Skerlong heads the pack in Edmonton practice

It's poetic justice that the opening practice for the Atlantic Championship at the Rexall Edmonton Indy was lead by a driver who is the direct beneficiary of good pharmaceuticals in action. American driver Carl Skerlong, driving the ...

It's poetic justice that the opening practice for the Atlantic Championship at the Rexall Edmonton Indy was lead by a driver who is the direct beneficiary of good pharmaceuticals in action. American driver Carl Skerlong, driving the #14 King Taco car for Pacific Motorsports, topped the timing and scoring chart with a lap of 1.06.963, which is as fast as the slower Indy Cars run on the street circuit. Competing in an event with a naming sponsor in the drug store trade, Rexall means that Skerlong, who has battled a bad cold for most of the week, probably really means it when he thanks them and his doctors for being able to compete in the twin Alberta, Canada races.

It's great after a month-long break to come back and be on top in the first session, but I'm lucky to be here," Skerlong said. "For the last two days, I've been fighting a really bad cold. I got to the doctor yesterday and he got me on some medicine, and this morning I'm finally feeling better, thankfully. This is a really physical track. It really takes all you have to get around here. I'm hoping to do a few more laps in the race this year than last year. We had contact in the first race and a mechanical in the second race. We've definitely fixed some things within the team and things are going good so far this year. I hope to capitalize on it."

If Skerlong is that fast when he's sick, expect fellow American driver Jonathan Bomarito, driving the #26 Del Taco car for Mathiasen Motorsports, who lead most of the opening session only to be eclipsed by the other Taco sponsored car, to send off a Get Well card from Rexall posthaste. Bomarito, who has been quick all season, points out that street circuits have been a good match for himself and Mathiasen.

"I like these temporary circuits, whether they're airports or street courses, they've really been good to me," Bomarito said. "I'm excited for a good weekend. It's starting off to be a good weekend already. I was at the top of the time charts pretty much the whole session. I just got bumped there at the end. I had a throttle stick, and fortunately was able to keep it off the wall, so we were fortunate there to escape what could have been a big one. I'm super excited for the rest of the weekend. I think we have a really solid car to go work from here."

Fortunately for the thousands of Canadian fans who love this event, third quick this morning was the ever popular James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #3 Indeck car for Forsythe Petit Racing. His speed bodes well for the weekend, in which two races will be run on consecutive days.

Rounding out the top five in the practice session was Finn Markus Niemela, the #8 Brooks Racing driver, who has been fast all season in fourth, and the Mont Tremblant winner, Junior Strous, driving in the #6 Condor Motorsports entry.

Qualifying for Friday's race, the first of two this weekend, will take place this afternoon.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jonathan Bomarito , Junior Strous , James Hinchcliffe , Markus Niemela