CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose: Polestar Racing preview

Sciuto Returns to Site of His Atlantic Series Debut in San Jose Polestar team won last year's San Jose Atlantic race with Katherine Legge Chardon, Ohio (July 26, 2006) -- After finishing fourth in his Champ Car Atlantic series debut last year in...

Sciuto Returns to Site of His Atlantic Series Debut in San Jose
Polestar team won last year's San Jose Atlantic race with Katherine Legge

Chardon, Ohio (July 26, 2006) -- After finishing fourth in his Champ Car Atlantic series debut last year in San Jose, you could say that Polestar Racing Group driver Alan Sciuto (#12 Sealy/PKV Racing/The RoomStore of Phoenix) has some unfinished business to tend to on the challenging temporary street circuit. Ironically, Sciuto was beaten by the very team he drives for today, as Polestar captured the 2005 San Jose Atlantic race win with rookie driver Katherine Legge.

Polestar Racing Group teammate Alex Barron (#21 The RoomStore of Phoenix) has also been on a charge lately, cracking his first top five finish in Toronto a few weeks ago, and moving up seven spots in Edmonton last weekend. And if there's anything the 1997 Atlantic series champion would like to add to his accomplishments, it's a victory in this weekend's Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow Atlantic race.

"San Jose is the first track this season that I have previously raced at," said Sciuto, who last year also contested Atlantic rounds in Denver and at Wisconsin's Road America. "I can't say it's been a big disadvantage not to have been at any of the tracks so far, but I think it certainly will help knowing the basic layout in San Jose. The cars are completely different this year so you really can't compare driving styles. The field is also so competitive this year and it has been a greater challenge than I think anyone ever expected. But, as always, we'll give it our best shot and it would be great to improve on where I finished last year."

"We seem to be doing better on the street courses, so I think San Jose should be a good weekend for us," said Barron, who took the 1997 Atlantic title with five wins, four poles and six fastest-race laps. "Edmonton was kind of a tough race for us, but we did well in Toronto and Long Beach, and were running strong in Houston, too. We really need to focus on getting a better starting position, particularly for a street course where it's sometimes a bit harder to pass. The team did well here last year and that should also help give us some added confidence."

Barron, of Menifee, Calif., is the only Atlantic series champion in the field this weekend. Since winning the 1997 Atlantic title, he competed in the Champ Car World Series and Indy Racing League from 1998 to 2005 with such teams as Cheever Racing, All American Racers and Team Penske. This is his first appearance at San Jose's street course.

Orange, California - native Sciuto, 18, was recognized as North America's top shifter kart racer in 2004 before competing in three Atlantic races last year. He qualified seventh in his series debut in San Jose, then the following week in Denver led both rounds of qualifying to capture his first career Atlantic pole position and establish himself as the youngest-ever Atlantic pole winner at just 17 years of age. He is currently eighth overall and the fifth highest rookie in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic season standings.

Polestar co-owners Jim Griffith, Pam Griffith and Bruce Potter are all experienced Atlantic veterans, having been instrumental to the Atlantic championship-winning efforts of Barron, Patrick Carpentier (1996) and Buddy Rice (2000).

For 2006, the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, now in it's 33rd year, features an all-new made-in-the-USA Atlantic Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine. All competitors are vying for an unprecedented $2 million bonus designed for the series champion to use in securing a full-time Champ Car ride in 2007.

This weekend's Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow Atlantic race is scheduled to begin Sunday, July 30 at 10:30 AM local, and will be televised via SPEED on Saturday, August 5 at 4:00 PM ET. The race will also air to U.S. service men and women in over 130 countries around the world through the American Forces Radio & Television Service.

-www.polestarracinggroup.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Katherine Legge , Buddy Rice , Alan Sciuto
Teams Team Penske