Road Atlanta: Juncos Racing race report

Conor Daly Wins First Annual Visit Florida Cup and 12th Podium at Road Atlanta, Martin Scuncio Finishes Fourth in Rookie Race Braselton, Ga. (October 1, 2010) - After a dream season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, 2010...

Conor Daly Wins First Annual Visit Florida Cup and 12th Podium at Road Atlanta, Martin Scuncio Finishes Fourth in Rookie Race

Braselton, Ga. (October 1, 2010) - After a dream season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, 2010 Driver Champion Conor Daly won yet another championship-the first annual Visit Florida Cup-at today's season finale at Road Atlanta when he finished third in the race and claimed his 12th podium of the season. Not only will Daly take home the massive Visit Florida Cup itself, but he has also won a custom Florida dream vacation courtesy of the state's official tourism and marketing organization.

"It was a great end to a great season with Juncos Racing," said Daly. "The guys worked really hard all weekend, and we were only missing a very little bit of time on the track. Connor (De Phillippi) drove a great race, and I just tried to hang onto second place. I was very happy with finishing second, but then I was told when I got out of the car that I did not finish second because I had incurred a penalty for blocking. It's okay, though, because I had a great season, and I'm so happy to have been on the podium again for the final race. It was a really great year."

In addition to the two championship accomplishments, the 18-year-old now officially holds the record for most podiums and pole positions won in a single season and tied the record for most wins. The only time Daly did not achieve a podium finish was when he finished in fourth place at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Daly has not only demonstrated his incredible talent and ability on track this season, but he has also shown his genuine class and humility off the track, proving he truly is an all-around champion.

Another standout in this afternoon's race was debut driver Martin Scuncio who put on an incredible performance that showcased his star potential. Scuncio, who started in fifth position, had an unbelievable start that saw him rocketing past two cars to take third position before he had even reached the first turn. The 19-year-old stayed right on second-place Daly's tail for the first half of the race until he unexpectedly spun off course. Scuncio restarted in a flash, however, and refocused on making his way back up to a podium finish. After some great battles with other drivers, the young Argentinean crossed the finish line in a well-deserved and respected fourth position.

"It was a great race until I spun," said Scuncio. "After that, I really woke up and continued to drive with even more focus. I'm very happy with the way this weekend went. The Juncos Racing team did a great job. The guys here are awesome, and I really hope to stay with them for next year."

With Daly and Scuncio being the top team finishers in today's race, Juncos Racing gladly finished second in the Team Championship just 15 points behind veteran team Andersen Racing-a well-earned improvement from last year's finish of third place.

Teammate Tatiana Calderon had a highly praised rookie season this year with official race finishes as high as sixth and on-track improvements that saw her racing alongside the top competitors in the series. Yesterday's short, wet qualifying session challenged the 17-year-old as she attempted to clock in lap times, resulting in a 13th place starting position and an 11th place finish in today's race. Regardless, Calderon was the fourth best finishing rookie out of the 12 that competed in the driver's championship this season, an impressive achievement for the young Colombian.

"It was a good race," said Calderon. "It started off kind of badly because the car stalled right when the green lights came on, but I got the car going again. I lost a couple of positions at the beginning because of that, but I was really consistent during the race. The car was really good throughout the race, too, so I'm happy about that. I'm really looking forward to next season with Juncos Racing."

Rusty Mitchell brought his talent to the Juncos Racing team this season beginning with the Iowa Speedway event in June. Since then, he has been supplying consistent top-ten finishes and adding to the team's success story. Mitchell's race today started off being affected by an unfulfilling qualifying session which was affected by a red flag and bad weather. Though the young Texan was still starting the race in a respectable ninth place, engine problems gave him even more trouble as he started his final race of the season. Despite the setbacks, Mitchell fought throughout the race as he always does to ultimately finish in 12th place.

"I had a good start, but the engine was a little down at the start of the race. I leaned it down one setting, and it came back working great after that. The car was good until I got involved in a battle for position and spun off track. There were only five laps to go after I got going again, but I was able to pass a couple of cars before the end of the race and finish in 12th. Despite a tough race for me this time, I want to congratulate to Juncos Racing for a really great season of racing."

"This is the end of an unbelievable season for us," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We knew Conor (Daly) had won the driver's championship at the last race, but it's great to have yet another podium with him today. I'm so happy for Martin Scuncio, too. This was the right way to start his first Star Mazda Championship race. I really think he showed everybody and himself what he can do in a Formula Mazda, and I really hope we are able to work together again next year.

"Unfortunately we had engine issues with Rusty (Mitchell) at the beginning of race which caused him to fall back and have to fight his way back up. He had a great first half of season, but the engine needed a lot of help for this race. We tried everything and so did he, but I guess that's part of racing.

"With Tatiana (Calderon), everything got complicated in qualifying when she couldn't get a proper lap time in and improve like she had been doing in the Wednesday practice sessions. So, she ended up starting 13th, and then the engine stalled at the start of the race. She was then at the back of the pack, but she once again showed she's a strong and aggressive driver by pushing ahead for results without the help of any yellow flags during the race. Her results this season have made me very sure about her future success in 2011.

"We were pushing to try to win the Team Championship at this race, and we ended up really close which makes the whole team happy and made all of their hard work worthwhile. I want to thank everybody on the team again as well as the Juncos Racing drivers for a truly spectacular season."

Today's race officially concluded the 13-race, 11-weekend 2010 Star Mazda Championship. The Juncos Racing team finished the season with multiple new records and achievements and an extremely deserving championship win, proving they really are true winners. For more information and to stay up-to-date on Juncos Racing, please go to www.juncosracing.com.

-source: juncos racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Rusty Mitchell , Conor Daly , Tatiana Calderon , Martin Scuncio
Teams Juncos Racing