Juncos Racing's Conor Daly Secures Championship with Seventh Race Win at Mosport International Raceway Bowmanville, Ontario (August 28, 2010) - In an exciting, record-breaking and truly dominative season in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship ...
Juncos Racing's Conor Daly Secures Championship with Seventh Race Win at Mosport International Raceway
Bowmanville, Ontario (August 28, 2010) - In an exciting, record-breaking and truly dominative season in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, Juncos Racing and driver Conor Daly not only secured their seventh win, but also clinched the 2010 championship title today at Mosport International Raceway. Though he needed only to finish 17th or better to secure the title, Daly went out and led every lap of the 45-minute event from green flag to checkered and formed nearly a three-second gap over the rest of the field; these results coming from a driver who claimed he would mainly be focused on driving a "conservative" race today.
"I think this is probably the best day of the year-and at least the last several years-for me," said Daly. "I'm really happy for the team because they really deserved this win. They came so close last year, and I'm just really happy that I was able to help them win it this year. They work so hard every weekend, and it's just so great to be able to win the championship as a part of their team. Now, it's on to Road Atlanta next month, and hopefully we will see more Juncos Racing cars on the podium there."
Not only did Daly win yet another pole position, another race and the driver's championship, but he also broke all kinds of records this season including the most pole positions won in a season, the most podiums won in a season and the current tie for most races won in a season. The 18-year-old also extended his lead in the Visit Florida Cup, a seven-race "championship within a championship" in which the winner receives a customized dream vacation in Florida. Juncos Racing currently sits second in the overall team championship, but with today's win, the team has now made the gap that much smaller between it and current first place team Andersen Racing.
After narrowly missing the championship win as a first-year team in 2009 with driver Peter Dempsey, this championship win in the team's second year of Star Mazda Championship competition is especially special to the ever hardworking and dedicated team members of Juncos Racing.
Rusty Mitchell started this weekend fast, solid and in pursuit of his first podium finish of the season. The 27-year-old was consistently in the top-ten positions in each session, and in qualifying, he clocked in a seventh place lap time on only his second lap. Unfortunately, Mitchell made a mistake in qualifying that ended up costing him his starting position; the #66 Motorola / Petro Communications / HRP Racing Products / Texas Autosports Mazda then needed new tires for the race, and according to regulations, that meant he would need to start at the back of the grid.
Despite the setback, the Texas native made it his mission to plow past cars and regain the position he deserved. Mitchell was able to overtake half of the field during the 45-minute timed event, and had he had more time, he looked to be on his way to pass even more. He ultimately finished today's race in ninth position.
"Today's race went pretty well," said Mitchell. "I think I just ran out of time and didn't have enough yellow flags like I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I started at the rear, but I was still able to make up nine positions, so I'm happy. I really want to thank the guys for working hard all weekend again, and of course, a huge congratulations to my teammate, Conor Daly, and the whole Juncos Racing team for another race win and the championship title; they deserve it."
Rookie Tatiana Calderon went into this weekend with slight apprehension towards the high-speed corners of Mosport International Raceway but left with drastically improved lap times (nearly three seconds of improvement) and confidence. Though she had never driven on this track until two days ago, the 17-year-old still demonstrated her will and talent during the race by hunting down cars and driving consistently, all the while battling with mechanical issues. The young Bogota, Colombia native ultimately finished the race in 16th position.
"The race wasn't what I was expecting," said Calderon. "The start was really good, but from the middle of the race to the end, I lost a little bit of freedom because I think the car was a little bit loose. I've definitely gained a lot of experience for next year, though, and I'm still really looking forward to the final race at Road Atlanta next month."
"Today is one of the best days of my life," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "Even though we've won many championships before in karting, this one is a big one. It's even more meaningful for me because we were so close to winning last year. Peter (Dempsey) came to us partway into the season, and we pushed for the championship from there; with Conor (Daly), we've been pushing for this since the start of the season. This victory really is everything you want for a team. Everybody was working hard from day one to get this result, and I'm so happy to see all the team members so happy and celebrating because they deserve this and so does Conor.
"I really want to thank every single member of the team for making this happen, and I really want to thank Conor for believing and trusting in Juncos Racing and giving us the opportunity to bring him the championship. I also really want to mention once again all the hard work Ernie Gonella and Peter Dempsey have done all year. They've been a huge help and major keys to our success.
"Today's qualifying with Rusty (Mitchell) was very unfortunate. He went off the track and damaged the car, and because of that, we had to put on new tires and start last. The main goal after that was to shoot for top-ten finish. With his ninth place finish, I definitely think he performed a job well done. I feel sorry for Tatiana (Calderon) because it's the first time all year she wasn't able to improve in race. We were losing speed with the car which was out of her control. At the same time, she continues to improve and get better with every race, and we are going to make sure we fix the problem with her car for next race."
Up next for the Juncos Racing crew is a private test at Road Atlanta in two weeks followed by the final event of the 2010 season at Road Atlanta on October 1.
-source: juncos racing