FINISH IN TOP 10 OF NASCAR SPRINT CUP PLUS NATIONWIDE SERIES RACES IN CHARLOTTE while Vaughn Gittin Jr. won the Formula Drift event in Irwindale, Calif., on a busy weekend for Ford Racing.2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Charlotte: 9-11 October, 2008, Concord, North Carolina USA David Ragan leads a restart. Jamie McMurray was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Charlotte, N.C., finishing fifth in the No. 26 Fusion. McMurray moved up one spot in the standing to 19th place.
Carl Edwards was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Charlotte, N.C., finishing fifth in the No. 60 Fusion. Edwards remains second in the standings, 196 points behind leader Clint Bowyer.
Robert Hight, driver of the AAA of So. Cal. Mustang, beat teammate John Force in the first round and lost to Ron Capps in the second round of the NHRA race in Richmond, Va. Hight dropped two spots in the standings to fifth place.
Vaughn Gittin Jr., won the Formula Drift race, Final Fight, in Irwindale, Calif., for his first Formula Drift victory. He finished the season eighth in the standings.
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 13, 2008 – Three Ford Fusions finished in the top 10 of both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races in Charlotte, N.C., while Vaughn Gittin Jr. won the Formula Drift event in Irwindale, Calif., on a busy weekend for Ford Racing.
Jamie McMurray had a solid weekend, gathering two top-10 finishes. McMurray started the weekend strong when he began the Nationwide Series race from the pole position before finishing in ninth place in the No. 17 Fusion.
The next day, he was the top Ford driver in the Sprint Cup race, grabbing a fifth-place finish in the No. 26 Fusion, which moved him up one spot to 19th place in the standings.
"For the last three months, we've had great race cars," said McMurray. "Everyone at Roush Fenway runs well. I mean all of my teammates run well every single week, and we haven't been able to put our finishes together. But we've had a lot of speed in our car, so I think to sit on the pole in the Nationwide race and then have a top-five in the Cup race, it's gonna make for a wonderful Sunday off."
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Fusion, was the next Ford driver to cross the line in the Sprint Cup race with a seventh-place finish. Biffle has now compiled four top-10 finishes through the five Chase races, including two victories, and remains third in the Chase standings, 86 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
"I feel really good," said Biffle. "I would have felt better if we would have won tonight and been about 30 or 40 points back, but we're not gonna give up."
David Ragan rounded out the top 10 and remains 13th in the standings, the top spot outside of the Chase.
Carl Edwards entered the race second in the standings, but electrical issues with his car caused him to lose 15 laps early on before eventually finishing 33rd. Edwards dropped two spots to fourth place in the standings and is 168 points behind Johnson for the lead.
Edwards didn't have such issues one night earlier in the Nationwide Series race, where he took fifth place and remains in strong contention to repeat as the Nationwide Series champion after his fifth straight top-five finish. He remains second in the standings, 196 points behind leader Clint Bowyer.
"I appreciate everybody sticking around so late tonight for the race and waiting out the rain," said Edwards after the Nationwide event. "That's real cool for the fans to be here. I just wish we could have had more for them."
In the NHRA race in Richmond, Va., Robert Hight was the only Ford driver to make it out of the first round. Unfortunately, Hight defeated his teammate John Force in the first round before losing to Ron Capps in the second round. Hight dropped two spots in the standings to fifth place, 92 points behind leader Tim Wilkerson with only two races to go.
"It's not over," said Hight of his chances to win the championship. "We can't give up, and we can't hang our heads; we have to keep working hard. It is not over. We have a good running car. This race track was a little odd. If you don't have it just fast enough leaving the starting line, it wants to shake and that is what happened to us."
Ashley Force dropped one spot in the standings to sixth; John Force dropped one spot in the standings to eighth place, and Mike Neff remains ninth in the standings.
Earlier in the week, Neff set an NHRA record in qualifying after running an ET of 4.041 seconds in a 1,000 foot run with his new BOSS 500 Ford engine. Brothers Tony and Cruz Pedregon tied the mark later on in qualifying.
In Formula Drift, it may have taken Vaughn Gittin Jr. the entire season, but he earned his first Formula Drift victory in the series season finale at Irwindale, Calif. Gittin Jr. clinched the win after defeating series champion Tanner Foust in the final head-to-head battle of the season.
"It has been a season of ups and downs for me, and there isn't a better way to put it behind," said Gittin Jr. "Thanks to all my fans and sponsors for supporting me. We are coming out swinging with a 2010 Falken Tire / Ford Mustang for the 2009 season."
Gittin Jr. finished the season eighth in the standings.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will head to Martinsville, Va.