IndyCar »

Summerton takes Road Atlanta pole.

Jonathan Summerton has turned up the heat on championship-leader Jonathan Bomarito in the final qualifying session of the 2008 Atlantic Championship season by taking pole position for Friday's season finale at Road Atlanta.

Driving the #36 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy machine for Newman Wachs Racing, Summerton clocked a best lap at 1min 14.137secs to earn the first pole position of his Atlantic career. In the process, Summerton earned a valuable bonus championship point, closing his gap in the championship standings to just seven points behind Bomarito, 224-217.

Even more importantly to Summerton, however, was the fact that he earned the pole in the team's first race since the passing of team owner Paul Newman last weekend.

“Of course, I think we could have been faster than what we did,” he said. “The last two laps, we had the same problem as (Markus) Niemela. We ran out of fuel in turn one. I think we also struggled with the new tyres, too. It was really hard to get the lap put together. There was quite a lot of traffic towards the end.

“Having Paul Newman gone, this is really good for the team and the morale of everyone. Of course (owner) Eddie Wachs lost a dear friend and a partner. It's just really good to be on pole for that in the final race.”

Starting alongside Summerton on the front row will be another American rookie, Dane Cameron in the #19 MAZDASPEED/Finlay Motorsports/Lynx Racing entry for Genoa Racing. Cameron turned a quick lap at 1min 14.151secs earn his third front-row starting spot of the season. He will go in search of his first Atlantic victory in Friday's race.

“It's probably the most frustrating second position I've ever qualified, because it was so close,” he said. “We were really quick in the beginning and I threw everything at it that I could. We just didn't quite get enough. I think all three of us were kind of running out of gas at the very end. Every lap was getting a little bit faster and faster. When we put on new tyres, we lost the balance a little bit for whatever reason.

“It wasn't quite as well balanced as it had been, so we're going to have to make a couple changes, but it's good to start on the front row. I'm not in the championship fight. All I want to do is win the race. I'm going to give it everything I have to win the race. I don't want to affect the championship outcome at all, but I want to end the season with a win, so we'll see what we can do.”

Like Cameron, Finnish rookie Markus Niemela was also frustrated in qualifying, despite the fact that he will start third in the #8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kitchen/Rauma Town/Turku Karting machine for Brooks Associates Racing. Niemela posted a best lap at 1min 14.318secs for his third straight top-three starting spot and his fourth top-three start in the past five Atlantic races. He remains within ten points of Bomarito in the overall championship standings, but now trails Summerton by three points in the battle for Rookie of the Year.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jonathan Summerton - Newman Wachs Racing   [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Spencer Pigot in Formula Ford
James Hinchcliffe back in the car at Road America - September 29 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe back in the car at Road America - September 29 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam climbs into his car on pit road for his qualifying run during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon climbs into his car on pit road for his qualifying run during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (right), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar Saturday, May 9, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Saturday, May 9, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to victory Saturday, May 9, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to victory Saturday, May 9, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Friday, May 8, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will start in the front row with pole-winner Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates Friday, May 8, 2015 after winning the pole position during qualifying for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates Friday, May 8, 2015 after winning the pole position during qualifying for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.