Stephanie Mockler And Ford Building For The Future

Ford wants to be the first manufacturer to succeed in the highly competitive NEXTEL Cup series with a female driver, and they believe Stephanie Mockler is the answer to their desires. The 19-year old Indiana native is one of two drivers Ford has signed for the Clorox/Ford Women?s Development Program.

Allison MacLeod, a Canadian driver, is Mockler?s partner in the program.

Mockler started racing quarter midgets in 1994, chalking up 75 feature victories and 175- top-5 finishes in 350 starts. She then advanced to national modified midgets before progressing to the USAC Ford Focus Series. Along the way, she also dabbled in sprint cars at a variety of Indiana tracks.

Her accomplishments in the Ford Focus series gained plenty of attention, and it wasn?t long before Ford Racing took interest. And in short order Ford signed the aspiring driver to a development contract. For the 2006 season, Ford paired her with famed car builder and championship owner Bob East. East has groomed many successful drivers over the years, including Tony Stewart, J. J. Yeley and his East?s son, Bobby East Jr.

?Stephanie (Mockler) runs really well, and she has been very surprising,? East said. ?In our first year, I wanted her to just finish races and now we are going to work our way up the ladder. We?ve moved up to the USAC National Midget Series on a full-time basis in 2007. A top-10 finish would be a huge accomplishment for us, and I think she can do it.?

Complimenting his prot

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