MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM PUMPED UP FOR FINAL SHOWDOWN AT ROAD AMERICA Indianapolis, Indiana, September 20, 2006 -- It would be an understatement to say that this weekend's Gehl Company Champ Car Atlantic Championship Finale at Road...
MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM PUMPED UP FOR FINAL SHOWDOWN AT ROAD AMERICA
Indianapolis, Indiana, September 20, 2006 -- It would be an understatement to say that this weekend's Gehl Company Champ Car Atlantic Championship Finale at Road America is a race like any other for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing (MJCR) Atlantic Team. Even if it will approach the final race of the season with the goal of winning, just like it did for every other race this year, this weekend's results could be the difference between first and second and nine and ten. The MJCR Atlantic Team is not only looking to win the Championship title with Graham Rahal, the team is also counting on Rahal and Ryan Lewis to extend its podium streak to ten.
Currently sitting second in the Championship standings, Graham Rahal, who has five wins this season, will be fighting with Series leader Simon Pagenaud for the Atlantic title and the $2 million champion's bonus. In order for Rahal to be crowned Champion, there are different possible scenarios. The ideal one involves Rahal picking up all the bonus points -- provisional pole on Friday, pole on Saturday, quickest lap of the race and a point for leading -- and winning the race. The 17-year-old must also hope that his rival does not finish the race any higher than fourth.
"Different things have to happen, but I think we have a good shot at winning the title," says Rahal. "Simon has been very consistent and quick all season but the pressure is on him because he is the one in first place right now. I don't feel any pressure because, as much as I want to win, I'm assured of finishing second, I can only move forward. After the last race he seemed kind of upset that he didn't win and if we keep creeping up on him, by taking the extra points on Friday and Saturday, it will only add pressure. We know what we need to do to win, we just have to go out there and do what we've been doing all season."
Rahal will have an advantage on Pagenaud this weekend having raced at the famed circuit three times in the past two years. Last season in Star Mazda he qualified fourth before contact took him out of the race, and in 2004 in Formula BMW USA, he placed fourth in the first race after starting second and he finished sixth in the second race from his eighth place starting position.
"Road America is one of my favorite tracks, and I enjoy it very much," continues Rahal. "I think, just to be able to say that I've driven there is an advantage and it's also one of those tracks that if you don't enjoy it, it's hard to have success there."
Another driver looking for success this weekend is Ryan Lewis. He will be heading to a track that mostly resembles what he is used to racing on in Britain and where he will try to make the most of his final Atlantic race of the season. Having been on the podium three times this year in eight races, Lewis hasn't seen the end of a race in his last two outings and he would like to end the season the same way he started it, on the podium.
"Obviously I'll be learning a new track again this weekend but I'm particularly looking forward to this one. The Road America track reminds me a lot of the circuits back home. Even if it's a bit longer than what I'm used to racing on in Britain, I think it will suit my driving style," explains Lewis. "I'm confident that we can do very well there, it's a matter of putting everything together and having three solid days. I've had a year with quite a few ups and downs and I would like to end it on a high note."
-credit: mijack conquest racing