Jonathan Summerton came up just short of an Atlantic Championship in 2008. For the rest of 2009, the prodigious American talent will have a chance at capturing that crown with the same team as he did a year ago.
In a year spent balancing driving in both Atlantic and the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Summerton now has one secure seat for the balance of the year - the #34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI entry for Newman Wachs Racing.
Summerton has driven the first four events in Atlantic this season for Genoa Racing, winning the first race in a double-header weekend at Millville, N.J. He currently stands second in points, eight markers behind Simona de Silvestro.
"I am very excited to re-join the team and get back to our winning ways of last year," Summerton said. "I appreciate the opportunity Eddie has given me and I am looking forward to winning the championship that the team deserves."
Summerton's teammate is defending Star Mazda champion John Edwards in the #36 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Energy entry. Edwards won the season-opening round at Sebring.
Summerton won twice driving for NWR in Atlantic in 2008, as part of a five-race stretch where either he or his fellow American named Jonathan (Bomarito), scored the victory. Both drivers were eclipsed by Finnish driver Markus Niemela by the season finale at Road Atlanta.
This season, Summerton drove in the first six events in Indy Lights for RLR Andersen Racing, posting a best finish of second at the first race of the year in St. Petersburg. He briefly led the series standings on the strength of three top-five and four top-ten finishes.
Unfortunately, financial reasons dictated a change within the seat to Chilean driver Pablo Donoso prior to the race at Iowa Speedway.
The Atlantic Championship resumes its 2009 season in two weeks time at Lime Rock Park racing with the American Le Mans Series, and then is the feature series running at the Autobahn Country Club circuit in Joliet, Ill. on July 25 and 26.