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Carl Edwards drives Mustang to its first NASCAR-sanctioned victory

Carl Edwards drives the No. 60 Ford Mustang during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Carl Edwards drives the No. 60 Ford Mustang during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

FORT WORTH, Texas - Mustang added another series victory to its 47-year racing resume with today's first NASCAR-sanctioned race win as Carl Edwards took home the checkered flag in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"A historic moment today by Mustang," Director of Ford Motorsports Jamie Allison said. "We are all proud of Mustang's first win in a NASCAR Nationwide race. This victory by Carl Edwards puts his name into the record books among the many great drivers who have won in Mustangs since it debuted in 1964.

"It was always said Mustang was 'born to race,' and this victory, along with the victories Mustang has won in drag racing, sports car racing and rally racing over the years, just further proves that point."

Other Mustang Motorsports Milestones:

• A little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, Mustang was on the race track as a pace car leading the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Before the year was out, Mustang was a winner in competition, finishing first and second in class in the 1964 Tour de France international rally.

• By 1965, Ford was involved with cars competing in the National Hot Rod Association's Factory Experimental, or A/FX class, as the 427-cubic-inch single overhead cam V-8 made a potent powerplant in Holman & Moody's A/FX Mustangs. Ten of these Mustangs were built, and five of them qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator field at the '65 NHRA Winternationals. Bill Lawton drove his Tasca Ford Mustang A/FX to victory in the car's very first race.

• In 1965, Carroll Shelby, responding to Ford's challenge to build a winning road racing program, introduced the Mustang GT-350 - a stripped down Mustang 2+2 with modified suspension, shocks, steering, brakes and Ford 289-cubic-inch V-8s - for Sports Car Club of America competition. Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue drove GT-350s to national titles in 1965, and the GT-350 went on to win SCCA B-Production national championships for three straight years.

• To performance enthusiasts, 1969 was dominated by the hottest Mustangs ever - 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302. Three modified examples of this fearsome threesome were taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in search of speed records. Driven by Mickey Thompson, Danny Ongais, Ray Brock and Bob Ottum, they collected 295 United States Auto Club-certified records, including a 24-hour run on a 10-mile course at an average speed of 157 miles an hour.

• In 1970, Bud Moore's team raced against one of the most competitive Trans-Am fields of all time with six factory teams. Parnelli Jones and George Follmer fulfilled the promise of a year earlier by winning six races and the manufacturers' championship as Jones took the drivers' title.

• Mustang was a favorite of short-track stock car racers through most of the seventies. In 1972, Dick Trickle raced a Mustang to a national record of 67 short track feature wins in one season. And in drag racing, drivers like Connie Kalitta, Shirley Muldowney and Don Nicholson kept Mustang in the winner's circle.

• Pro Stock gained popularity, and by 1975 a now-familiar name was in the record books. Bob Glidden drove a Ford Pinto to his first Pro Stock championship in '74, and then switched to Mustang for '75, winning four national events and his second NHRA championship - Mustang's first Pro Stock title.

• John Force, perhaps the most dominant racer of a single race series, broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national crown in his Ford Mustang Funny Car in 2002 and registered his 15th series championship last season.