Roger Yasukawa won the Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Milwaukee Mile after his Hylton Motorsports teammate, polesitter Ryan Hunter-Reay, exited the race with engine failure just after the halfway point of the race. Hunter-Reay had ...
Roger Yasukawa won the Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Milwaukee Mile after his Hylton Motorsports teammate, polesitter Ryan Hunter-Reay, exited the race with engine failure just after the halfway point of the race. Hunter-Reay had dominated the race to that point, lapping all but nine cars of the 22-car Atlantic field. While Yasukawa did not have the outright speed of his teammate, he was able to maintain the lead to the finish.
Hunter-Reay led from the green flag, but lost it to Yusakawa on lap 12 after losing momentum while lapping a slower car. Two laps later, Hunter-Reay was able to re-pass Yusakawa and went on to establish a huge led that he held until his race-ending engine failure.
In the first part of the race, Alex Gurney and Rudolfo Lavin were having a good battle for fourth position behind Jonathan Macri. Jon Fogarty and Ryan Dalziel were following in line behind that battle. The two Lynx Racing drivers, Michael Valiante and Grant Ryley, had done well to advance from their poor qualifying positions (17th and 14th) to run eighth and ninth. Similarly, Alex Figge had moved up from a 13th place start and was challenging Ryley for ninth when the race's only caution flew to remove Hunter-Reay's car.
After the caution period, several drivers had good restarts: Gurney and Lavin both getting past Macri and Valiante passing several cars to get to 5th position. Fogarty, Valiante and Figge then had an exciting battle for that fifth spot, with Fogarty getting the position on lap 58 and Figge making the pass for 6th one lap later.
As the last ten laps of the race ran out, the top four positions were covered by only 2 seconds, and it got exciting with just three laps to go. Lavin passed Gurney for second place on lap 67 (of 70) and Macri moved Gurney back to fourth one lap later. This battle for 2nd through 4th positions gave Yusakawa the cushion he needed to seal the win.
The final order of finish was: Yusakawa, Lavin, Macri, Gurney, and Fogarty in the top five, followed by Figge, Valiante, Waldemar Coronas, Liuz Diaz, Dalziel, Ryley and David Cutler as the remaining cars on the lead lap.
After 3 events, Fogarty now leads the Toyota Atlantic Championship series point standings with 46 points, followed by Valiante (41) and Lavin (30). Race winner Yusakawa and Gurney are tied for 4th with 29 points.