VIKING VICTORIOUS -- SCANDANAVIAN SPEEDSTER ANDERS KROHN SCORES HIS FIRST STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP WIN AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI (June 20, 2009) -- In a race opening with a first-lap, first turn drama that took out two...
VIKING VICTORIOUS -- SCANDANAVIAN SPEEDSTER ANDERS KROHN SCORES HIS FIRST STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP WIN AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE
Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI (June 20, 2009) -- In a race opening with a first-lap, first turn drama that took out two of the top qualifiers, it fell to a Scandinavian and an Irishman to provide the mid-race battle... and to an Englishman and a third-season driver from Louisiana to seize the late-race opportunity and fill out the podium.
Ultimately, after 100 laps of flat-out racing under a hot and cloudless Wisconsin sky, it was Anders 'The Viking' Krohn scoring his first-ever Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear victory in the #27 Mundill / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda. Finishing second was Englishman Adam Christodoulou, who has scored two victories so far this season in the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule / Alpine Stars Mazda. Third place went to Alex Ardoin in the #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda. Chris Cumming, the Vancouver B.C. driver who won the 2008 Expert Series championship, took the Expert Series (drivers 30 -- 44) win in his #16 Kester Racing Team 3G / Texas World Speedway / Motul Oil Mazda.
"It was an unexpected win because we started in 7th and we weren't quite sure how it would be passing the cars, but our car was hooked up early on and I could stay down low and just drive past people wherever I needed to," says Krohn, the 2008 FF2000 series champion. "From there it was fairly easy pulling out a gap, but then by mid-race when I started passing back markers it was so difficult to stay in their draft and get around them that the fast cars behind me caught up a little bit. I got a really clean re-start from that last caution and managed to pull out a gap that I was able to maintain to the end of the race. I just kept my head down, key was to do consistent laps and not take too many risks when passing the back markers. I wanted to run a clean race and that's what I managed to do. I had Larry Nash on the radio, a very experienced guy and he just kept me cool and calm and we brought it home. It's a great feeling."
J The first-turn drama came at the expense of pole sitter Richard Kent ((#33 Andersen Racing / Traka / Lafarge / Allied Interior Products Mazda) and 3rd-place starter Conor Daly (#22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda) who tangled wheels during a passing attempt and wound up in the Turn One wall. Picking up the lead of the race and holding it for the first 27 laps, was ex-Formula BMW racer Jorge Goncalvez, who started third on the grid in the #72 AIM Autosport / Mazda. (Qualifying was cancelled due to a Friday rain delay of the NASCAR series, so the Star Mazda gridded on the basis of their practice times.)J Krohn took the lead on Lap 27 and it was Peter 'The Irish Steamroller' Dempsey in his first drive for his new team, Juncos Racing, who sliced his way up through the field from 9th on the grid to hound Krohn from second place in the #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda. While Dempsey got shuffled back to 4th in the closing laps, he did set the fastest lap of the race, a 28.652 sec. -- all the more remarkable considering the sum total of his oval-track experience was the two Friday practice sessions
The final incident that set the stage for a late-race shootout came with an incident on lap 86 that caused a full-course yellow. On the re-start, a hair-raising, multi-car dive-bombing session into Turn One took place -- without further contact -- and shuffled the order as JDC Motorsports teammates Christodoulou (the only driver to win two races so far this season) and Ardoin (winner of the 2007 Star Mazda season-ender at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) took advantage of the opportunity.
Jorge Goncalvez the early leader, ultimately finished 5th, with Rusty Mitchell, the young American who was fastest in the first session on Friday bringing his #66 Mitchell Motorsports / Motorola Mazda home in 6th. Rounding out the top-10 were Billy Goshen (7th/#82 Goshen Motorsports / Baker Commodities / GPSTrackit / OTTO / First Quality Concrete Mazda), Caio Lara (8th/#19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW/ Molecule Mazda), Taylor Hacquard (9th/#15 Kester Racing Team 3G / Wolfe Auto Group / Texas World Speedway Mazda) and in 10th was Dempsey's Juncos Racing teammate, Michael Furfari -- the youngest driver in the series -- who set the fastest time at this track during two days of Star Mazda series testing last month in his #13 Juncos Racing / Furfari Paving Mazda.
Taking into account the results of today's race, Adam Christodoulou regains his lead in the Star Mazda point's championship with 211. Peter Dempsey, who came to Milwaukee leading the points, is now second with 207. American Joel Miller, who battled through a tough weekend to finish 14th in the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda, is third with 194. Third-place finisher Alex Ardoin is fourth in the points with 187, Caio Lara is fifth with 186 and race winner Anders Krohn jumps up the chart from 10th to seventh with 172 points.