Mattioli Cousins Ready for Top 5 in May 2nd NJ KONI Grand Am Long Pond, PA (April 29th, 2009) - The Mattioli Cousins, Chase Mattioli and Nick Igdalsky, were officially scored with a 11th place finish in Round 2 of Grand Am's KONI Challenge ...
Mattioli Cousins Ready for Top 5 in May 2nd NJ KONI Grand Am
Long Pond, PA (April 29th, 2009) - The Mattioli Cousins, Chase Mattioli and Nick Igdalsky, were officially scored with a 11th place finish in Round 2 of Grand Am's KONI Challenge Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway on, March 15th, but post race inspection and disqualification of the race winner made them 10th. This Saturday, the boys are out to break into the top five at the Garden State 250 at Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park in their #47 Pocono Raceway JBS KONI Mustang.
Chase was busy last weekend driving his Liquid Fence Toyota in the ARCA RE/MAX Talladega 250. While he struggled to get in into 20 in practice on Thursday, April 23rd, a fuel line problem was fixed only moments before qualifying. Not knowing what to expect, Chase let it all hang out, and posted a qualifying speed of 184.786 mph, good enough for a 10th place starting position, and only ½ a second behind the pole winner.
"I could not believe it," Chase commented after the run. "We struggled all day trying to find the problem and once we did, I was not sure how fast we would be. When I finished the run and they told be we were 10th quickest, I could not have been happier with this, my first time at Talladega. My owner, Bobby Hamilton, and the crew are just incredible. Switching to Toyota and having Triad Racing Technologies prepare our engines was a great move and I can't thank Booby enough, Chase concluded.
In the race, Chase ran with the leaders in two and three car wide drafts, moving up as high as 6th. A top 10 finish looked likely until the engine let go on lap 70
"I am note sure exactly what happened, but I had some front end damage and that could have caused the engine to overheat, but I was in the hunt for 70 laps of 97 total and got some great experience. At Daytona I had to start at the 43rd and got as high as 15th, but I was out after only 31 laps after getting caught up in a wreck and finished 35th. We are making progress," Chase commented.
Mattioli arrives in New Jersey Motorsports Park after a whirlwind week as a hard working freshman at Fordham University in the Bronx. When he is not in the car this weekend he will be cracking the books for final exams next week.
The next KONI Grand Am event on Chase's schedule is May 17th in Laguna Seca, California.