CATES BECOMES THE SIXTH VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP WINNER OF 2009 IN NEW JERSEY Megenbier holds a 39-point Championship lead heading into series' final race Millville, NJ (September 13, 2009) -- Less than 24 hours after one of the most exciting...
CATES BECOMES THE SIXTH VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP WINNER OF 2009 IN NEW
Megenbier holds a 39-point Championship lead heading into series' final race
Millville, NJ (September 13, 2009) -- Less than 24 hours after one of the most exciting races of the season, the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup drivers returned to New Jersey Motorsports Park for the series' second race of the weekend. Once again, the drivers didn't disappoint the fans and put on a near repeat of yesterday's performance on the 14-turn, 2.225-mile road course.
The race started with Mark Pombo on the pole position in the #20 Volkswagen Parts & Accessories car, and was able to pull away from the rest of the field in the early stages. However, an accident between the #22 car of Andrew Novich and the #3 of Taylor Broekemeier caused a full-course caution on the second lap. Pombo led for a few more laps after racing resumed, but things started to heat up on lap 8 when Jake Thompson claimed the top spot going into turn 1. Pombo was able to battle back and resume the lead two laps later. Then, on lap 11, Devin Cates capitalized on a battle that saw several of the frontrunners venture off track. The Broad Run, Virginia native drove it to the front and never looked back before taking the checkered flag in the #29 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Driver Selection/Cutaway Creations car. The win marks Cates' first series win, and he's the sixth different driver to win this season.
"I've shown that I can be fast in this series this year, but I've not been able to back up my speed with solid finishes until now," Cates said. "So, to be able to get a win before the end of the season is awesome. There were some great battles out there today. Once I was able to get around Mark (Pombo), I was determined not to give him the spot back. Thankfully, he raced me clean, and we both wound up on the podium. I know it's too late for me to think about winning the Championship at this point, but I want to close out the season strong, and this is a great way to start."
Pombo and Timmy Megenbier rounded out the podium with second and third place finishes. In nine races, Megenbier has been on the podium eight times, which is a series record. As a result of his consistency, Megenbier now has 346 points will carry a 39-point Championship lead into the final race of the season at Road Atlanta. He will take the title regardless of any other driver results if he can finish 15th or better. Andy Lee (307), Joey Atterbury (273), Thompson (271) and Pombo (262) are also among the top five drivers in the Championship. Perhaps the best battle heading into the final race will be for "Rookie of the Year" honors. Atterbury and Thompson are the two drivers in the hunt, and they're only separated by two points.
Red Bull athlete and freestyle motocross rider, Mat Rebeaud had high hopes for today as a result of his ninth-place starting position, but an off-track adventure caused a mechanical problem with his racecar. As a result, he retired after four laps and was placed 23rd. Retired DC United goalie, Mike Ammann won the battle of the guest drivers with a 21st-place finish.
"After a rough start with the crash in practice on Friday, this has been an awesome weekend," Ammann said. "I have a whole new appreciation for the skill of these drivers. I know that this is considered a bit of a development series, but there's some serious talent out there. I had two goals for the races. I didn't want to crash or finish last, and I was able to accomplish both yesterday and today, so I'm walking away a happy man."
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series' final race of the season will take place in two weeks on August 25-26 at Road Atlanta. Live timing and scoring is available at www.livetiming.net/SCCA/VW/livetiming.asp.