Six drivers are still in mathematical contention for the 2008 Atlantic as the series makes its inaugural visit to the 4.5-mile Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City for Sunday's SunRichGourmet.com 1000.

American Jonathan Bomarito continues to lead the season standings, but saw his lead reduced from 28 to 16 points over American rookie Jonathan Summerton at last weekend's Mazda Formula X event at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Bomarito, who drives for Mathiasen Motorsports, has finished inside the top ten in eight of his nine starts this season and leads the series with three victories. Bomarito leads Summerton, 204-188, in the season standings.

Summerton, meanwhile, has come on strong of late in the Newman Wachs Racing entry. The rookie has finished on the podium in his last three consecutive races and four of his last five to position himself as a legitimate championship threat with a maximum of 68 points still available. Summerton also leads the Rookie of the Year point standings by six points, 188-182, over Markus Niemela.

Driving for Brooks Associates Racing, Niemela heads into the weekend looking to become the seventh different driver to win a race this season, which would be one shy of the Atlantic record of eight different drivers to win in a single season in 1982. The Finnish racer has finished outside the top-seven positions only once in nine starts thus far and has finished second three times this season, including last weekend at New Jersey.

Buoyed by top-five results in his last two Atlantic starts, second-year driver Junior Strous heads to Utah sitting fourth in the season standings. The driver of the Condor Motorsports/Team Holland machine earned his first career Atlantic victory in June at Mont-Tremblant and currently trails Bomarito by 38 points.

A dominating performance, which yielded his first career last weekend in New Jersey, vaulted American Carl Skerlong into fifth in the championship. Skerlong has been one of the quickest drivers in the series throughout the season in the Pacific Coast Motorsports machine and he has finished inside the top five in six of his nine starts this season. He is just one point behind Strous and 39 out of the lead entering the weekend.

Canadian James Hinchcliffe also remains in championship contention, 44 points in arrears of Bomarito. Hinchcliffe opened the season with top-10 results in each of his first seven starts--including a victory in Round 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca--before finishing 16th or worse in his last two starts.

Rookie Dane Cameron is the top-ranked driver to be eliminated from championship contention, but the American has been quick all year and has finished inside the top five in five of his nine starts this season. The driver of the Genoa Racing car is another prime candidate to join the list of race-winners this weekend.

Ditto for Canadian Kevin Lacroix. Lacroix picked up his third top-five result of the season last weekend at New Jersey and has finished seventh or better in five of nine races. He has already shown his ability to win in Atlantic competition, as evidenced by his victory last year at Portland, and he heads into the weekend looking to recapture that magic.

Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro--the only woman in this weekend's Atlantic field--was the first winner of the 2008 season when she claimed the Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach in April. De Silvestro returns to the cockpit for Newman Wachs Racing looking to add a second victory to her Atlantic resume.

Two drivers who joined the series in progress could also contend for the victory this weekend. Mexican racer David Martinez will make his fifth start in relief of his injured countryman, David Garza. Martinez has finished inside the top-eight spots in all four of his Atlantic starts this season. American Tom Sutherland, meanwhile, picked up a career-best Atlantic result of fifth last weekend at New Jersey and has finished inside the top 10 in three of his six starts since rejoining the series at Edmonton.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment