MX-5: Team MER Utah race notes

Team MER & Andrew Caddell Win At Miller; Caddell Secures Runner-Up Position In Championship Caddell takes pole and victory en-route to his 2nd win of season TOOELE, UT (September 22, 2007) --- Team MER and driver, Andrew Caddell, was awarded...

Team MER & Andrew Caddell Win At Miller; Caddell Secures Runner-Up Position In Championship

Caddell takes pole and victory en-route to his 2nd win of season

TOOELE, UT (September 22, 2007) --- Team MER and driver, Andrew Caddell, was awarded his 2nd victory of the season and the runner-up spot in the 2007 Sirius Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship. The driver logged the fastest lap in qualifying as well as taking home the Hawk Hot Lap award. The win marked Team MER's seventh win out of eight events for the year and solidified their second straight team championship.

"It was a great weekend," said Caddell. "When you are fighting for a spot in the championship, having a strong weekend is an important thing. We had a great car and it really felt great to help continue the success for Team MER, finishing 1st and 2nd in the championship for the second year in a row."

Caddell started from pole but missed a shift early on, putting him back in the fourth position before working his way back up to the lead after teammate and 2007 Champion, Jason Saini, lost the lead due to transmission issues. Saini would hang on to finish in the 5th spot.

"I got a great start, and was able to pull out a decent lead until the caution came out," said Saini (TheAutoBarn.com / Team MER). "On the restart, I missed a shift and jammed the shifter into 4th gear, where it unfortunately stayed for the rest of the race. I've got to thank the whole MER crew, they did an outstanding job again - the car was awesome, nobody had anything for Andrew or I all weekend long. The season could have ended on a better note, but it was still a win for the team and a dominating performance."

Rick Bellew (B&W Supply / Team MER) put in a tremendous drive after struggling in qualifying, advancing 21-positions to finish in the 9th spot, just ahead of Patrick Dempsey (Autism Speaks / Team MER) who logged his first top-10 finish of the season.

"At one point, we had five drivers in the top-6 positions," said Marc Miller, Team MER driver coach and engineer. "That says a lot of everyone involved in this organization, from drivers, crew and our sponsors. Everyone in our paddock just lives and breathes racing and that is definitely refreshing."

Mike Jenkins (Traxxis / Jentek / Team MER Mazda) ran as high as third, but several incidents moved him back down the order and he would finish in the 13th position. Rick Skelton (Team MER) put in a solid run to finish 20th in the 30-car field in his first MX-5 Cup event of the year and Brad Adams (Team MER) finished in the 22nd spot. Mark Jenkins (Traxxis / Jentek / Team MER Mazda) was poised to have a strong race, starting in the 5th position but was forced to pit with a flat tire due to an on-track incident.

Frankie Muniz, making his first appearance in the series after a full season of Champ Car Atlantic this season, put in a stellar drive, running in 3rd with only two laps remaining. Muniz continually improved in each session, qualifying in the 6th position. The former "Malcolm in the middle" star made a move for the second spot and both

Team MER is already working on plans for the 2008 championship season.

-credit: mer

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Series SCCA
Drivers Rick Skelton , Patrick Dempsey , Rick Bellew , Jason Saini , Andrew Caddell , Brad Adams , Frankie Muniz