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Women Groomed to Take First NASCAR Victory

Source: Ford Motor Company | Published: Fri Nov 04, 2005

Baseball has the minor leagues, football cultivates its players in the college ranks, and now racing has a way to groom 'players' for the future – only these players are specifically female.
Clorox and Ford are teaming up to develop young, diverse driving talent. Unlike other efforts, there’s a major NASCAR series ride at the end of the rainbow. Program driver Alison MacLeod and her Clorox Ford Focus Midget will hit the track Thanksgiving evening – Nov. 24 – as USAC hosts its traditional “Turkey Night” series of races at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, pursuing her dream of a seat in NASCAR.

The program is directed by Bob East, a noted chassis builder and USAC championship team owner. He has developed some of NASCAR’s biggest names over the years, including past series champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Carl Edwards and Ken Schrader also spent time behind the wheel of a USAC car before progressing to NASCAR’s premier stock-car division.

Recently, MacLeod finished second in the USAC Ford Focus Midget Series feature race at the Indianapolis (Ind.) Speedrome.

Although she didn’t win, MacLeod became a major part of history. She finished behind one female driver and ahead of another, believed to be the very first time in the history of any sanctioned series that a race resulted in an all-female podium finish.

The next day, Ford Racing, Clorox and ST Motorsports announced their multi-year commitment to develop a female driver in USAC midget racing and eventually graduate her to a NASCAR Busch Series team campaigned by ST Motorsports, which currently fields the No. 47 Clorox Ford driven by Jon Wood and the No. 59 Kingsford Ford driven by Stacy Compton.

“This has been a great experience,” says MacLeod, about racing in the USAC Ford Focus Midget Series. “I’ve had a chance to work with Bob East, who is a legend in the sport. I'm living the dream of any young driver.”

"We will be sponsoring the cars that remarkable young women will drive on their journey, but it's their dream – the dream of women in racing – that will take them to NASCAR," said Tarang Amin, Vice President of Laundry & Home Care Marketing for Clorox.

Female drivers have periodically been a part of NASCAR since the series’ very early days in the 1940s; however, none have ever won a race nor stayed on the circuit for any length of time. This program intends to not only change that, but to build on it.

“Ford’s customer base is diverse, and its driver roster should be diverse, too,” says Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. “It's our intent that when the first woman wins a NASCAR Nextel Cup race and drives into Victory Lane, she’ll be driving a Ford.”

Alison MacLeod and her Clorox Ford Focus Midget Photo Gallery
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