Edwards cruises to first Autobahn win

John Edwards is three-fourths through a perfect weekend in Joliet, two days after a perfect game in baseball occurred in the Windy City. He's captured pole positions for both Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship races, and now has scored a win in...

John Edwards is three-fourths through a perfect weekend in Joliet, two days after a perfect game in baseball occurred in the Windy City. He's captured pole positions for both Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship races, and now has scored a win in the first race.

The 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky. stormed to a dominant victory from pole position and led lights to flag. His second win of the season came in race one of Atlantic's double-header weekend at the Autobahn Country Club.

"It's never easy, and the first lap my tires weren't up to temps," Edwards said, noting his race was much harder from the cockpit than it may have appeared. "Once my car got up to temps I think I built 5 seconds up within the first few laps."

While Edwards won, it was a perfect day for his Newman Wachs Racing team as Jonathan Summerton fought hard to finish second and lead home Simona de Silvestro, the series points leader. Coincidentally, they finished this race in the same order they will start tomorrow's after this morning's qualifying.

There were two things that detracted from making this a perfect race for Edwards. The first was a near disaster on the initial standing start when the lights went out early and Edwards stalled, and the second was his teammate eclipsing him for fastest race lap on the final lap. Though no points are awarded for fastest lap, it was definitely a matter of bragging rights within the team.

"We're very proud people," Edwards admitted. "I was a little disappointed Jonathan got fastest lap there right on the last lap, but I am still really happy for Eddie Wachs and the whole team."

The result is the first 1-2 for Newman Wachs in Atlantic competition. Both Edwards and Summerton still trail de Silvestro in the standings. The Team Stargate Worlds driver leads unofficially on 103 points, with Edwards second on 93 and Summerton third on 89.

Summerton had to avoid what would have been a catastrophic accident on the start when Edwards stalled. Summerton trailed just behind and swerved left to avoid contact. It was a great start for the Floridian but his second start wasn't quite as good.

"A lot was going through my mind right there!" Summerton said. "Basically I was ready to go, I had a great start and suddenly he stopped in front of me. There were no yellows so I kept going until I saw a yellow. The next start the tires were a little too hot but still able to get a good race pace going."

Though Summerton's second start wasn't great, at least it wasn't too great of a start. De Silvestro lost her runner-up position through jumping the second start, falling to third. She was never more than a few tenths behind Summerton but was never able to catch him up.

"I jumped the start, I rolled a little bit and that's all it takes with these cars," she said. "So I kind of threw myself off there. Our car still drove really well, but he drove a great race and didn't make a mistake. I was hoping he would go off but he didn't!"

De Silvestro, the lone female driver in the series, was recognized on the podium for achieving her record fourth win, her third this season, in Atlantic Championship competition for her previous week's victory in Lime Rock. Starting from third tomorrow, she hopes to extend her string of success and break up this weekend's Newman Wachs juggernaut.

Frederic Vervisch and Tonis Kasemets completed the top five. Remaining finishers were Borja Garcia, Frankie Muniz, Max Lefevre and James Winslow.

There wasn't much in the way of passing. Muniz made a good move on Lefevre for seventh and Winslow soon followed, otherwise the field held in station without the benefit of a caution flag after the first lap.

The lone caution came when defending series champion Markus Niemela of Jensen Motorsport stopped on track just after the official start. That ended a short day for the team as their second car, driven by Michael Nacol, did not start. Nacol's participation tomorrow is uncertain.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Tonis Kasemets , Borja Garcia , Simona de Silvestro , Frederic Vervisch , Jonathan Summerton , John Edwards , Max Lefevre , Markus Niemela , Eddie Wachs , Frankie Muniz