Skerlong Takes Fourth and Fastest Race Lap Mukilteo, Washington (September 22, 2008) -- Seattle's Carl Skerlong was denied a fifth podium of the season on Sunday, 21st September, as the Pacific Coast Motorsports racer finished fourth at ...
Skerlong Takes Fourth and Fastest Race Lap
Mukilteo, Washington (September 22, 2008) -- Seattle's Carl Skerlong was denied a fifth podium of the season on Sunday, 21st September, as the Pacific Coast Motorsports racer finished fourth at the checkered in Round 10 of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Utah's Miller Motorsports Park.
A mere half a second was the difference between Skerlong in fourth and fellow American Dane Cameron ahead in third as they crossed the start-finish line at the end of Sunday's 20-lap race. Carl, who scored his first career Atlantic victory a week earlier in New Jersey, just finished shy of a top-three finish but he claimed the extra point for fastest lap of the race and gained a spot in the Driver Standings heading into the season finale in two weeks time sitting fourth overall on 189 points.
The 19-year-old returned to the sweeping 4.486-mile Miller Motorsports Park having first raced there in 2006 in the Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship. While he set the second fastest lap time in Saturday's qualifying session, Friday's qualifying outing enjoyed the faster of the times forcing Carl to start sixth on the grid come Sunday's 50-minute race.
Underlining the pace of the #14 King Taco/Pacific Coast Motorsports Swift Mazda-Cosworth, Skerlong again set the second fastest time in Sunday morning's warm-up. His pace would ultimately serve him well despite being held up for the first forty minutes of the race. Eventually clearing the #4 entry to take fourth, Carl eradicated a ten second gap to Cameron in third in the closing stages.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, a 2m29.564s, with two to go, Skerlong's speed echoed that of the week before where he dominated the New Jersey weekend to claim the maximum points haul. His fourth place finish at Miller, along with the extra bonus point for fastest lap, netted the American sophomore racer 24 more points promoting him to fourth in the Driver Standings with one to go. Finland's Markus Niemela claimed the victory ahead of fellow title-contender Jonathan Summerton and Dane Cameron.
"We collected quite a few points from the weekend so I can't complain about just missing the podium," said Skerlong. "The pace of the car was there but I was held up behind De Silvestro's car for most of the race. When I finally passed I was on it and was able to show just how quick we were with fastest lap of the race and the way I closed the gap to Dane in third. I'm happy that I've gained another place in the standings and we've just got to keep our momentum going heading into the final round. I haven't raced at Road Atlanta before but we've already proved how quickly we can pick things up so hopefully we can target another strong weekend to cap the season!"