NEWMAN WACHS RACING HEADS TO SEASON-FINALE AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA WITH CHAMPIONSHIP IN SIGHT Mundelein, IL (October 7, 2009) - As NWR heads into the last race of the 2009 Atlantic Championship season this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna ...
NEWMAN WACHS RACING HEADS TO SEASON-FINALE AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA WITH CHAMPIONSHIP IN SIGHT
Mundelein, IL (October 7, 2009) - As NWR heads into the last race of the 2009 Atlantic Championship season this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, both Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards still have the championship within their reach. For 2009, the title will be determined by scoring the highest eleven points-earning events, meaning, the lowest-scoring race will be dropped. Taking this into consideration, Summerton trails points leader Simona De Silvestro by just six, and Edwards trails by eleven.
Much like last year's thrilling end to an equally tight championship fight, Summerton heads into the season-finale sitting 2nd in overall standings. While the 2008 title fight didn't end the way he would have liked, he has another strong chance of joining 37 others in being named Atlantic Champion. For Summerton to clinch the title he needs to win the race and De Silvestro must finish 3rd or worse. If this scenario occurs they will be tied, but the Championship would go to Summerton for earning more race wins. The bonus point for pole position plays a crucial role at Laguna. The NWR drivers need to be sure that one of them claims the first starting position, and not allow De Silvestro that valuable swing point. Considering Summerton has won three of the last four races, and between him and teammate Edwards, they have won five of the past six, I'd have to check with Vegas but I'd say that's pretty good odds for NWR.
Jonathan Summerton, #34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI/ Newman Wachs Racing:
"I'm looking forward to going out there and winning. I want to win this Championship, and I know that means for me I have to win this race. I know we have the car and the team and I have some unfinished business to resolve. I'm really looking forward to it and there should be some good racing and a good show for the fans at Laguna. We're going to show what the Atlantic Championship is all about."
Young Edwards, 18, is still very much in the battle as well, but the circumstances that need to occur in order for him to land on top of the standings are a bit more improbable. He needs that precious bonus point for pole, and then Summerton would have to finish 3rd or worse, and De Silvestro 6th or worse in order for him to end up on top. Stranger things have happened. The 2008 Atlantic Champion Markus Niemela went into the season-finale at Road Atlanta last year sitting in 3rd place overall and he walked away with the title. While the championship is still within Edwards' reach, he is focusing more on the race itself, admitting that he doesn't feel the pressure that the first two have on their shoulders.
John Edwards, #36 MAZDASPEED/ Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI/ Newman Wachs Racing:
"A lot has to happen for me to win this championship, I know that. All I can do is go out there and give 110% and try to win this race. It's a tough track but the NWR cars have been very quick at high speed tracks and our cars have been really hooked up. Hopefully we can keep that going. We've out-qualified Simona (De Silvestro) the past several races and I think it will come down to who can get the most out of the car between Jonathan (Summerton) and I. To win there would show that I have what it takes and end the year on a high note, but to be honest, I'm not too worried about the Championship."