Road America: Race notes

Ron White victorious in Round Nine at Road America August 19, 2006. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Driving the ...

Ron White victorious in Round Nine at Road America

August 19, 2006. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Driving the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, Ron White, of Santa Clara, California, survived a spin early in the event to roll to his maiden victory today in Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Road America. Adrian Carrio, of Monument, Colorado, finished second in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Mazda, 0.471 seconds behind, while Pablo Donoso, of Santiago, Chile, completed the podium as he returned to the series in the #2 Andersen Racing Team Mazda in a race filled with fireworks.

"Adrian was beating me getting onto the front straight so I made some adjustment to my sway bars and threw the car into the corner a little to and it just came around on me, luckily we didn't get hit and was able to get back without losing too many spots," White, who was making his debut weekend with Ross Smith Racing, explained. "This is a pretty sweet way to start it off for myself and everybody at Ross Smith Racing and I have to thank my engineer Kent Stacy who told Ross that I needed to be a part of his team as I'd give them a chance to win so it has definitely worked well for all of us this weekend."

Carrio, who saw his lead dwindle twice due to caution flags, was disappointed to lose the lead ont he final lap but philosophical about the championship implications on a weekend that saw his closest championship competitor, Michael Potekhen, involved in a shunt in the final corner of the circuit. "I have to give kudos to Ron there on the closing lap, I gave him a little bit of room and he managed to get through at the end, still we've pulled out a lot of room in the championship," the seventeen-year old Carrio said. "Those cautions killed our chances today as the car was working really well and I had broken the draft of the cars behind me, so to lose that was tough. I was able to hold everyone off on the first restart and was hoping that Ron and Logan would slow each other down racing for second but Ron was able to pull into the draft and get through. Still it was a great weekend for World Speed and I'm looking forward to Mosport."

Filling in for Brad Jaeger this weekend, Donoso was quickly up to speed as he worked his way to a podium finish. "I'm pretty happy with the race and to be back in the series. I made a couple of mistakes in the race but I think I have the best team and was able to come back," Donoso, who has been racing in the Silver Crown Championship, explained. "It isn't that big of and adjustment going from one to the other. As a driver you have to do the same things no matter what you drive, you push the throttle and try to pass the other drivers, last year I was penalized here and didn't like the track but after this weekend I like the track a lot more."

While White was able to survive and thrive after a spin in turn fourteen, the corner was not so forgiving for other drivers as several incidents would occur there, one with major championship implications as Potekhen, who entered the weekend thirteen points behind Carrio, made contact with Micky Gilbert in the corner as he checked up to avoid a spinning Ramiro Scuncio. All three drivers had their day end in the gravel trap as a result. As a result with three-quarters of the 2006 championship complete Carrio holds a commanding lead in the championship lead with 330 points while Potekhen sits in second place with 287 points and Kevin Lacroix lurks in third place with 286 points.

In the Expert Championship, for drivers aged 30-44, Gerardo Bonilla, of Orlando, Florida, captured the class victory, finishing 4th overall in his #9 Andersen Racing Team Skip Barber Racing Mazda and remains out front in the class championship with 156 points while Brian Thienes holds second place in his #77 JDC Motorsports Thienes Engineering Mazda with 122 points and Dan Tomlin III holds third place with 116 points in the #56 Team Tomlin entry.

In the Masters Championship, for drivers aged 45 and older, John Faulkner emerged with the class victory finishing tenth overall in his #93 Phenom Racing Group Molecule Mazda and moves into the points lead with 129 points. Doug Peterson finished right behind Faulkner on track in the #87 American Speed Factory 3-Dimensional Services Mazda and falls to second in points as well with 127 points. Ken Losch of Paradise Valley, Arizona, is currently third with 135 points in the #52 Apex Racing Avenue Communities Mazda.

In the Team Championship World Speed Motorsports remains in first place with 173 points, John Walko Racing remains in second place with 168 points and Apex Racing sits in third place with 135 points.

The series heads back to Canada for the third and final time this season in two weeks time, where it will join the American Le Mans Series for the Labour Day Grand Prix of Mosport on August 31st through September 2nd. Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to air on Speed Channel at 3:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, August 26th. For more information please visit www.starmazda.com

-credit: star mazda

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers John Faulkner , Skip Barber , Dan Tomlin III , Michael Potekhen , Brad Jaeger , Pablo Donoso , Ross Smith , Adrian Carrio , Kevin Lacroix , Ron White , Ken Losch , Brian Thienes , Gerardo Bonilla , Doug Peterson