Three for Three-- Daly Takes Third Straight Win of 2010 at O'Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis, Ind., May 29, 2010 - Conor Daly, driver of the ...
Three for Three-- Daly Takes Third Straight Win of 2010 at O'Reilly Raceway Park
Indianapolis, Ind., May 29, 2010 - Conor Daly, driver of the #22 Juncos Racing/INDECK/The College Network/Merchant Services Ltd./Tom Lange Co. car, took his third straight win in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in tonight's Night Before the 500 event at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. A Noblesville, Indiana native, Daly certainly earned the title of "Hometown Hero" in a dominating performance on the .686-mile track. The 18-year old was able to overtake pole-sitter Mikael Grenier on the first lap of the race, and from there, surged ahead to lead every lap of the 125-lap event.
"The Juncos Racing car was absolutely perfect," said Daly. "It's hard to say a racing car is perfect, but it really was fantastic. In the race, I was leading going into turn two after passing (Mikael) Grenier on the outside. That was the plan and goal, and I was able to accomplish it. After that, I just focused on not making any mistakes. It was a difficult race for sure. An oval track is a lot harder to race on than people think, but if you have a good car, you have a lot more fun. I'm just so happy with this whole weekend."
In addition to his commanding win, Daly clocked in the fastest lap of the race with a time of 20.758 seconds while simultaneously overtaking car after car. He ultimately ended up as one of only four cars to finish on the lead lap of the race. Daly also gained more valuable points and extended his lead in the 2010 driver championship.
Tatiana Calderon, driver of the #25 Juncos Racing/Kia Motors car, had an impressive run this weekend in every practice session. The Juncos Racing team saw a huge improvement in the young rookie-both in driving and in confidence-from the time of the official series test at O'Reilly Raceway Park at the beginning of this month to this weekend's event. After finishing ninth last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Calderon was ready to take on her first oval race and continue her streak of improvement. All looked promising for the 17-year old today, until a shoulder injury started to strongly impact her race, forcing her to retire early.
"I'm disappointed I wasn't able to finish the race," said Calderon. "This was still an important weekend for me, though, because I gained a lot of confidence with the car which will be very important for all kinds of tracks. I needed the experience of driving on a really fast oval to help me with fast corners on road and street courses. Next time we race, I think we will be really good. I'm looking forward to the next race-I'm going to work really hard to be ready for it."
"This was another great weekend for us," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We came here straight from Laguna with very little time to prepare for this race, so it was a pretty intense work week. The team did an amazing job working hard, long hours as usual, so I can't thank them enough. We were a little concerned for the race because we weren't sure how we would compensate with the extra grip on the track after the sprint cars had raced on it, but Ernie, our engineer, had a plan going into the race which worked for us.
"Conor started today's race in second position, but we saw it as a slight advantage since the outside line was the faster line. The balance of the car was also perfect, and Conor was able to get the lead quickly. From there, we just concentrated on pulling away and finishing strongly. It was another weekend where Conor was able to demonstrate his great talent and potential.
"It's unfortunate that Tatiana was unable to complete the race today, but with the physical strain she was experiencing with her injury, we thought the safest thing to do was to retire early. She had an unbelievable weekend and has continued to improve every time she goes on track. Peter (Dempsey) has been a great driver coach for her, and they've been able to work well together to get her better and better every time.
"I want to extend another special thank you to the team for everything they do. They've put an extreme amount of effort and dedication forward, and for that, I am very grateful. Now, we are focused on achieving another successful weekend at Iowa Speedway in a few weeks."
As a whole, Round Four of the Star Mazda Championship was another huge success for Juncos Racing. The team is now looking forward to the second oval race of the season at Iowa Speedway for Round Five on June 19.