Daly Flies through Field from Last Place to Finish on Podium, Calderon Delivers Best Result of Star Mazda Career Joliet, Ill., July 31, 2010 - Though the day got off to a rough start for the Juncos Racing crew, it quickly improved in a thrilling...
Daly Flies through Field from Last Place to Finish on Podium,
Calderon Delivers Best Result of Star Mazda Career
Joliet, Ill., July 31, 2010 - Though the day got off to a rough start for the Juncos Racing crew, it quickly improved in a thrilling and action-packed race this afternoon at Autobahn Country Club. Conor Daly, who initially qualified fifth this morning, was penalized for a technical infraction following the qualifying session which forced him to start today's race at the back of the field in 23rd position. Daly didn't lose focus, however, and delivered another successful and impressive race. By the time the first lap was over, the 18-year-old had overtaken ten cars, and by the end, he had gained 20 positions, resulting in a third place finish. Daly also claimed the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:13.769 which was the only lap time under the two minutes and 13 seconds mark. He now leads the driver's championship by 46 points over Anders Krohn.
"We bounced back from adversity today," said Daly. "It was a great run for the Juncos Racing team again. Our car was fantastic, we proved we have the speed yet again, and I felt like we could have won today if we had the chance. There's always tomorrow, though, so hopefully we will stay within the rule book and everyone else will, too. We'll see what happens, but it should be a good day tomorrow."
Rookie Tatiana Calderon accomplished the best result of her Star Mazda Championship career in today's race. The 17-year-old consistently moved up through the field throughout the entire race and crossed the finish line in a well-deserved fourth position. She was later scored in seventh position, however, due to an earlier racing incident with Anders Krohn in which he spun and she continued. Despite the penalty, Calderon proved she definitely has what it takes to compete at the front of the field.
"I'm really happy with my performance today," said Calderon. "To me, it doesn't matter if I finished in seventh or fourth or wherever because I drove really well and felt really good about it. I think my fellow competitors have a lot of respect for me now. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying session and hoping it will be better than today's. My new goal is to finish on the podium in the next race."
After this morning's qualifying session, teammate Rusty Mitchell found he needed a replacement engine for his #66 Juncos Racing/Motorola/Petro Comm./HRP Racing Products/Texas Autosports Formula Mazda before this afternoon's race. The Juncos Racing crew worked hard to prepare the car in time, and Mitchell's race got off to a promising start. The Texas native had gained three positions on the opening lap and was on his way up through the field until he came into contact with the #11 car of Connor De Phillippi and spun out. Though Mitchell continued and had the seventh fastest lap time of the race, the incident was enough to hurt his race and prevent him from finishing in the top ten positions.
"First of all, I want to thank the guys for working so hard to get my engine changed between qualifying and the race," said Mitchell. "They did a great job getting it ready in time. Unfortunately, I was involved in an incident in turn one near the beginning of the race and spun. After that, I passed as many cars as I could, but eventually I just ran out of time. The Juncos Racing guys did a great job today, and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's events."
"Once again, I really want to thank the whole team," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "Today was really, really difficult for us. We had to change Rusty's engine after qualifying and still make sure everything was ready for the race, so it was a lot of extra pressure, but the whole crew did a fantastic job. I'm happy that even though we had a problem with Rusty's engine and we made a mistake with Conor's car, we still came back strong and are still alive and competitive.
"Conor proved once again in today's race that he's the real deal. He's a fantastic driver, and he has a fantastic racecar. I'm also happy for Rusty because he still finished the race even though he could have been so much better if he hadn't had contact with the #11 car. Nonetheless, he still won a good amount of points for the championship. I want to congratulate Tatiana because in this race she really showed everybody what she can do. Like I said in my first announcement in January about her, her potential is enormous. She has grown a lot, and she still has more room to improve, so I have a good feeling about her racing in the near future.
"Even though today had its rough patches, our mentality at Juncos Racing is to just keep pushing and looking forward to the future. We are focused now on the next race tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be a much better day overall for us."
-source: juncos racing