Matt Jaskol podium in Road Atlanta, still Rookie Leader. On to trucks next weekend. Matt Jaskol was able to maintain his second place in the Star Mazda Championship, as well as his Rookie Points lead at last weekend's second event of the series,...
Matt Jaskol podium in Road Atlanta, still Rookie Leader. On to trucks next weekend.
Matt Jaskol was able to maintain his second place in the Star Mazda Championship, as well as his Rookie Points lead at last weekend's second event of the series, at Road Atlanta. Battling tire problems at the end of the race, the young driver was still able to finish third in the race and retain his championship battle.
Coming off his first victory in the ASA Speed Truck series the previous weekend in his home track of Las Vegas (he qualified on pole, won the Trophy Dash and the main race), Matt started fourth on the Road Atlanta grid of over 40 cars, and made his way up to second on the first lap. After settling in third and pulling away with the leaders from the rest of the competitors, he started to have problems with rapidly deteriorating tires, and had to spend much of the race nursing a badly damaged left tire. Still, he drove a flawless race to secure that position, and still managed to challenge for second place by the end of the race.
"Around lap ten we lost a big chunk out of the left front tire so for about 20 laps I just pushed on as hard as I could to keep on" Jaskol explained. "It's a little disappointing because Hearn Motorsports had given me a car that could've won the race today."
While a lot of his competitors committed costly mistakes, Matt maintained his "cool" and finished on the podium the second consecutive time this season in as many races.
"We came here not knowing what to expect, different than a lot of teams we had not tested here, and I didn't even race here last year. But we're able to work on a good set-up for the race and if it wasn't for the tire problems we would have finished higher. As it turns out, the podium was a good result. That's racing, and I am in second in the Championships, leading the rookie points. Don't count me out just yet."
Next weekend, Matt will again compete in the ASA Speed Truck Challenge, at the Mesa-Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, with the United Nissan/Canyon State Oil #3 Chevy S-10. He leads that series overall, as well its' Rookie Points competition.
He will also competeat theSnap-on Stars of Karting event at Moran Raceway in Beaumont, CA on the same weekend, and will have to shuttle between the two races by helicopter. Next challenge in his career ?
"The time where I will have to make a decision between oval or road racing is approaching fast. This decision will affect my career, specially in the next few years...but I am confident I will be fast in either one of them", pondered Jaskol, and completed: "I am fortunate to be in this position, as both series are very competitive. I need to thank my supporters Eagle Air Conditioning of Las Vegas, my family, my teams for giving me the backing I need to challenge for the lead in two series simultaneously. Leading both rookie points, runner up in one championship and leader in the other -- it won't be an easy decision".
The next Star Mazda event, on May 22nd in Mid-Ohio, will be the first conflicting date for Matt, between that series and the Speed Truck. Before then, he will have to make a decision on where he will be. Stay tuned to www.mattjaskol.com for more news.