Sebring: Junco Racing race report

Juncos Racing Finishes on Podium with Daly at Season-Opener in Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 19, 2010 - Juncos Racing's Conor Daly started off the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season strongly with a podium finish at the ...

Juncos Racing Finishes on Podium with Daly at Season-Opener in Sebring

SEBRING, Fla., March 19, 2010 - Juncos Racing's Conor Daly started off the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season strongly with a podium finish at the Sebring International Raceway season-opener. By the end of the first lap, Daly, who started today's race from fourth position, had rocketed to the front of the field to take the lead. The #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. / Tom Lange Co. car remained the race leader for the first third of the race, until slick track conditions came into play, causing Daly to fall back to third position where he finished the race with a solid podium position.

"The start of the race went really well," said Daly. "I was very happy with the car at the beginning of the race, but then the track seemed to get very slick as the race went on. Unfortunately the car started to get pretty hard to control in the later stages of the race, so I just did my best to hang on to it and come home with a good finish for the Championship. The team worked really hard all week, and it really paid off with good results. We'll definitely go for the win again next week in St. Petersburg."

With only five on-track sessions of experience in a Pro Formula Mazda to his name, Hayden Duerson entered today's race eager to take what he has learned in a limited amount of time to the top-ten positions. The young Florida-native seemed to be well on his way to the top half of the field, running as high as 12th position at one point, before he too began battling with changing track conditions. Unfortunately for Duerson, the track won, causing him to spin and land off-track. The 18-year-old rookie then needed to come into the pits for a quick cleaning of his #94 Juncos Racing / Tampa Bay Endodontics car before he could get started again, ultimately finishing in 18th position.

"Overall, the weekend went well for me," said Duerson. "I was able to learn the car quickly, and we were running well in the race until we had some bad luck. I hit a slick spot on the track and spun which unfortunately dropped me back several positions, and I ended up finishing 18th. I'm looking forward to racing again next week in St. Petersburg-especially since it's my hometown."

Rookie Tatiana Calderon had been driving her #25 Juncos Racing / Kia Motors car well all week, causing speculation that she would finish in the top-ten positions in her first Star Mazda Championship event. After an incident in yesterday's qualifying session, however, Calderon was forced to start the race from the back of the grid. The 17-year-old karting star then set her focus on competing for positions and finishing strongly in today's race. For most of the race, Calderon worked her way up through the field until another car spun out in front of her, taking her off the track with it and ending her first Star Mazda race early.

"I was actually happy to start from the back because then I didn't feel as much pressure going into my first race," said Calderon. "The race was going well for me, but then near the end a car in front of me just spun suddenly and took me out. I guess everyone has to crash in a race at some point, so it's better to happen to me sooner rather than later. I'm happy that I now have the experience of a race behind me, and I'm looking forward to the next race in St. Petersburg next week."

"Overall, I'm really happy with the way the weekend went," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We worked really long and hard to prepare for this race, and I want to thank everyone on the team for doing such a wonderful job. Conor (Daly) did a great job driving the car to the podium today and getting us a good amount of points for the Championship right at the beginning of the season. We are looking forward to working with him for the rest of the year and continuing to go for some wins. Tatiana (Calderon) and Hayden (Duerson) also did really well this week for their first Star Mazda event, even though they had some bad luck in the race. We are in a good place with them, and like I said before, I see a lot of potential in them to get some great results. Now, we are going to go back to working hard to get ready for St. Petersburg."

-source: juncos racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Conor Daly , Hayden Duerson , Tatiana Calderon
Teams Juncos Racing