Sophomore formula car racer David Ostella got his first taste of an oval last weekend and the young Canadian learned that the track can bite back. The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear visited 'America's Legendary Oval' and race six...
Sophomore formula car racer David Ostella got his first taste of an oval last weekend and the young Canadian learned that the track can bite back. The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear visited 'America's Legendary Oval' and race six cued 100 laps of the famed Milwaukee Mile on Saturday. Ostella was piecing together his best race weekend of the season when it all went away on lap 85.
"I was running seventh in the race and the car started to fall off late," Ostella recalled upon his return to Canada this week. "I tried my best to keep it in the lead line despite that, and it was still fast, but I ended up getting wide through one and ended up in the wall. It was an awful feeling, but I knew immediately where I was headed. Once you're off the line, there's nothing you can do but go along for the ride."
Ostella also had a few brushes with the wall in practice as he searched for maximum speed around the loop, but without a doubt he was putting together a bid to win. In the first Official session on Friday he posted P3, and in the afternoon he went even quicker when he hit 28-flat. "The car on Friday was set up very well and handled great," Ostella said of his pair of practice runs. "I have to thank the team for that, obviously, and also Lee Bentham for all his help coaching through the corners - even if there were only four!"
One second covered the top twenty in the first run, and in the second when Ostella posted P5 he was just 0.039 seconds from what became pole. Tighter still, less than a second covered the first ten rows of the field and Ostella, for one, was not surprised. "This year the drivers are very good and the competition is tough," said the teenager from Maple, Ontario. "I have raced with a few in karts, so I know those guys and how tough they all are, and the new drivers I've met are just as tough. The competition is just so close, it only takes one wrong move and a race is lost."
When rain washed out the NASCAR Truck Series race on Friday night, Star Mazda qualifying was cancelled Saturday morning and practice times set the field, a fact that Ostella took in stride. "After running so close to the top in practice I really wanted to qualify for this one," he said, "but when they ended up taking practice times and it put me P5, I was happy. Then racing on an oval was just incredible. I made sure I was prepared both mentally and physically for 100 laps, and I feel I could have run another hundred."
Ostella won't have to wait long for his next shot at an oval as the next stop on the Star Mazda schedule sees the championship make its first-ever visit to Iowa Speedway on July 10.