Road Atlanta: Pacific Coast Motorsports race report

Muniz Ends Season Strong Matching His Best Finish, Skerlong Claims 5th in Championship Braselton, GA--Although Carl Skerlong was unable to compete this weekend due to an injury in Tuesday's testing session, the final race weekend of 2008 in the...

Muniz Ends Season Strong Matching His Best Finish, Skerlong Claims 5th in Championship

Braselton, GA--Although Carl Skerlong was unable to compete this weekend due to an injury in Tuesday's testing session, the final race weekend of 2008 in the Atlantic Championship looked to be a promising one for his teammate, Frankie Muniz. After continuing to improve all season, Frankie amazed everyone again in Friday's race, by going one step further and obtaining not only the best qualifying result of his career, but also matching his career best finish.

Frankie had a great start in the race, holding onto his well-earned 10th place qualifying spot, only two positions down from championship competitor, Greg Mansell. He raced hard until a small mistake caused him to drop his tires off track in turn 7, costing him three important positions. He stayed in it though, fighting to gain those positions back. With less than 15minutes to remaining in the season's final race, J.R. Hildebrand caused a full course caution by going off in turn 1, moving Frankie up to 12th place. As soon as the race resumed, another big incident happened at the front of the pack, taking out Dane Cameron and championship contender, Jonathan Summerton. The incident moved Frankie up to 9th, where he finished the race under a yellow flag conciliations.

Although Carl Skerlong was unable to compete this weekend, he was still able to finish in a well-deserved 5th place in the championship and earned the reputation of "the driver to beat". Frankie finished 11th in the championship, only three points away from his goal of tenth. Although he was unable to claim a top ten, he successfully finished every lap of every race this season, which was a huge accomplishment and says a lot about his capabilities as a driver. Needless to say, the 2008 season was a success for the entire PCM/US RaceTronics Atlantic team.

Frankie on the race: "Overall, I'm extremely happy with this season. PCM really helped me progress throughout the year, and for that I am very thankful. The fact that I can say I'm slightly disappointed with a 9th place finish says a lot about how far I've come. I'm disappointed I didn't make the top ten in the championship because I know I could have done it. I made a mistake in the race today on my own merit by going off in turn 7, allowing three cars to pass me. I want to thank the whole team at PCM for everything they've done for me this season. I'm so proud to say that I have improved immensely as a driver after this year. I've learned so much that I will take with me throughout my entire racing career."

Shane Seneviratne, Team Manager: "It was a difficult race weekend, not having Carl able to compete. We were looking forward to challenging others in the championship fight. It wasn't the best way to finish the year for Carl, but he is an awesome driver who has impressed a lot of people in the paddock this season. I want to thank Burke Harrison for giving Carl an awesome car all year. I'm proud to say that Carl has established himself as the 'driver to beat'. Frankie made steady progress all year long. It's really nice that he was able to end the year with his best finish of the season here at Road Atlanta. I want to thank Lee Bentham and Tim Lewis for all their hard work in helping bring Frankie up to speed. It's been a pleasure working with Tyler Tadevic this year. He'll always be my best friend in the paddock. I can't say enough good things about the crew at PCM. This is the best group of people I have ever worked with in my racing career. I'm proud to say that our team has some of the best chemistry among us that I've ever seen."

Tyler Tadevic, Team Owner: "All I can say is thank you to everyone. Thank you to Joel and Carl Skerlong, thank you to Frankie Muniz and to Shane and US RaceTronics, and thank you to all our crew members. Everyone made a lot of sacrifices for us to get through this season and to get where we are now. I'm so glad to have 2008 in the books, and I'm looking forward to 2009."

-credit: pcm

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Tim Lewis , Greg Mansell , Dane Cameron , Jonathan Summerton , Carl Skerlong , J.R. Hildebrand , Frankie Muniz , Lee Bentham