Four Andersen Racing Drivers Finish Third Through Sixth Saturday; Dempsey Takes the Podium Spot MILLVILLE, N.J., Sept. 13 - While gamblers rolled dice in nearby Atlantic City, four Andersen Racing drivers rolled under the checkered flag in a...
Four Andersen Racing Drivers Finish Third Through Sixth Saturday; Dempsey Takes the Podium Spot
MILLVILLE, N.J., Sept. 13 - While gamblers rolled dice in nearby Atlantic City, four Andersen Racing drivers rolled under the checkered flag in a line with third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the first Star Mazda race ever held at New Jersey Motorsports Park Saturday afternoon.
Peter Dempsey led the charge for the Palmetto, Fla.-based team in Round 9 of the series, which is presented by Goodyear. Driving a car that is sponsored by LotusWorks, Center Jewellers.ie, Quayside.ie, Motorsport Ireland, Allied Interior Products and Trojan Complete IT Solutions, the three-time winner from Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland led a lap before he finished right where he started in third place. With his father, Cliff Dempsey, looking on, he also set the second-fastest lap of the race with a lap in 1:16.452 (102.511 miles per hour).
Valle Makela of Laitila, Finland made an impressive debut with the team when he started fifth and finished fourth in the 32-lap/45-minute, 23-car race with his entry, which is sponsored by Amitec and Allied Building Products. He
Andersen Racing's Tom Gladdis of the Isle of Wight and Gibraltar advanced two spots from his qualifying position to finish fifth in the Marrache & Co. No. 5. Charles Hall also moved up substantially, as the young driver from Sheffield, England qualified ninth and finished sixth with his car, which is sponsored by Blimpie, AccentBanking.com, Pardoes Solicitors and Allied Interior Products. Gladdis and Hall swapped positions during a lively battle and Gladdis even spun once before it was all over.
Dempsey held the pole for the bulk of the qualifying session Saturday morning until he pitted to save his Goodyear tires for the race. That allowed Joel Miller to win the pole, while John Edwards started second and Dempsey powered off from the standing start in third.
Miller led the race initially and was able to build up a big advantage over Edwards and Dempsey until lapped traffic allowed them to catch up. Edwards passed Miller in lapped traffic around lap 22, and shortly thereafter Dempsey got around them both with a beautiful pass to take the lead.
Dempsey led one lap until Edwards got back by him to push him to second. Edwards went on to win the race over Miller, who got back by Dempsey later on too.
Dempsey hung on for the podium finish despite the fact that a visor tear-off had gotten caught in his car's radiator, causing the engine to overheat and lose power. His impressive drive was also hampered by a backmarker who fought him until warned to stop by race officials, and by a little contact with Edwards that compromised the handling of Dempsey's car.
They'll all try again in the second half of the Jersey doubleheader on Sunday, which begins with qualifying at 9:20 a.m. The standing start for Round 10 is slated for 2:15 p.m.
After that, only two races remain: Oct. 3 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. and Oct. 18 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
The SPEED TV schedule shows Dempsey's Aug. 23 victory at Mosport airing at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. Saturday's race at New Jersey is slated to be shown at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5, while Sunday's race is scheduled to be broadcast at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12. The Road Atlanta race is scheduled to air at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18. Laguna Seca's TV time slot is 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8. All times are Eastern and subject to change; please see speedtv.com for updates.
Andersen Racing is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp. It is the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing. For more information see andersenracingteam.com, andersenracepark.com and starmazda.com.
Post-race quotes follow:
Peter Dempsey: "I got a great start and I had to make a few moves at the first corner. Unfortunately Joel braked early and Edwards got me around the outside, and on the exit we touched and my tracking was knocked out by 4mm. All I could do was settle for third at that point. Fortunately the front two were caught in traffic and I took the lead with a really enjoyable move! U nfortunately the engine was overheating though, so I lost power and dropped back to third. I would like to thank my sponsors, the team, and all of the team's sponsors and supporters who attended today."
Valle Makela: "I got a good start and settled in behind Dempsey. After four or five laps, they upped the pace and I realized that they had just a little extra pace, so I tried to stay in touch just in case, but making sure I preserved my fourth place. Then I saw Gladdis behind me and I had to push to make a gap to him. In the end I was all on my own and developed a gearbox problem, so I had to nurse the car home."
Tom Gladdis: "I had a really good start, moving up to fifth. I pulled a gap from Charles and started pushing Valle. I missed a downshift into Turn 9 and ended up entering too fast and spinning. Charles got by, but I got back past him going into Turn 1 a few laps later. I started chasing Valle down again but I just ran out of laps to catch him. I think fourth was the best we could have hoped for, but fifth is solid. I want to thank Mike Reggio and Dave DeMarchi and my sponsors, Marrache and Allied, and my parents and the team."
Charles Hall: "We had trouble conserving tires; they went away during the race. Tomorrow is a new day. We need a little bit of bad luck for some of the other guys."