VW Jetta: Iowa race notes

Underhill Tops First Jetta TDI Cup Podium at Iowa NEWTON, Iowa (Sept. 21, 2008) -- Jimmy Underhill, 21, of Denver, Colo., claimed the top prize at Iowa Speedway Saturday in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup race Presented by Soybiodiesel, after ...

Underhill Tops First Jetta TDI Cup Podium at Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa (Sept. 21, 2008) -- Jimmy Underhill, 21, of Denver, Colo., claimed the top prize at Iowa Speedway Saturday in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup race Presented by Soybiodiesel, after starting on the pole for the first time in the series. Underhill led all 33 laps of the 30-minute sprint race in his clean diesel vehicle to earn his first victory in the series, having placed third twice before, and second once. Mark Pombo, 26, of Duluth, Ga., held the second position on the podium, with Michael DeNino, 18, of Gaithersburg, Md., taking third.

"Practice went really well and then I spent qualifying just trying to get the track down a little more, so I went into the race feeling confident that if I just ran my qualifying lap 30 times I would finish at the top," said Underhill. "Those guys tried to catch me pretty quickly, but in the end it all worked out and I took first. I have to thank Rent2race.com and Volkswagen for their support in this series."

The race was perhaps the most dramatic so far, with multiple three-car wide moments down the backstretch and plenty of door-to-door racing in front of an estimated crowd of 18,000 race fans.

As the first roval for the TDI Cup series, the Iowa Speedway circuit provided a new challenge for the drivers that required immediate adaptation, due to a one-day schedule which had the drivers practicing, qualifying and racing all on Saturday. While Underhill started from the pole and maintained the lead throughout, both Pombo and DeNino came from significant deficits (starting eighth and 12th respectively) to finish in the top three.

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup now heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park for a double-race weekend, Sept. 26 -- 28.

-credit: vw/scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Mark Pombo , Michael DeNino