Scott Jenkins finishes third in Star Mazda Series championship October 16, 2004. Monterey, California. Driving for all he was worth, Scott Jenkins wrapped up a successful season with a fourth place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the ...
Scott Jenkins finishes third in Star Mazda Series championship
October 16, 2004. Monterey, California. Driving for all he was worth, Scott Jenkins wrapped up a successful season with a fourth place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Environmental Fibers International Mazda to clinch third place in the 2004 Star Mazda Series North American Championship presented by Goodyear.
"Coming into this weekend we were on a mindset of getting the pole and winning the last race of the year," the Portland, Oregon resident said. Entering the weekend with a mathematical chance to claim the championship, Jenkins and eventual champion Michael McDowell put on an exhibition in qualifying, trading fast laps back and forth during the 22 minute session.
"Team Bucknum gave me an excellent car for qualifying but Michael put an outstanding lap together to claim the pole," Jenkins explained. "We knew it would all come down to the race results and unfortunately we missed the setup by just a few clicks, which in a series as competitive as this can make all the difference on the track."
Jenkins would line up second on the grid for the start but would fall back to fourth after pushing wide in turn two on the opening lap. "I was pushing hard to defend my position and the car got into the dirty part of the track and that opened the door for a couple of cars to slip past me," Jenkins said.
Recovering quickly, Jenkins was able to defend his position for the remainder of the race, but it wasn't enough to overtake McDowell for the championship as McDowell held on for a second place finish. "We knew we would need McDowell to make a mistake or have a mechanical problem to capture the title, and we were in a position to exploit that if it had occurred but Michael didn't put a wheel wrong all race," commented Jenkins. "I am definitely satisfied with our finish in the championship this year as we had a very steep learning curve with the new car. Over the winter I think we will become even better as we focus on the 2005 championship."
Jenkins, who wasn't certain where, or if he would compete in 2004, had nothing but praise for his sponsors and team for their efforts over the season, "Everything for the 2004 season fell into place right before Sebring, with the team taking delivery of the car two days before the first practice session. To finish the season in the top three, in a series as competitve as this, without any preseason testing is incredible," Jenkins explained.
"I can't say enough to show my appreciation to the people off the track that made this whole year come together from my family, close friends and to my long time sponsors, Environmental Fibers International and AGG Enterprises. I also have to give special thanks to Team Bucknum Racing for believing in me and my desire to succeed," he added.
In the final tally, Jenkins finished the season with one pole position and five podium finishes. He had seven top fives, finished in the top ten in every race of the season, and was the only driver to complete every lap of every race.
Round Ten of the Star Mazda Series North American Championship presented by Goodyear will be televised by Speed Channel on Sunday, October 31st at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. You can also watch Scott Jenkins and the Star Mazda Series on Saturday, October 23, at 11:30 PM Eastern Time when Speed Channel broadcasts Round Nine of the championship held at Phoenix International Raceway on October 2nd.