June 10, 2019
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Pat DiMarco, NASCAR program manager for Ford Performance.
Pat, tell us what it means to have this Michigan Heritage Trophy going home with Ford today.
PAT DiMARCO: It means everything, our employees, dealers, fans around the world. Had dinner Thursday night with the drivers. Edsel Ford invited all of us up to Henry and Claire's original estate, private dinner. It was nice to be there with the Ford family members.
He reminded us that we win 50% of the races here at MIS. He said he wanted to bring this trophy home. We did. At least 50% of the races in 2019. I think Joey said, We're at 51% now for Mr. Ford.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. How much clout does this hold to win the manufacturers trophy, especially in the Mustang's first try here at Michigan? What bragging rights come with it?
PAT DiMARCO: I think there's a lot of bragging rights for the manufacturers, especially with Ford and General Motors right here an hour away from the track. People are talking about it all the time. Even yesterday there was a Twitter war between Ford Performance and TRD. It means everything to our company, our Ford family members with Edsel. This is true to his heart.
We have a committee meeting tomorrow that this trophy will go back. At 10 a.m. tomorrow morning it will be sitting on the executives' conference room table. Means a lot to all of us that work on the program, our drivers, teams, all talk about it leading up to MIS. It's a great honor and privilege to be here and to win this trophy for all of them.
Q. With the fact that you got three in a row here at Michigan since the Stewart‑Haas dominance, what does it mean you have a team of drivers collaborating well despite having a new car?
PAT DiMARCO: We set out last year with the Mustang when we submitted it. The goal was to come out and win the Daytona 500, then to win the next race, then the next race. Obviously Michigan was high on that list, as well.
Team Penske has brought home the wins for us. You saw today Kevin Harvick was right there with Joey, made a strategy call. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
It's easy to say that the Mustang dominated MIS this year so far. Kudos to our team collectively and collaboratively, developed the Mustang along with our Ford Performance aerodynamics team. We didn't have the struggles that other OEMs have had in the past with the new car. I think this is proof to that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports