IRISH RACER PETER DEMPSEY WINS FROM THE POLE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY IN THE PIZZA RANCH 100 -- HIS SECOND WIN OF THE 2009 SEASON IS A FIRST FOR HIS NEW TEAM, JUNCOS RACING Iowa Speedway (July 10, 2009) -- Peter Dempsey, sporting bright green hair in ...
IRISH RACER PETER DEMPSEY WINS FROM THE POLE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY IN THE PIZZA RANCH 100 -- HIS SECOND WIN OF THE 2009 SEASON IS A FIRST FOR HIS NEW TEAM, JUNCOS RACING
Iowa Speedway (July 10, 2009) -- Peter Dempsey, sporting bright green hair in celebration of both his Irish heritage and his pole-winning performance in qualifying earlier in the afternoon, put all joking aside to dominate a 21-car field on the 7/8ths-mile Iowa Speedway oval in the inaugural Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Pizza Ranch 100.Surviving a crash-filled race and multiple, hair-raising re-starts, Dempsey pulled away from the field again and again in his #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda, building a 7-second lead heading into the home stretch. This is Dempsey's second win of the season, achieved with two different teams; he took the top step of the podium in Round 2 at Virginia International Raceway with AIM Autosport early in the season, but switched to Juncos Racing just before the Milwaukee Mile two weeks ago. After running second for most of the race and finally finishing fourth there, he came to Iowa in second place in the championship... and leaves with a 9-point lead.
"I just can't thank the Juncos team enough for giving me such a great car all weekend," says Dempsey, who earned the nickname 'The Irish Steamroller' with four Star Mazda wins in the 2008 season -- including three of them in a row. "I've been going along race-to-race trying to find the money to continue, never with enough to go testing before a race, and now I got to test at this track before I came here to race, and next week we're going to do a test at Autobahn, the next track where we race. This is the way racing should be and I'm lucky to have this opportunity and happy to score a win here for the Juncos Racing team."
Finishing a hard-fought second after qualifying 8th was Conor Daly, who races the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda with sponsorship from the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder. Starting fifth and placing third, in his best finish so far this season, was Canadian David Ostella in the #71 AIM Autosport/Global Precast Mazda. The winner of the Expert Series for drivers 30 -- 44 years old was Japanese Racer Toshihiro Deki in the #80 Goshen Motorsports Mazda; he won his class and finished 12th overall, moving him into the lead in of the Expert Series championship battle.
Also having an excellent race was American Rusty Mitchell, who qualified 6th in his #66 Mitchell Motorsports / Motorola Mazda and finished 4th; this on the heels of a well-deserved 6th-place finish two weeks ago at the Milwaukee Mile, the first of two oval races in a row for the Star Mazda Championship. Rounding out the top-5 was Englishman Adam Christodoulou who scored two quick wins early in the season; he came to Iowa leading the championship and started from third on the grid.
In the Star Mazda Championship points battle, Dempsey leads with 252 points, followed by Adam Christodoulou driver of the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda; he is the only other driver so far this season with two race wins and came to Iowa leading the championship but after qualifying third and finishing fifth, he leaves nine points behind at 243. Brazilian racer Caio Lara, who qualified 17th and finished ninth in the #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW/ Molecule Mazda, moves from 5th to 3rd in the championship with 213 points.Conor Daly, one of the five race winners so far this season with his victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park climbs from 7th to 4th in the championship with 211 points. Rounding out the top-5, despite the worst luck a driver can have at a race -- tangling with a teammate --is Joel Miller, driving the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda. Nor was his luck in qualifying any better; a loose spark plug wire and subsequent misfire consigned him to the back of the grid in the 20th starting spot; in the race he only finished two laps before a collision with another car took of his rear wing.