John Edwards, Star Mazda Race 1 winner on pole for Sunday's Race 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park Sunday, September 13, 2008 / New Jersey Motorsports Park -- John Edwards, who qualified on the front row and went on to win Race 1 / Round 9 of the...
John Edwards, Star Mazda Race 1 winner on pole for Sunday's Race 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park
Sunday, September 13, 2008 / New Jersey Motorsports Park -- John Edwards, who qualified on the front row and went on to win Race 1 / Round 9 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear double-header at New Jersey Motorsports Park, will start from the pole for this afternoon's Race 2 / Round 10. His lap of 1:15.168 (104.262 mph) in the #7 AIM Autosport Mobil1 Mazda was almost 8/10ths of a second faster than his qualifying time for Saturday's race.
"This session was a little different that yesterdays," said Edwards, a 3-time race winner in the 2008 season. "On Saturday the track kept getting better throughout the session and was really good right at the end. Today, there were a couple of laps in the middle of the session that were good and then it went away a bit toward the end. The good news was that we finished on top instead of giving it away like yesterday; hopefully we can duplicate yesterday's race results."
The top-3 for this afternoon's race will line up on the grid the way they finished in Saturday's race... and all three will be separated by just 2/10ths of a second. Starting on the outside of the front row will be yesterday's pole-sitter Joel Miller, the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship driver. He turned a lap of 1:15.240 (104.163 mph) in the #20 JDC Motorsports / Mazda / K&N Air Filters Mazda, also quicker than his Saturday qualifying time by about 4/10ths of a second.
Starting third will be Irishman Peter Dempsey, who's three-race winning streak (Road America, Trois-Rivieres, Mosport) was snapped by Edward's victory on Saturday. Dempsey turned a lap of 1:15.339 (104.026 mph) in his #21 Andersen Racing / LotusWorks / Quayside.ie / Allied Building Products Mazda. Rounding out the top-5 are Alex Ardoin, who also qualified fourth for Saturday's race but made only a few laps due to an electrical problem in the wiring harness of the #51 Mundill Racing / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda. He was credited with a 23rd-place finish, but will be much more of a factor in today's event.JArdoin won the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2007 and started from the pole earlier this season at Watkins Glen.In 5th is the surprise of the weekend, a Finnish driver named Valle M0x00e4kel0x00e4, making his first start in the Star Mazda Championship. Driving the #31 Andersen Racing / Amitec / Allied Building Products, the native of Laitila, Finland, he finished 4th in Saturday's race and will start from fifth on the grid for this afternoon's event with a lap of 1:16.180 (102.877 mph).
The quickest Expert Series driver in qualifying both Saturday and today was Vancouver native Chris Cumming. Driving the #16 World Speed Motorsports / Inviro Medical Mazda, he turned a 1:17.586 (101.013 mph), good for the 14th starting spot on the grid. Cumming leads the Expert Series championship battle with six class wins so far this season, but retired just four laps into Saturday's race, handing the class win to J.W. Roberts. Master Series racer (and championship leader with six class wins) Chuck Hulse will start 18th on the 23 car grid for this afternoon's race with a lap of 1:18.031 (100.437 mph) in the #12 JDC Motorsports / Silicon Salvage Mazda.
The green flag for Race 2 / Round 10 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will wave at 2:15 pm Sunday, September 14. Race 1 / Round 9 will air on SPEED TV Sunday, October 5 at 2:00 pm (ET), while Race 2 / Round 10 will be broadcast Sunday, October 12 at 1:00 pm (ET).