Utah: Race notes

Adrian Carrio victorious at Miller Motorsports Park July 15, 2006. Tooele, Utah. Adrian Carrio, of Monument, Colorado, survived a first lap scare and then pulled away to victory today in Round Six of the Star Mazda Championship presented by ...

Adrian Carrio victorious at Miller Motorsports Park

July 15, 2006. Tooele, Utah. Adrian Carrio, of Monument, Colorado, survived a first lap scare and then pulled away to victory today in Round Six of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park circuit. Driving the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda, Carrio mastered the 4.468-mile circuit to take the checkered flag 4.153 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ron White, in his #69 Ron White Racing Fulton Valley Farms Mazda. Kevin Lacroix, of St. Eustache, Quebec, completed the podium, finishing third this afternoon in his #74 John Walko Racing Uni-Select Auto Parts Mazda.

After an aborted first start due to the stricken car of Steve Hickham Jr, Carrio, who had qualified on pole position brought the field around for a single-file restart, as the field took the green flag and raced towards the first corner Carrio and fellow front row starter Michael Potekhen touched, knocking the wing off Potekhen's car and ending his day early. Carrio was able to recover from the contact and would lead every lap to score his second consecutive victory.

"It was really unfortunate what happened there on the start between Michael and myself," Carrio said afterwards. "The first start was pretty hectic and as we came down the front straight on the restart I felt a thud and in my mirror I saw his wing under my rear tire. After something like that happens you wonder if anything on the car is broken but when you get to the corner you either make the turn and go racing or your day is done, and fortunately we were able to continue. Once the race settled down the car was working well, even though the track was a little slippery, and I was able to open up a gap after each restart and take another victory."

On the heels of his best qualifying session of the season, White backed up that performance with his first podium finish of the year, finishing second after battling with Lacroix and trying to chase down Carrio. "We made a little change from our qualifying session and we probably should've made a bigger change to try to chase down Adrian but we were right there this weekend," the Santa Clara, California based driver explained. "I had to dodge Michael's wing on the start and Kevin was able to get around me at one point but I was able to get back around him in the first corner on a restart and hold the position to the finish."

Wrapping up the podium with his third third-place finish of the season, Lacroix navigated his way through the opening lap trouble to second place before coming under attack from White and Logan Gomez. "The start was tough for some drivers but it worked out well for me, allowing me to move up to second place," he said. "The track was slippery today though and White and Gomez were able to get around me. I didn't get a lot of laps this weekend before the race so to finish third I am pretty happy."

While Lacroix, White and Carrio will leave the track happy some of their fellow competitors will not share their view, as several championship contenders made early exits from the race. In addition to Potekhen, who came into the weekend in second place, Ryan Justice had his race cut short when he and Matt Varsha tangled at the exit of the Clubhouse Corner on the first restart. Entering the weekend in fourth and fifth place respectively, Justice and Varsha would both lose ground in the points battle.

The conclusion of Round SIx marks the halfway point for the season and Carrio becomes the first repeat winner as he stretches his lead over the field with 234 points towards the championship. Daniel Herrington, who led the championship prior to the scary opening lap incident at Montreal climbs back up to second place in the championship with 196 points. Potekhen falls from second to third now with 190 points. Kevin Lacroix leaps past Ryan Justice and Matt Varsha to claim fourth place for himself.

In the Expert Championship, for drivers aged 30-44, Gerardo Bonilla, of Orlando Florida, drove to the class victory in his #9 Andersen Racing Team NVG Residential Mazda, finishing 9th overall in the 33-car field and expands his championship points lead with 102 points. Dan Tomlin III would finish second in class today in his # 56 Team Tomlin Mazda and move into a tie for second place in the championship with Brian Thienes, who finished third in class this afternoon in the #77 JDC Motorsports Thienes Engineering Mazda. Both Thienes and Tomlin have 82 points.

In the Masters Championship, for drivers aged 45 and older, Doug Peterson, driving the #87 American Speed Factory 3-Dimensional Services Mazda was the class winner finishing 10th overall. Peterson, who pulled double-duty, racing to 12th place earlier in the day in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT Championship, climbs to second in the championship with 82 points. John Pew recovered from his wild ride at Montreal two weeks earlier in Round Five to finish second in class in his #15 Velocity Motorsports NVG Residential Mazda and move into the championship lead with 84 points. John Faulkner, pilot of the #93 Phenom Racing Group Molecule Mazda moves to third in the championship with 80 points.

In the Team Championship World Speed Motorsports holds onto to first with 124 points while John Walko Racing and AIM Autosport climb to second and third place overall with 103 and 100 points respectively.

With half of the 2006 championship complete, the series now travels west with the American Le Mans Series to Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon, for the American Le Mans Series Portland Grand Prix and Round Seven of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear on July 20-22.

-smazda-

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers John Faulkner , Dan Tomlin III , Ryan Justice , Michael Potekhen , John Pew , Adrian Carrio , Kevin Lacroix , Daniel Herrington , Ron White , Brian Thienes , Matt Varsha , Logan Gomez , Gerardo Bonilla , Steve Hickham