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Eight-Year-Old's 'All American' Paint Scheme Walks Away With Ford Customer Service Division's Funny Car Design Contest to Support Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- NHRA Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III has always said he's just an all American kid driving an all American hot rod. During this weekend's NHRA event, his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang will certainly reflect that statement.


After six weeks of voting and more than 300 designs submitted, Liam Flanagan, an eight-year-old resident of Williamstown, NJ, was selected as the winning designer in FCSD's Funny Car design contest to support JDRF. Flanagan's winning design will be featured on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car during the NHRA Carolinas Nationals in Concord, NC, on September 18-20.

"In history class we're learning about the Presidents, and that's why I drew the American Flag on the car," said Flanagan, on the inspiration for his design.

The Flanagan family, along with Tasca and representatives from FCSD, unveiled the 'Take a Walk in Our Shoes' paint scheme Thursday, September 17 at Tasca's race shop in Concord, NC. On Friday, Liam and his family will attend their first NHRA race and watch the JDRF-themed Shelby Mustang qualify for the Second Annual NHRA Carolina Nationals.

"I've never been to a race before," said Liam. "My Mom and Dad, grandparents, sisters and I are so excited to watch Bob drive the car with my design on it."

Flanagan raised $5,200 for JDRF with his design, the most of any designer. That number, added to the money raised by the more than 300 car designs that were submitted, brought the total for the contest to $39,542.59 for research for Type 1 diabetes.

"Liam's design looks fantastic on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang," said Brett Wheatley, Director of Marketing, Ford Customer Service Division. "It's so great to see someone so young help raise awareness for such a special and deserving cause. I'd like to thank all of our generous race fans who donated more than $39,000 towards finding a cure for type 1 diabetes."

Each design was featured on from July 1 to August 14. During that time, the public was invited to vote for their favorite car design by making a monetary donation to JDRF. The top five donation-earning designs were narrowed down to one by a panel of judges from Ford Motor Company.

"The Mustang looks awesome," said Bob Tasca III. "I'm privileged to be part of a program that helps raise money for such a worthwhile cause. It's an honor for me to race in that all-American hot rod, but the true stars of this weekend are Liam and his family. The Flanagans will be with the race team this weekend in Concord and together we will share the message of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation."

Tasca will put the JDRF-designed fire suit and helmet up for auction later this season.

Diabetes affects more Ford families than any other disease. Ford Motor Company has raised more than $23 million for JDRF since the grassroots campaign started in 1998.

About Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease, which strikes children suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.16 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008, bringing the cumulative total of research funding to more than $1.3 billion. In FY2008, the Foundation funded 1,000 centers, grants and fellowships in 22 countries.

About Motorcraft

Motorcraft(R) offers a complete line of original equipment-approved parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to underhood and powertrain repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available locally and are backed nationwide by Ford Motor Company's Service Parts Limited Warranty. For more information, visit

About Quick Lane

Quick Lane(R) provides automotive quick services for all makes and models. Quick Lane's(R) nationwide network of over 500 facilities provides the convenience of an aftermarket company (no appointment necessary, service while you wait, evening and weekend hours, competitive prices) with the confidence of a major automotive manufacturer (quality parts, factory-trained technicians). Quick Lane(R) is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With more than 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

SOURCE Ford Customer Service Division
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