Ford Racing Claims Pole for KONI Race Magic. That’s the word Dean Martin used to describe his qualifying lap around Daytona International Speedway.
The co-driver of the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C claimed the top spot for Friday’s season-opening Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series race in Daytona, with a quick lap that even surprised the optimistic driver.
“Getting the pole here in Daytona was our first goal, and of course winning the race tomorrow is our ultimate goal,” said Martin. “Our lap out there today was magic. The way our Mustang handled and performed was just perfect. We’ve worked really hard during the off-season and we want to show everybody that we’re the best. I think our team can carry today’s success over into tomorrow’s race.”
Martin will co-drive his No. 59 Mustang FR500C with Ken Wilden during Friday's race, on a track that tends to favor Ford’s pony car.
“A Mustang should definitely win and be on the podium tomorrow,” continued Martin. “I’ll be honest; I was surprised that we went as fast as we did. I never expected to go that fast. We had been fighting the car all day and it wasn’t so good, but I told the team not to mess with anything and to see what happens. I figured if I ran a two-minute flat lap, we’d be okay. So when I came by the timing light and it came up as a 1:59.60, I just went, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m just going to come in right now.’ I was so excited and just really happy for our team.”
“We are so excited about Dean and the Rehagen Racing team putting the Mustang on top of the board today," said Jamie Allison, manager Ford Performance Group. "The FR500C is well suited for the Grand-Am KONI Challenge, because it is a production-based road racing series, one of the best in America. We have some of the most credible and highly regarded handling cars in the world on the track and the Mustang has been able to demonstrate its superiority and accomplishment taking on the best of Porsche and BMW. Dean and Rehagen Racing getting the pole is a pretty stout accomplishment for Mustang and we are very proud them and look to continue that success in tomorrow’s race.”
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