NEWMAN WACHS RACING FINISHES 1-2 IN ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP; EDWARDS WINS AND SUMMERTON COMES IN SECOND Monterey, CA (October 11, 2009) - In a spine-tingling performance by Newman Wachs Racing teammates John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton, ...
NEWMAN WACHS RACING FINISHES 1-2 IN ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP; EDWARDS WINS AND SUMMERTON COMES IN SECOND
Monterey, CA (October 11, 2009) - In a spine-tingling performance by Newman Wachs Racing teammates John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton, they finished 1-2 for the 3rd time this season in today's race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The duo started where they finished and with those results, actually tie for Championship points. The tie-breaker goes all the way down to second-place finishes, as both have the same number of wins (4). Edwards has four second-place finishes to Summerton's three, thus making Edwards the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda Champion giving NWR its first-ever championship!
Edwards started on pole for today's race and led every lap. He was eleven points behind leader Simona De Silvestro heading into the season finale sitting third in overall standings. He needed the perfect race weekend. He accomplished this feat, amazingly, and overcame all obstacles to win the championship today and give team owner Eddie Wachs the Championship he so deserved. Surprisingly, it came down to the NWR teammates, as points leader Simona De Silvestro crashed on the opening lap when she tangled with another competitor. They each drove cleanly, but intensely, respecting each other but not holding anything back. Summerton closed on Edwards several times throughout the 50 minute race, but the aerodynamics of the Swift 016 and the fast, sweeping corners at Mazda Raceway aren't conducive to passing.
Edwards wins his second consecutive title in a Mazda-powered race car at Mazda Raceway, as he won the Star Mazda Championship here last year. He becomes the youngest Atlantic Champion in Series history at just 18, replacing Michael Andretti who won it in 1983. He earned four wins, three poles, and finished on the podium 9 out of 12 times.
John Edwards, #36 MAZDASPEED/ Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI/ Newman Wachs Racing: (P1)
"Someone told me after I got out of the car that I looked like I was on "Cloud 36." That's how I feel. I couldn't believe Simona (De Silvestro) was out after the start and it came down to whomever won the race between Summerton and I. My engineer told me when we had 30 minutes remaining, and it seemed like 6 hours from that point. It's hard to believe I was sitting 3rd in points coming into this race and I still won the Championship. I can't say enough about the team. We've been dominant the past five races and it shows the caliber of this team. This doesn't suck!"
Summerton had an equally impressive run in 2009 and was the driver to beat in the latter half of the season. He, too, won four times, had five pole positions, and also finished on the podium 9 of 12 times. He also turned the fastest lap of the race today and drove an equally impressive race.
Jonathan Summerton, #34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI/ Newman Wachs Racing: (P2)
"We had a really good car all weekend. We've actually been the cars to beat the past five races, which speaks volumes for the team and the engineering staff. I think we've been 1-2 for the past four or five races. The aero plays such a big role here and I'd close up on John (Edwards) and then I'd just have to sit there. I'd lose all my down force on the front end. I just had to hope he made a mistake which he never did. I'm disappointed to not win, but a 1-2 for the team is great for NWR and we couldn't have given them anymore."