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HOMESTEAD -- The third season of Ford Racing’s Mustang Challenge kicks off this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jason von Kluge, driver of the JVK Motorsports Mustang, finished third in the 2009 championship and is the highest ranked returning driver in 2010. The Ann Arbor, Michigan native took a few minutes to chat with Ford Racing on the start of the 2010 Mustang Challenge season.
Q. YOU ARE THE HIGEST RETURNING DRIVER FROM 2009. DOES THAT MAKES YOU THE CHAMPIONSHIP FAVORITE?
A. I don’t know if that makes me the favorite or not, I guess it might. What will help is the experience from last season coming into Miami because it was kind of a hard weekend for us last year. Yeah I am looking forward to the season and trying to win a championship.
Q. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET BACK IN THE RHYTHM WHEN YOU ARE BASICALLY TURNING YOUR FIRST LAPS IN PRACTICE? A. Luckily we get a couple of sessions on Thursday to shake off the rust and get warmed up. After tomorrow I should be fine. It has never really been a challenge for me to get into a car and get up to speed, and fortunately I am familiar with the Mustang FR500S now where last season I was in the car for the first time. So coming back it is a car I am familiar with and I think we will be ready to go by qualifying.
Q. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP FOR YOU IN YOUR RACING CAREER? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR TIME IN THE MUSTANG CHALLENGE SERIES AND THE DEVELOPMENTAL LADDER LEADING FOR YOU?
A. I would love to be in a Continental Tire [Sports Car Challenge] ride. I have tried to get a few cars together for that series, but the rides have always fallen through. I first heard about the Mustang Challenge from Larry Rehagen in 2008. I was racing for Rehagen Racing in the SCCA in American Sedan and he told me that the Mustang Challenge was a series that I needed to get into because of the affordability compared with what I was doing and that it would be a great place for me to be seen. Last year I got my Mustang about three-weeks before the first race in Miami and we were able to have some success in the series finishing third overall. Now I am hoping that a championship in Mustang Challenge will bring us forward and advance my career.