News

Half Shaft Heartbreak for Crown Royal Multimatic Ford Squad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 7th, 2005) – After a night of setbacks, the Crown Royal Multimatic Ford “Team of Champions” suffered the ultimate heartache when the car retired from the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the final hour.

After suffering three cv-joint/half-shaft failures during the night, Greg Biffle was finally left without drive to the rear tires by a fourth breakdown 50 minutes from the end of the race.

After spending a combined total of more than two hours in the garage to fix the previous problems, the final failure was a bitter pill to swallow for Biffle, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Scott Maxwell and the entire Crown Royal / Multimatic Motorsports team.

“This one was tough. Our guys had worked so hard during the night to get the car back on track and everybody was excited to simply get the car to the finish,” said Larry Holt, Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director.

“It’s times like this that are really heartbreaking, but we have had our good days with a Daytona Prototype win here and an LMP675 class victory on debut at Le Mans. This is a percentage game, and there are 27 other Daytona Prototype teams that are just as disappointed.

“But what I’m really proud about is the amazing team of mechanics we have here at Multimatic. I firmly believe we have the best group of guys in the paddock – the way they worked through the night to get that car back out there was amazing.

“Our drivers also did an outstanding job. Scott Maxwell is always outstanding in our cars and the three NASCAR guys showed we had a line-up that can win this race – they were brilliant to work with and adapted really well to a type of racing they have never experienced before.

“We would have loved to have finished with a better result for Crown Royal and Ford, but the result certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort.”

Quotes

Scott Maxwell

“With three rookie drivers – they’re not rookies, but they’re rookies to this type of racing – they’ve done a fantastic job. They haven’t let us down at all. The car let us down a bit with the axles, but they haven’t really done anything wrong. They were getting quicker every shift and I think they really enjoyed it. I think it’s a good foundation if they want to come back next year, and we’ll have a real go at it.” Not only are they big names, but they’re personalities and the way we meshed has been a lot of fun, and a bit of a surprise because these guys are superstars, and with all due respect, I’m just a journeyman sports car driver who is just trying to plug out a career.”

Greg Biffle

“It’s tough. The guys have worked so hard and you could see the energy in them when we were going for the last stint. They were excited about getting the checkered flag and I was excited about being the one to drive it across the start-finish line. If we wouldn’t have had that axle shaft problem the whole day I think we would be right in the hunt. We were a little bit off on lap times at times but we weren’t that bad. It’s kind of tough. This Multimatic Crown Royal car ran really well, we just had those problems that put us in garage three times for the same thing. It’s probably just an issue with bad parts, but the car ran really fast and I had a great time.”

Kurt Busch

“It was a great challenge. I had fun, I didn’t run into anything and that was an accomplishment. To be able to communicate with this group and have fun like we did, it was a great foundation to build a 24-hour reputation on. It was the adrenaline that was keeping us running. I don’t know how many times you can do this and still have that motivation to jump right back in the car and keep digging. It was a blast and just a chance to do something for the first time and now we can build on this for the future. We’ll see how things progress. I’d love to have another opportunity.”

Matt Kenseth

“It wasn’t as tough as I thought staying up all night and doing all of that, and I was really excited so I didn’t get hardly any sleep. I feel pretty good as far as that goes. It’s hard to compete because you have to have everything working good, and we were a little bit behind on speed the whole time and then when we broke all of those times as well. It’s a little bit tough when you’re that far behind because you’re hanging in there in the beginning and you’re watching the sheet and trying to move up. I’d want to do it again whenever I could. I’d love to run Watkins Glen. I’d love to do it again it next year.”