Hacquard Finishes in Top-Ten under Blue Skies at the Milwaukee Mile Cumming Wins Fourth Expert Series Race, J.C. Kester Excels on Oval While Kristy Kester Sought Speed and Positions WEST ALLIS, Wis., June 20 -- Yesterday's unyielding ...
Hacquard Finishes in Top-Ten under Blue Skies at the Milwaukee Mile
Cumming Wins Fourth Expert Series Race, J.C. Kester Excels on Oval While Kristy Kester Sought Speed and Positions
WEST ALLIS, Wis., June 20 -- Yesterday's unyielding rainstorms had a consequential impact on the schedule of events this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. The stormy weather let up just long enough for the drivers of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear to get both scheduled practice times in, but a last minute change of plans resulted in the loss of a qualifying session for the drivers, forcing them to use their fastest time from yesterday's practice sessions to cast the starting grid for today's race.
The legendary one-mile oval is the series' first oval track of the season as well as many of the drivers' first experience in an oval race. With less than one second separating the top 20 drivers, it was clear the season's maiden oval race would be a tight and unpredictable one.
Taylor Hacquard, 19, in the Wolfe Automotive Group/Texas World Speedway car started in 8th position with a time of 28.146, just .052 seconds behind Mundill's Anders Krohn, who started in 7th position. This was Hacquard's third top-ten start of the season, with a 10th place start in Miller Motorsports Park and a career-best 5th place start in race one of New Jersey Motorsports Park. Despite a rough start which caused him to fall back a few positions, Hacquard worked his way up to finish in an impressive 9th place position, his first top-ten finish of the season.
J.C. Kester, 23, in the Texas World Speedway car started in 17th position, only .049 behind Anderson Racing's Mikael Grenier and only .039 seconds in front of his sister, Kristy Kester. J.C. Kester quickly proved his driving skills on an oval track, overtaking as many as six cars at once on the first restart and improving six positions overall to finish in 11th position, his best finish of the season so far.
Kristy Kester, 21, started the race in her Texas World Speedway car from a disappointing 18th position. After a very successful test just a few weeks ago, Kester struggled to find the same rewarding results in today's race, moving up three positions but finishing one lap down in 15th position.
Chris Cumming, 38, started in 21st position with a time of 29.047, just one position ahead of fellow Expert Series competitor, Toshihiro Deki. Cumming maintained his lead over Deki throughout the entire length of the race, winning yet another Expert Series race for a total victory count of four out of the six races that have taken place thus far.
Hacquard on the race: "Unfortunately, I didn't get a good start, and I couldn't get a good run on the outside, so I dropped back several positions right away; however, I was able to work my way back up to 9th which was good. The car was really consistent, and I was turning the same lap times as some of the leaders, just further behind. If I had been able to stay in front at the start, I think I would have been in the running with the leaders, but everyone spread out as the race went on. Overall, I'm happy with my finish."
J.C. Kester on the race: "I absolutely loved the race at the start and on every restart. The car was excellent in the restarts and at the beginning of every run. I was able to get at least one car in every restart. In the first restart, I passed six cars as once which was just an unbelievable amount of fun. The longer the race went on, though, the more I started to lose my car. I couldn't get it back at the end, but I'm extremely happy with my finish at the Milwaukee Mile."
Kristy Kester on the race: "Today was kind of a disappointment for me because we did so well and were so much faster in testing. I was racing in a group of six cars or so, but I had a problem when I hit lapped traffic. Once the leader caught us, he passed me going into turn four and split me from my group. That's when the yellow flag came out, and I was not allowed to stay with my original group but had to stay behind the leader instead. After that, I was a lap down and didn't get to race for positions. At that point, there was really nothing else I could do."
Cumming on the race: "I've never been to an oval track before this weekend, but I came with the intent of running a clean and decent race. The team gave me a car that was comfortable to drive around an oval, and the race went the way I wanted it to go. It was pretty uneventful for me, but it was a good race overall, and I'm happy to take home another Expert Series win."
Round seven of the Star Mazda Championship continues next month, July 10th, at Iowa Speedway. This will be the second oval track of the season for the series, and with a little oval racing experience now under their belts, the Kester 3G drivers hope to perform at the top of their games.