MX-5: Thursday practice notes

Daniels Leads MX-5 Cup Practice at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, Utah (Aug. 31, 2006) -- Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., continued to show why he is the current championship point leader by leading both practice sessions today in ...

Daniels Leads MX-5 Cup Practice at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, Utah (Aug. 31, 2006) -- Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., continued to show why he is the current championship point leader by leading both practice sessions today in preparation for the penultimate round of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook at Miller Motorsports Park. The Mazda MX-5 Cup Round Seven race is part of the Discount Tire Sunchaser event weekend. Todd Buras, of Melbourne, Fla., and local driver Pratt Cole, of Salt Lake City, completed the top three.

Daniels, who can clinch the inaugural MX-5 Cup drivers' championship with a third place finish, piloted his No. 76 saferacer.com/Team MER Mazda MX-5 to the top of the speed charts in the evening session with a time of 3:20.133 (80.694 mph) around the 24-turn, 4.5 mile track.

"If you've got good cars, you work hard and you stay up late, good things happen," Daniels said of his quick practice time. To tell you the truth, I've got to thank Pratt Cole. He is a local and a good friend of mine. He brought me to the test session the other night. He's spent pain staking hours going slow and letting me follow him and he is the reason why we are fast. There is no doubt about it."

Daniels is coming off of three consecutive wins and has won four of the last five races.

Buras turned the second fastest time of the day in the second practice session with a 3:20.264 (80.641 mph) in his No. 56 BSI Racing/supportthem.com Mazda MX-5. Buras looks to keep his championship hopes alive with a solid finish this weekend, but will need a poor finish from Daniels to stay in the championship hunt.

Cole is still looking for his first podium finish of the season and hopes to do it this weekend in front of his hometown fans. If setting the third fastest practice time of 3:20.758 (80.443 mph) is any indication of his intentions this weekend, he is well on his way to first trip to the podium.

Anders Hainer, of Hidden Hills, Calif., and Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, were fourth and fifth fastest, respectively.

The third and final MX-5 Cup practice session is set for 9:30 a.m. (MDT) Friday, Sept. 1, with qualifying set for noon (MDT). Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook starts at 10:15 a.m. (MDT) Saturday, Sept. 2.

To follow qualifying and race action from Miller Motorsports Park live via live timing, visit www.mx-5cup.com and click on the Miller event page link.

For more information about the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, including schedule, entry list and event coverage, visit www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA-PRO