Barron Heads Up Polestar's Charge in Edmonton Atlantic Race Polestar team won last year's Edmonton Atlantic race with Katherine Legge Chardon, Ohio (July 19, 2006) -- After claiming his first top-five finish of this year's Champ Car Atlantic...
Barron Heads Up Polestar's Charge in Edmonton Atlantic Race
Polestar team won last year's Edmonton Atlantic race with Katherine Legge
Chardon, Ohio (July 19, 2006) -- After claiming his first top-five finish of this year's Champ Car Atlantic season nearly two weeks ago in Toronto, 1997 Atlantic championship winner Alex Barron (#21 The RoomStore of Phoenix) is keen to keep moving up the charts in this weekend's West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix Presented by The Brick Atlantic race.
Polestar Racing Group teammate Alan Sciuto (#12 Sealy/PKV Racing/The RoomStore of Phoenix) was also on a charge in Toronto, moving up 14 positions and running in fifth place until he brushed the Turn One wall on Lap 19 and ended his day prematurely. Atlantic rookie Sciuto also is confident of another strong Canadian race performance, and hopes to capitalize on Polestar's Edmonton expertise, as the team captured last year's Edmonton Atlantic race win with driver Katherine Legge.
"We made a pretty big gain and found a new direction to focus on in Toronto," said Barron, who took the 1997 Atlantic title with five wins, four poles and six fastest-race laps. "We're feeling much better coming into Edmonton and continue to find out new things about these cars every time we're on the track. There seems to be such a narrow window and if you're off just a little bit, it's the difference between a top five and a top twenty car. We'll try some new things this weekend and, hopefully, get us back near the front."
"We had a great race going in Toronto and feel good about continuing in Edmonton," said Sciuto, who joins Barron on Polestar's all-American driver line-up. "I've heard so much about Edmonton and how it's such a fun town to race in. We're also hoping that we'll have a slight advantage, since Polestar won the Atlantic race here last year. I think we'll be better off right out of the box and that should certainly help us throughout the weekend."
Barron, of Menifee, Calif., is the only Atlantic series champion in the field this weekend and will be making his 20th Atlantic start. Since winning the 1997 Atlantic title, he competed in the Champ Car World Series and Indy Racing League from 1998 to 2005 with such teams as Cheever Racing, All American Racers and Team Penske. This is his first appearance at Edmonton's JAGflo Speedway.
Orange, California - native Sciuto, 18, was recognized as North America's top shifter kart racer in 2004 before competing in three Atlantic races last year. He finished fourth in his series debut on the challenging San Jose street course, then the following week in Denver led both rounds of qualifying to capture his first career Atlantic pole position and establish himself as the youngest-ever Atlantic pole winner at just 17 years of age. He is currently ninth overall and the sixth highest rookie in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic season standings.
Polestar co-owners Jim Griffith, Pam Griffith and Bruce Potter are all experienced Atlantic veterans, having been instrumental to the Atlantic championship-winning efforts of Barron, Patrick Carpentier (1996) and Buddy Rice (2000).
For 2006, the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, now in it's 33rd year, features an all-new made-in-the-USA Atlantic Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine. All competitors are vying for an unprecedented $2 million bonus designed for the series champion to use in securing a full-time Champ Car ride in 2007.
This weekend's 36-lap (71.028-mile) race is scheduled to begin Sunday, July 23 at 2:00 PM local, and will be televised via SPEED on Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 PM ET. The race will also air to U.S. service men and women in over 130 countries around the world through the American Forces Radio & Television Service. Further information is available on the team's official web site at www.polestarracinggroup.com.