The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear contested its fourth event of 2010 a week ago as the teams and drivers were at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the Night Before the 500. It was also the first in a pair of ...
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear contested its fourth event of 2010 a week ago as the teams and drivers were at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the Night Before the 500. It was also the first in a pair of back-to-back oval starts, races that sophomore David Ostella particularly enjoys.
"It's just awesome to go side-by-side, and at ORP it could take a full lap to pull off a pass," Ostella said upon his return to Canada during the week. "I love that kind of racing. You're always a little worried about the other guy, but it's just really a lot of fun."
What wasn't so fun, was the night Ostella endured after an early slip changed his whole mindset for the race. "I brushed the wall very early in the race and I bent the rear suspension," he said of his time at the oval. "I was still able to go on, but the car was no longer at its full potential. Afterwards I just had to stay consistent and not make any further mistakes; and get as many points from the night as possible."
As recovery runs with damaged equipment go, Ostella's ability to complete 120 laps was commendable. Only three cars worked past on the track, and the young Canadian crossed in eighth place for his night's work. The next day he was off to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500.
"It was awesome to be there!" Ostella said of the 94th running of the famed race. "It was my first time there and it was really something to watch. It really helped make for a good weekend. Overall we struggled to get the car at its full potential, but with a tap of the wall and finishing 8th it was a good run considering. Then Sunday was just incredible."
Ostella looks to run the 500 himself one day as he continues on the Road to Indy with the Star Mazda Championship, and he does so with support from Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars, Masters Insurance, Pro Green Demolition and RAW Integrated Ltd. His sights for now are set on race five of 2010, the 2nd Annual Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway. The eighteen-year- old Canadian has fond memories of the Iowa tri-oval, as last year he scored his first Star Mazda podium there running under the lights. Ostella's thoughts at the time were very much those of surprise.
"It was just awesome to get on the podium for the first time this year and for it to be from an oval seems crazy to me, something I didn't really expect," he said following a third-place finish. "The race was a little confusing at the beginning and it cost me a few positions, but I knew I had the car for a top finish and on restarts I just showed it. I moved back up, and once in third I didn't want to push it too hard and ruin a third-place finish so I kept it smart and just took us to the podium."
Ostella will look to do the same beginning June 18th. After three practice sessions on Friday, drivers will both qualify and race on Saturday, June 19th, once again under the lights for one hour.