pit road under green, getting four fresh tires and a full tank of fuel. When stops cycled through on lap 55, Kligerman was scored in the eighth position, where he remained until the third caution of the race slowed the field on lap 63. Phillips called for a right-side only stop and returned his young driver to the track scored in the 10th position for the lap-68 restart.
When another caution occurred on lap 81, a rain storm appeared to be quickly approaching through "The Irish Hills" and Phillips elected to remain on the track in an effort to improve the team's finish should the impending weather end the race prematurely. Knowing that his Camry didn't have enough fuel to make it to the end, the veteran signal caller kept one eye on the radar and one eye on the track after the field went back green.
Kligerman took the lap-84 restart from the fourth position and pushed race leader Joey Logano, who elected the outside lane, past second-place runner and also cleared Bayne himself and settled into the runner-up spot. The two drivers had distanced themselves from third-place Trevor Bayne when a debris caution brought out what turned into the fifth and final caution of the race.
When Logano came down pit road, Phillips' radar showed the weather right on top of the area where the track is located and once again elected to keep his Toyota on the track. When the race resumed on lap 102, Kligerman's owner, Kyle Busch, pushed his young driver past the inside lane, which allowed the No. 77 team to keep the lead. Within just a few laps, the yellow-and-black machine had distanced itself from the pack, opening a 1.5-second lead on eventual-race winner Regan Smith.
With only minuscule drops making their way onto the track, the race remained green and the Bandit Chippers Camry surrendered the lead when Kligerman was summoned to pit road for fuel on lap 112. Knowing they only needed a minimal amount of fuel and trying to stay on the lead lap, Phillips ordered his fuel handler to keep the can in for five seconds before letting his driver return to the track.
Unfortunately, the race remained caution and rain free for the final 23 laps. With just two laps remaining in the 125-lap event, Kilgerman radioed that he was out of fuel shortly after passing the start-finish line. He coasted around the track and down pit road, where the over-the-wall crew put fuel into and re-fired his Camry. With the race in its final lap, he returned to the track and crossed the finish line with an undeserving 25th-place finish.
Smith, the series point's leader, picked up his third career Nationwide Series win and second this season. Rookie Kyle Larson crossed the stripe 2.023 seconds behind Smith in the runner-up spot. Sprint Cup Series regulars Paul Menard and Busch finished third and fourth, respectively. Trevor Bayne rounded out the top-five finishers.
There were five caution periods totaling 23 laps. Five drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead five times. Seven drivers failed to finish the thirteenth event on the 2013 Nationwide Series schedule.
Kligerman, who fell two spots to eighth in the championship standings, and his No. 77 team head to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. for the Johnsonville Sausage 200 June 22. Live television coverage of Saturday's 50-lap event begins with NASCAR Countdown at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.
After a race’s absence from the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Flex Seal Chevrolet, Landon Cassill returned to the cockpit Saturday and finished 26th in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Cassill missed last week’s Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway because he was driving in the Party in the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
Cassill started Saturday’s race on the super-fast Michigan oval in 29th position. He ran near teammate Mike Wallace part of the day before slipping to 26th at race’s end.
“We had a pretty good Flex Seal Chevy today and felt like we were right on par with our teammate’s speed,” Cassill said. “I am excited to keep working on our program to continue to improve on our performance and reliability.”
The team next moves to the Road America road course in Wisconsin for race 14 on the Nationwide schedule.
JD Motorsports PR
Starting in a deep hole, Mike Wallace charged through the field in Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway and rolled home with a 16th-place finish.
The run was the second best of the season for Wallace in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller 01 Chevrolet. Five races earlier, he finished seventh at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace started 31st Saturday but had moved to 14th 40 laps into the 125-lap race. He raced in the top 20 much of the second half of the race and over the final 15 laps advanced from 19th to 16th.
“It was a nice run for us today,” said team owner Johnny Davis. “It’s the kind of day that we can build on to keep these cars strong for the summer months.”
The run boosted Wallace one spot in points to 16th with the circuit next scheduled to race at the Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. June 22.
JD Motorsports PR