Conor Daly Battles with Rivals to Acquire Sixth Win of 2010, Mitchell and Calderon Place Three Juncos Racing Drivers in Top Eight Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 21, 2010) - After winning his eighth pole position of the season and simultaneously ...
Conor Daly Battles with Rivals to Acquire Sixth Win of 2010,
Mitchell and Calderon Place Three Juncos Racing Drivers in Top Eight
Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 21, 2010) - After winning his eighth pole position of the season and simultaneously smashing the record for most poles won in a single season, Conor Daly won his sixth race of the season in this afternoon's action-packed event at Road America. Though Daly ultimately claimed the victory, the 18-year-old still had his share of battles throughout the 45-minute race. Daly had a difficult time getting going on the standing-start, causing him to lose two positions right away. The battle at the front of the field remained heated for several laps until Daly finally emerged as the leader once again on lap five.
The young talent from Noblesville, Indiana then proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, gaining about one second every lap, until he was an entire five seconds ahead of the second place car. Daly also claimed the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:07.494. On lap 15, the yellow flag came out and stayed out until there was only one lap to go. It was then a one-lap dash to the finish line in which Daly took the checkered flag and the win.
"It was a great day for Juncos Racing," said Daly. "We all worked really hard and as a result, we had a great weekend. The race was interesting at the beginning because I didn't get the best start and immediately found myself trying to regain my lead. I chased the guys in front of me and was able to pass them back for first position. After that, I just concentrated on making a gap and finishing in first. I want to thank everyone on Juncos Racing for another great weekend, and I'm looking forward to the race next weekend at Mosport International Raceway."
With six wins, eight poles and ten podium finishes to date this season, Daly has now formed an overwhelming 69-point gap in the driver's championship over Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn. With such a large lead, there is a strong possibility that Daly could secure the championship title at next week's event at Mosport International Raceway. With two races left, Daly also has the potential to break Michael McDowell's record for most races won in a single season (seven wins in a ten-race season).
Teammates Rusty Mitchell and Tatiana Calderon both showed extreme growth and talent in this afternoon's race and allowed the Juncos Racing team to place all three cars in the top eight positions.
After a speedy qualifying session this morning, Rusty Mitchell was determined to fight his way to the front of the field right from the get-go. Mitchell pushed to pass competitors, perhaps a little too hard, causing him to swing a little too wide at one corner and drive off and back on the track. The young Texan then struggled with his tires wearing down too quickly and lost positions. Mitchell stayed in the race until the end, however, and was able to finish fifth in the race-one of his best finishes of the season.
"First of all, I want to thank the guys for their hard work," said Mitchell. "I had a really good car, and the race turned out okay in the end. I had a top-five finish which is my best result since O'Reilly Raceway Park, so I'm happy about that. I was pushing a little too hard at the start of the race and my tires went off quickly, but I was still able to deliver a solid finish. I want to congratulate my teammate Conor Daly for another win."
Tatiana Calderon has made it her mission this season to show her competitors that she truly is the real deal. Despite a rough start, the 17-year-old displayed an aggressive and impressive drive in which she closed gaps and overtook cars for positions. Calderon had advanced to sixth position by the end of the race but was involved in a last-lap incident which caused her to lose two positions and ultimately finish in eighth position. Still, the young Colombian driver had a great race and has continuously impressed throughout her rookie season.
"Overall, the race was perfect for me," said Calderon. "I had a bad start and restart, but in the race, I was able to pass several cars, so I think I'm gaining more respect every race. I want to thank the team for a great job again all weekend. I'm looking forward to racing at Mosport International Raceway next week."
"I'm extremely happy," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "I really feel like the weekend was perfect. It was the first time our team raced at Road America, and we love the track. This was an important victory for us. We have gained a large gap in the driver's championship before the season has even ended which has been the goal for us from the start. There is some definite pressure going into the last two rounds, but we are just going to focus on more wins like we have all year. Conor (Daly) proved once again this weekend that he is one of the best drivers in the field.
"The way we worked together as a group this weekend was probably the best it's ever been. We worked very late hours every night to provide the best car for each Juncos Racing driver, and we did just that.
"I'm so happy that Rusty (Mitchell) was able to get up to speed so quickly this weekend. The fact that he finished fifth in today's race proved that he is definitely going in the right direction. We are going to look for some podium finishes now in the last two races. Tatiana (Calderon) proved that she is an extremely talented driver once again. She dropped back to 13th at the start of the race today but drove aggressively and fought her way back up to finish in eighth. I think everybody is starting to realize that she truly knows what she is doing.
"I really want to thank Ernie Gonella, our engineer, because he really showed this weekend that he is the best there is. I can't even find the words to thank every crew member for their hard work and dedication. This was a challenging race for us, but the whole team made it a great one. We are all looking forward to next week's race at Mosport International Raceway."
Round 12 of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear takes place next weekend, August 26-28, at the Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.
-source: juncos racing