Pole Sitter Conor Daly Battles New Jersey Motorsports Park for Position, Tatiana Calderon Delivers Top-Ten and Best Race of Career, Rusty Mitchell Finally Conquers a Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville, N.J., June 27, 2010 - Though...
Pole Sitter Conor Daly Battles New Jersey Motorsports Park for Position, Tatiana Calderon Delivers Top-Ten and Best Race of Career, Rusty Mitchell Finally Conquers a Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park
Millville, N.J., June 27, 2010 - Though Conor Daly snatched both pole positions during the doubleheader event at New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend, he managed to find a load of trouble in both races. In yesterday's race, Daly was falsely penalized for jumping the start, and in today's race, Daly lost his spot at the front of the grid at the start of the race to Andersen Racing's Tristan Vautier. Daly continued to chase Vautier for a good part of the race, but the #38 car started to slip away during the second half of the race. After that, the 18-year-old was blocked by lapped traffic and lost two more positions ultimately finishing the race in 4th position.
"It was a tough day," said Daly. "I got a pretty bad start because I was really focusing on not jumping it. After Tristan (Vautier) passed me at turn one, I started following him and pushing to overtake him. Halfway through the race, I started losing the backend of my car therefore losing time behind Tristan (Vautier). After that, I got caught in traffic and was blocked for a good lap. It's tough, but I still have the championship lead by a good margin, and I still achieved two poles and two top-five finishes this weekend. I want to say thanks again to the Juncos Racing team for working as hard as they do."
Despite the drama Daly dealt with this weekend, he still came out of it with two pole positions and two top five finishes. With 289 points, Daly still maintains his sizable gap in the driver's championship over Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn by 41 points.
Tatiana Calderon delivered the best race of her career today. She finished in 9th position and matched her best finish of the season to date (she finished 9th at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at the end of May). Calderon raced hard with some of the top competitors in the series, continuously closing in on those in front of her and forming a gap over those behind her. At the end, the 17-year-old rookie was turning the second fastest laps of the race in her impressive run on the 2.25-mile road course.
"This was the best race I've ever had," said Calderon. "I'm really, really happy with my result. I was very consistent during the race even though it was a difficult track. I also changed my driving style this weekend which helped me a lot. I think my car was one of the best cars out there today. The team did an amazing job."
Rusty Mitchell had a great start in the race today, overtaking two cars by the first turn and moving up to 10th position. Mitchell was racing hard until he encountered some of the same issues as teammate Conor Daly, losing grip quickly as the race went on and with that, losing track positions. The young man from Texas stayed in it, however, and finished the race respectably in 10th position. Today's race was also a personal accomplishment for Mitchell because it was the first time he finished every lap of a race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
"I got a pretty good start," said Mitchell. "I gained two positions right away and was working my way up through the field. About halfway through, I started experiencing a lack of grip which lasted the rest of the race and made it difficult to improve. I am very impressed with Tatiana (Calderon)-she did a great job today. I want to thank the team for all of their hard work the entire weekend. To finally finish a race at New Jersey Motorsports Park was an accomplishment for me in itself!"
"First of all, I want to congratulate the whole team for their achievements this weekend," said Team Owner, Ricardo Juncos. "We had three drivers who all finished in the top-ten positions today, so we are very proud of our accomplishments. Achievements aside, we were all very disappointed with the false penalties that were given and the penalties that should have been given but weren't over the course of the weekend. We all felt very impotent about the situation, but we are moving on from here forward. It was a tough weekend for us from that aspect, but I feel like the fact that we were still able to win both pole positions proves our capability of running a top car.
"I am so happy with our whole team and the way everyone pushed forward and worked even harder when things weren't going our way. Conor showed his immense potential once again by going from the back of the field to third position in the first race, and I think there is no doubt he is one of the best drivers in the series. Unfortunately today, Conor just didn't have a competitive enough car to win. Rusty had another difficult weekend. It started off really well for him-he was second quickest at one point in a practice session-but after that we struggled. He is new to the team, so we are still spending time learning each other and the car. Our team is 100% committed to doing the best we can to put Rusty at the top of the field because we know he has talent and we know what we are doing. I hope in the short future, the results will be there. "I am so impressed with Tatiana. Every time we race she improves more and more from the beginning of the weekend until the very end of the last lap of the race. Today, she really showed everyone that she can race with the top competitors. I was surprised and so happy to see her running the second fastest lap times at the end of the race today. It's not going to be long before we see her at the top of the charts. Once again, I want to thank the whole team for working hard through a difficult weekend. We aren't going to stop pushing ourselves. If anything, we are only going to get better."
Up next for the Juncos Racing crew are two tests at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. After that, the action of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear continues with Rounds Eight and Nine at the next doubleheader weekend in Joliet, Illinois July 31-August1.
-source: juncos racing