USAC Ford Focus Midget Series to
Crown First National Champion in 2005
By Dick Jordan
USAC Ford Focus Midget Series, for the first time in its four-year history, will
crown an all-divisions national driving champion in 2005.
Limaland (Ohio) Motorsports Park and Anderson (Ind.) Speedway will host the
inaugural USAC Ford Focus National Championship Invitational events on September
17 and 18.
Fueled by the explosive growth of the series, Ford Racing Technology and USAC
have been planning to determine a Ford Focus Series National Champion since the
series' inception in 2002.
"The Ford Focus National Championship Invitational is the result of the strong
growth and prosperity the Ford Focus Midget Series continues to enjoy," said Dan
Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "A national championship has been a
priority of ours and part of our long-term vision for the series since day one.
Today, with over 140 registered Ford Focus Midget competitors contesting six
regional championships in 2005, the time was right to bring the best of the best
from each region together for an exciting weekend of racing and crown a Ford
Focus National Champion."
Ford Focus officials have developed a unique format for these events. The top
eight drivers in points from each of the six Ford Focus regions, along with a
wild-card driver from each region, will be invited to compete for the national
championship. Each race track's event will feature a full Ford Focus Series
program of qualifying, a non-qualifiers' race, heat races, a semi-feature and
50-lap feature event.
The national champion will be determined by using USAC's points system, which
awards points to drivers for qualifying, heat races, semi-feature and feature.
The driver earning the most total points for the two races will be the USAC Ford
Focus National Driving Champion.
"It will definitely give people an idea who the top Ford Focus drivers are in
the country," said Robbie Ray, the 2003 USAC Midwest Ford Focus Series champion.
"It will also showcase which drivers have the most versatility because it brings
both dirt and pavement into the equation. I can't think of two better race
tracks for a prestigious event like this than Limaland and Anderson. Anderson is
so rich in USAC history, and Limaland is one of the premier venues in the
country for short-track racing."
Limaland Motorsports Park and Anderson Speedway both have a reputation for hard
and competitive USAC racing, and have been regular stops in the USAC Midwest
Ford Focus Series schedule.
"A USAC National Championship is important for any driver to have on their
resume, and one of our Ford Focus drivers will be joining Tony Stewart, Jeff
Gordon, J.J. Yeley, Dave Darland and Ryan Newman on September 18th this year,"
said Eric Bunn, USAC National Coordinator, Ford Focus Series. "In addition to
the national championship, our drivers will be competing for more than $30,000
in posted awards for the Ford Focus National Championship Invitational weekend."
sure the competition to make the field and the enthusiasm to compete in this
unique event will be tremendous," said Rollie Helmling, President and CEO of
USAC. "Every series participant will be planning for these races, and race fans
should definitely have them on their calendar. We have been planning for this
since the USAC Ford Focus Midget Series began. This format will certainly match
the 'best of the best' for years to come in what has become America's
fastest-growing racing series."
"The addition of a national championship weekend involving both a paved and dirt
event is an exciting development for everyone involved," said Keith Iaia,
President of SCREAM, the engine supplier for the Ford Focus Series. "This event
will give individuals an opportunity to compete at the highest possible level
within the series, while leaving our original concept of regional championships
intact. This is just one more example of the great job USAC and Ford Racing are
doing to ensure the Ford Focus Series is the preferred avenue for aspiring
The 2.0-liter Zetec engines found in every USAC Ford Focus Midget are completely
stock internally as produced on a Ford production line. SCREAM adds mechanical
fuel injection, clutch and self-starter, which eliminates the need for push
trucks at Ford Focus Midget events.
For additional information contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.