Skerlong Sets Sights on New Jersey Success Mukilteo, Washington (September 10, 2008) -- Carl Skerlong proved last year in his rookie season in the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda that learning new circuits was...
Skerlong Sets Sights on New Jersey Success
Mukilteo, Washington (September 10, 2008) -- Carl Skerlong proved last year in his rookie season in the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda that learning new circuits was no obstacle to on-track success so it's with a similar determination that the Seattle racer heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park for Round 9 of the 2008 Atlantic Championship this weekend, Friday 12th -- September 14th.
The 2.25-mile facility based near Millville, New Jersey, opened earlier this season and welcomes the Atlantic field for the first time. With the circuit new to virtually the entire grid, Friday's opening test sessions could prove crucial to the outcome of Sunday's 50-minute race as the season heads towards its grand finale with Round 11 held next month at Road Atlanta.
Skerlong, who drives the #14 King Taco/Pacific Coast Motorsports Swift Mazda-Cosworth, is keen to return to action this weekend having had to wait close to a month since the previous round at Trois-Rivieres in Canada. The 19-year-old arrived at the Quebec street circuit sitting fifth in the Driver Standings but an early-race incident cut short his challenge with his subsequent retirement duly dropping him down to seventh overall in the points with three rounds remaining.
Since then Carl's been focusing on his fitness - the teenager, with three podium finishes to his credit this season, enjoying the opportunity to indulge in more than just the regular work outs at the gym.
"The gap between race meetings this year's been killing me," Skerlong remarked. "I'm itching to get back into the car this weekend and check out New Jersey Motorsport Park. The time off has at least allowed me to do some of the things a more compact schedule might not. I've been riding my dirt bike quite a bit and focusing on doing as much cross-training as I can. I've enjoyed the last weeks of summer out here on the west coast and taken the time to get in some wakeboarding and sailing as well. I've been doing some simulator work so my mind hasn't been totally off racing despite the lack of actual track time.
"Looking ahead to the weekend I've touched base with some guys I know who've already raced at New Jersey Motorsports Park. I think we've got a fair understanding of what we'll be facing but there's no substitute for being out there in the car. Once again, qualifying will be all important! It should be a fairly level playing field as we'll all be new to the circuit with these cars. Realistically I'm targeting getting up to third in the points before the season's out as we've had our fair share of incidents to prevent a run at the title. I'd like to get my first Atlantic win on the board as well so here's hoping I'll get a shot on Sunday!"
The Atlantic field gets its first taste of New Jersey Motorsports Park with a pair of practice sessions on Friday 12th September. Qualifying 1 gets underway on Saturday at 2pm EST followed by Qualifying 2 at 8:40am EST and Round 9 at 1pm EST on Sunday 14th September -- www.njmotorsportspark.com