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Ford Mustang captures first win in NASCAR Nationwide Series

By - April 8, 2011 – 10:15 pmNo Comment | 1,341 views

The Ford Mustang added another series victory to its 47-year racing resume with today’s first NASCAR-sanctioned race win as Carl Edwards took home the checkered flag in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas.

“This is huge. I have a Mustang at home,” said Edwards after the race. “It doesn’t run as well as this one. I drove it a little bit the last couple of weeks and this just feels so good. It is so cool to drive a Mustang to victory lane here at Texas.  I can’t even fathom the historic nature of this win. Ricky and Trevor were just here and they are going to have lots of wins in this Mustang in the future. It is cool that my name will be next to the first win, but those guys are going to be carrying the torch.”

“This is great for Mustang,” commented Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “This being Mustang’s first win. It was apt that Carl did it because he has been the best Carl and the best leader in the program for all the Ford drivers. It is good that it came together. I thought it would come earlier in the season but we are going to win a lot of races in these Mustangs this year. Jamie Allison told us that we needed to get a win this weekend and it worked out. Mustang belongs in stock car racing and hopefully it will be here for a long time.”

Jamie Allison, director of Ford Motorsports, declared the win a historic moment. “We are all proud of Mustang first win in NASCAR Nationwide race. This victory by Carl Edwards puts his name into the record books among the many great drivers who have won in Mustangs since it debuted in 1964. It was always said Mustang was ‘born to race,’ and this victory, along with the victories Mustang has won in drag racing, sports car racing and rally racing over the years, just further proves that point.”

Other Mustang Motorsports Milestones:

  • A little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, Mustang was on the race track as a pace car leading the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Before the year was out, Mustang was a winner in competition, finishing first and second in class in the 1964 Tour de France international rally.
  • By 1965, Ford was involved with cars competing in the National Hot Rod Association’s Factory Experimental, or A/FX class, as the 427-cubic-inch single overhead cam V-8 made a potent powerplant in Holman & Moody’s A/FX Mustangs.  Ten of these Mustangs were built, and five of them qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator field at the ’65 NHRA Winternationals. Bill Lawton drove his Tasca Ford Mustang A/FX to victory in the car’s very first race.
  • In 1965, Carroll Shelby, responding to Ford’s challenge to build a winning road racing program, introduced the Mustang GT-350 – a stripped down Mustang 2+2 with modified suspension, shocks, steering, brakes and Ford 289-cubic-inch V-8s – for Sports Car Club of America competition.  Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue drove GT-350s to national titles in 1965, and the GT-350 went on to win SCCA B-Production national championships for three straight years.
  • To performance enthusiasts, 1969 was dominated by the hottest Mustangs ever — 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302. Three modified examples of this fearsome threesome were taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in search of speed records.  Driven by Mickey Thompson, Danny Ongais, Ray Brock and Bob Ottum, they collected 295 United States Auto Club-certified records, including a 24-hour run on a 10-mile course at an average speed of 157 miles an hour.
  • In 1970, Bud Moore’s team raced against one of the most competitive Trans-Am fields of all time with six factory teams. Parnelli Jones and George Follmer fulfilled the promise of a year earlier by winning six races and the manufacturers’ championship as Jones took the drivers’ title.
  • Mustang was a favorite of short-track stock car racers through most of the seventies. In 1972, Dick Trickle raced a Mustang to a national record of 67 short track feature wins in one season.  And in drag racing, drivers like Connie Kalitta, Shirley Muldowney and Don Nicholson kept Mustang in the winner’s circle.
  • Pro Stock gained popularity, and by 1975 a now-familiar name was in the record books. Bob Glidden drove a Ford Pinto to his first Pro Stock championship in ’74, and then switched to Mustang for ’75, winning four national events and his second NHRA championship — Mustang’s first Pro Stock title.
  • John Force, perhaps the most dominant racer of a single race series, broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national crown in his Ford Mustang Funny Car in 2002 and registered his 15th series championship last season.

[Source: Ford]

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