Macri & Miami: A hot combination as driver takes 5th in season finale! Miami, Florida (September 28, 2003) - Jonathan Macri, driver of the ...
Macri & Miami: A hot combination as driver takes 5th in season finale!
Miami, Florida (September 28, 2003) - Jonathan Macri, driver of the #84 NTN Bearings swift, wrapped up his Toyota Atlantic season by coming out into the steamy Miami heat in 9th position off the grid and fighting his way up to cross the checkered flag in 5th place. With temperatures in the 90's and humidity nearly as high, the "Grand Prix Americas Grand Prix presented by Sportsbook.com" track was sizzling as the hot tires ran for an hour around the narrow course. Macri, who finished his 3rd season in the Toyota Atantics, is a veteran racer who can handle any racing situation and proved that the heat only added fuel to his fire.
When the green flag waved at 10:30 a.m. to start the race, Macri did what is now becoming a signature move as he jumped up in positions after the green flag. Within seconds there was a yellow flag as the starting positions weren't properly aligned. Then, as #27 Joey Hand wasn't in position at the time of the green flag, he was forced to s! tart at the back of the line. This pushed Macri up into the 6th position. On Lap 8 of a green course, #12 Marc Breuers spun into the tire barrier at Turn 3 causing the rear wing to be removed from the car. Macri, unable to steer clear of the debris, hit the wing that was laying in the track, yet luckily he sustained no damage to his car. The race continued without incident until Lap 35 when #3 Aaron Justus was black flagged as he had sustained wing damage which was hanging off his car. The black flag situation allowed Macri to pull into the 5th position where he remained until the checkered flag.
"We had a good finish today. I was very happy with the car the team gave me as it allowed me to be confident and push the car hard to get ahead", Macri stated. "Overall this has been a season that didn't exactly turn out the way I expected, but I learned so much from my team. I also am very grateful for my three seasons in the Toyota Atlantic series as it has been the foundatio! n of my racing career. I have learned the most about the sport in my three years here."
Macri's season would not have been as successful had it not been for the support of the people around him. "I really want to thank my team for welcoming me to their organization and for their support", Macri commented. "Also, I would be no where without my sponsor NTN Bearings. They have been with me for years and are always on the sidelines with unending support and confidence in me. They are such a great sponsor and I am very appreciative of all that they have done. I also am very thankful for my family and friends who have believed in me from my go-kart days. It has been such an interesting ride and I plan on continuing on at the next level."
Macri is a talented driver who embodies the perfect package of intelligence on the track, unending patience and admiration for his fans, and a love for his sport. His humble attitude and passion for racing will be a tremendous asset t! o him as he looks to make the jump to his dream...a ride in a Champ Car. In the next few months away from the track, Macri plans on watching some football, spending time with friends, training and figuring out his racing future. "I want a ride in Champ Car. I always have. It would be the ultimate accomplishment for me and for the people who have supported me all these years", stated Macri.
With today's finish, Macri takes the 4th position with 145 overall points in the Toyota Atlantic Championship standings. Macri ended the season just 16 points behind third place fellow Canadian and Lynx driver Michael Valiante of Vancouver and 22 points ahead of fifth place finisher #3 RuSport driver Aaron Justus. Macri is the only driver in the series to have completed every lap this season. Today's win was his eigth top five result of the season. Macri has had nine podium finishes in his Atlantic career, with five coming this season.
The scheduled distance for the 2003 Toyot! a Atlantic season finale was 55 laps (63.25 miles), but was subject to a 50-minute time limit. SPEED Channel will provide television coverage in the United States and Canada on a 90-minute tape delay beginning at 12:00 Noon EST with re-broadcasts September 29 at 3:00 p.m. EST and Friday, October 3 at 5:00 p.m. EST.