Cleveland: Carl Skerlong race notes

Skerlong Takes 12th in Cleveland Seattle's Carl Skerlong picked up a 12th place finish in Round 6 of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda held at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio on ...

Skerlong Takes 12th in Cleveland

Seattle's Carl Skerlong picked up a 12th place finish in Round 6 of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda held at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, the halfway stage of the 12-race Champ Car World Series feeder-category.

Skerlong's Cleveland finish followed a disappointing season-low qualifying effort of 20th at the 2.106-mile temporary road course but the nine points collected after the 42-lap race on Sunday morning keep the reigning Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Champion locked inside the top-ten, despite dropping from sixth to ninth in the Driver Standings, heading into the second half of the 2007 season.

Struggling to match the pace demonstrated by the #24 King Taco/US RaceTronics entry earlier in the season, Friday and Saturday's qualifying sessions proved eventful for Carl and the California-based US RaceTronics team. A broken wing blighted Friday's session with a flat tire halfway through Saturday's final timed outing disrupting their crack at a front-running grid slot -- the ensuing pit-stop losing the team valuable running time during the track's 'sweet spot' in qualifying.

Sunday's 50-minute race saw Carl take the grid with a modified set-up, the changes ultimately allowing the 18-year-old to make more of an impression in the race than he had done in qualifying. As the race unfolded Carl progressed up to 15th by mid-distance, the pack bunched together following the race's solitary full-course caution period. >From 15th Carl tailed Dutch driver Junior Strous, the battling rookies locked together through to the checkered flag. As they moved up the order, benefiting from a couple of front-running retirements, Carl made his move exiting the final turn. Sprinting to the checkered, Skerlong out-dragged Strous down the start-finish straight to take 12th at the flag. Brazil's Raphael Matos took his fourth win of the season ahead of J.R. Hildebrand and Franck Perera.

"Well I think we came off the trailer with the wrong set-up and it followed us through most of the weekend," Skerlong commented after Sunday's race. "We figured out a slightly better set-up for the race so I was able to make up a few positions and get back up into a decent points scoring finish. It was a good recovery and I made a pretty nice pass on the last lap to get 12th from Junior Strous. It was a drag race to the finish and I think I had about four inches on him at the flag but I'll take it."

Carl continued, "I'm looking at the positives from the weekend. We finished in the points and we kept the car in one piece which is handy given we're racing again over the next two weekends up in Canada. We'll continue to learn from this and move on looking to build on all our experiences!"

All the action from Round 6 in Cleveland will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Wednesday 4th July starting at 6pm EST.

Round 7 of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship moves north of the border to Canada, Friday 29th June -- Sunday 1st July, and a brand new event held at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

-credit: cskerlong

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Junior Strous , Carl Skerlong , J.R. Hildebrand , Franck Perera