Sara Senske Heads for the High Country

Senske Heads For The High Country Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske had a tough weekend in the Southern California desert during the fourth Star Mazda race of the 1999 season at the Willow Springs Raceway, but them came back in fine form...

Senske Heads For The High Country

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske had a tough weekend in the Southern California desert during the fourth Star Mazda race of the 1999 season at the Willow Springs Raceway, but them came back in fine form during round five on the oval at Pike's Peak. After persevering through a series of mechanical problems, including a blown engine, as well as a collision with another car during Saturday practice, she overcame the handicap of getting just a few laps of practice to qualify sixth on the Willow Springs road course. In the race, she had to deal with driving gently at the start to break in a new engine that was installed the night before and finished seventh. At Pike's Peak, a race where Senske qualified on the front row and finished third last year, the Star Mazdas were competing in front of all the IRL teams competing in the Radisson 200. She was the fastest car on the track from the moment they rolled her #19 Lynx Racing/S3 Racing Star Mazda off the trailer until, in qualifying, an ill-timed gust of wind on the straight cost her 4/10ths of a second and put her back in 6th on the starting grid. She was again fastest in the morning warm-up, and in the race, despite the car being loose, she moved from sixth to fourth by the end of the first lap. In subsequent laps, interspersed with caution flags, she moved up to 2nd and was battling with the leader. She got caught in traffic, dropped back to 5th with ten laps to go, and turned the fastest lap of the race on her way back up to finish 3rd. With her Pike's Peak podium, Senske moves up from sixth to fifth in the championship battle with 128 points. Joey Hand, who, like Senske, drives a car fielded by Kent Stacy's S3 Racing and finished sixth at Pike's Peak, dropped from first to second with 154 points. Pike's Peak winner Tim Enoch now leads the series with 167 points. In Star Mazda, 45 points is awarded for a win, 40 for second, 37 for third, etc. The next race on Senske's schedule is the new short oval at Irwindale Speedway on July 17. The race will be run in the evening under the lights, with the Star Mazda cars as the main event. "We've had some good results this year, and some struggles," says Senske. "And a big part of my education with Lynx Racing is learning how to make the most of both the mechanical and human resources available to me on any given weekend. Communication with my engineer and overall within the team keeps improving and it's showing in the results. We're looking forward to Irwindale because we seem to run really well on ovals, and we need to close the points gap to make a run at the championship during the remaining races."

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Joey Hand