Skerlong Scores First Podium of the Season, Muniz has a Strong Run Oxnard, CA - Carl Skerlong earned his first podium finish of the season Sunday at the Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when he finished second. The...
Skerlong Scores First Podium of the Season, Muniz has a Strong Run
Oxnard, CA - Carl Skerlong earned his first podium finish of the season Sunday at the Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when he finished second. The 19-year old from Mukilteo, Washington started on the front row and led the race before eventual race-winner James Hinchcliffe passed Skerlong on a re-start. While the podium may have given some relief to Skerlong, it comes as no surprise. Skerlong was very quick in off-season testing, he ran in the top three through most of the Long Beach weekend where he was knocked off course at the start but came back and shattered the track record with the fastest lap. The Laguna weekend opened on a positive note with a strong practice session Friday morning, but Friday's preliminary qualifying session ended in the barrier. Skerlong took the positives from the day and turned them into a front row starting position on Saturday followed by his third Atlantic podium and the second fastest race lap on Sunday.
Frankie Muniz was optimistic about his Laguna debut, following a successful test there last winter. Friday and Saturday's qualifying results were not what the young American expected. He felt like his results did not show the potential of his #41 Mazda. Notoriously difficult to master, the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca features dramatic elevation changes, hairpins and fast straights. In just this third year of professional racing Muniz found the track exciting rather than daunting. Muniz felt he was driving well, but he felt he was not wringing every opportunity out of every lap, leaving some time on the track, which led to his 18th place starting position. Muniz made up for it in the race, he stayed consistent in his battle to move up the field and turned in a 13th place finishing position, an strong run, Muniz is approaching his goal of top-ten results early in the season.
The PCM/USRT has nearly one month off before round three at Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
CARL SKERLONG, #14 King Taco/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires
Starting Position: 2 Finished: 2
Carl on the race: "I had a great time racing out there today. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is blast to drive. It is frustrating because it is very challenging to pass there, but it is also fun because it is fast and full of unique turns. We had a good race going and it looked like possibly even my first win, but I am very happy to have my first podium in the King Taco car for 2008 in the books. I hope this is the first of many and I feel good about the season ahead. My team did a great job all weekend and I had a great car. I am disappointed we have a month before our next race, but I will spend that time racing my go-kart and preparing for Mt. Tremblant."
Frankie Muniz #41 PCM/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires
Starting Position: 18 Finished: 13th
Frankie on qualifying: "It was a good day. Mazda Laguna Raceway is the type of track where you learn a lot every lap. It is challenging to hit your marks lap after lap, but it teaches you to find a rhythm and race. I had a great car and a few good battles. My goal is to run in the top-ten this season and we are getting closer."