Kansas: Jonathan Summerton preview

Summerton ready to tackle 1st oval race at Kansas Speedway Jonathan Summerton will race on an oval for the first time Sunday (April 26) in the Kansas Lottery 100 at Kansas Speedway The RLR/Andersen Racing's only oval experience was a ...

Summerton ready to tackle 1st oval race at Kansas Speedway

Jonathan Summerton will race on an oval for the first time Sunday (April 26) in the Kansas Lottery 100 at Kansas Speedway

The RLR/Andersen Racing's only oval experience was a one-and-a-half day test at Kentucky Speedway a month ago, a requirement for Summerton to receive his Firestone Indy Lights license to run on ovals.

"It was a lot of fun," Summerton said. "I liked it. It plays games mentally. We didn't do any setup changes, so I kept asking myself, 'How can I change my line and make it better.' "

Summerton is second in the championship, only three points behind Junior Strous, going into the fourth race of the season. Kansas, like Kentucky a high-speed 1.5-mile oval, is the start of a four-race stretch on ovals. How quickly Summerton adapts and performs on them will be critical to his title aspirations.

RLR/Andersen won at Kansas last year with J.R. Hildebrand.

"I don't have much to live up to," Summerton said, smiling.

Summerton, who celebrated his 21st birthday Tuesday, finished fourth last Sunday at Long Beach, Calif. He started fifth in the Andersen Racing/Allied Interior Products/Lafarge North America Dallara.

"This is a track where you start is where you finish," Summerton explained. "It's just a hard track to pass on. When you're following someone, you can't show the speed you have. You get within a half second to a second of the car in front, you have issues with the turbulence. You can't get grip.

"I thought we'd have a better car here in qualifying than we ended up with. We didn't have the fastest car and the car finished where it should have. We need to do some development work for our street course setup. But all-in-all, I'm happy to finish fourth."

Summerton, of Kissimmee, Fla., was second and fourth in the doubleheader round on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., that opened the season.

"It's too early to get excited about the championship, but it's good to be in contention," Summerton said. "It's good for sponsorship. As long as we're in the top three in the championship at this point of the season, I'm happy. Consistently good results are what pays off in the end."

-credit: jsPR

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , J.R. Hildebrand