Star Mazda - Scuncio Produces Second Podium Of 2011 At Milwaukee
West Allis, June 20, 2011: After starting last night's rain-delayed race side by side on rows three and four, it was the #60 Juncos Racing/Fuerza Chile car of Martin Scuncio that pulled ahead to gain five positions and finish second in the 100-mile race. Scuncio's car seemed to keep getting faster as the race went on; he was delivering his fastest lap times near the end of the race and made the pass for second place with less than 20 laps to go. The 19-year-old's result at the Milwaukee Mile helped close the gap in the driver's championship, putting him in fourth place only 15 points down from the leader.
"It was an amazing race," said Scuncio. "Juncos Racing gave me a great car, and we showed that we can definitely fight for the lead. It was really impressive how good the car was in the race and over the weekend. I want to thank the team, my family, friends and sponsors for all of their support every day. Let's keep doing this all season! I can't wait for Iowa this coming weekend. As always, I am anxious to get back in the car and race again!"
Sixteen-year-old go-karting standout Gustavo Menezes accomplished both his best career qualifying result and his best career race finish this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. The rookie started and ended the race in fifth position, challenging the leaders for a podium throughout the race. Menezes had made it up to fourth position near the beginning of the race but was passed for the position by teammate Martin Scuncio just over halfway through the 100-lap event. Nonetheless, the young talent has continued to improve with every race and show he can compete at the front of the pack.
"This was an awesome race," said Menezes. "I learned a lot, as I always do, and I was consistently in the top-five positions all weekend. I wasn't able to get on the podium, but I was really close. I had some difficulties in traffic, and my radio failed on the warm-up lap, so I was out there alone which was a challenge. Even so, I really feel like I drove an awesome race all the way until the end. I had a lot of fun and scored some valuable points in the championship. I think that we left with a good mindset for Iowa this coming weekend, and I know we have a very capable car."
Teammates J.V. Horto and Tatiana Calderon didn't have the race they were hoping for, but they still came out of the weekend with top-ten finishes. Horto did consistently well in practice and qualifying sessions over the weekend, but he struggled to get the podium finish he was going for in the difficult race. Still, the young Brazilian finished seventh in the race and is currently tied with teammate Gustavo Menezes for sixth in the driver's championship.
"My result in this race wasn't what I was hoping for," said Horto. "After doing well in the practice sessions over the weekend, I was hoping to at least bring home a podium finish. I still had a solid finish, though, and I'm going to look forward to the next race at Iowa Speedway and work even harder all week to bring home a win next time."
Calderon's confidence was shaken after crashing in a practice session at the start of the weekend, affecting her race and comfort level in the car. Despite her uneasiness, she completed the event and finished the day in ninth position.
"It was a really hard race for me," said Calderon. "I lost a lot of confidence after crashing earlier in the weekend, but it is what it is. I'm proud that I at least finished the race without any physical issues, something I haven't been able to do on oval tracks in the past. I am really looking forward to Iowa Speedway this coming weekend. I want to thank the Juncos Racing team; they did a great job as always!"
Juncos Racing will leave the weekend second in the team championship, just seven points down from the lead.
"I'm so proud of the whole team once again," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We have shown that we are still going to fight for the championship title, and we had a fantastic car that was unbelievably good and consistent though the whole race. Our fastest laps were even towards the end of the race, which was amazing. We are back to second place in the team championship now, and we have cut down the gap in the driver's championship with Martin Scuncio. We will keep pushing hard, and soon we will have all four of our drivers up front. As a team owner, it is hard to have four cars because you always want to win and have all of your drivers at the front.
"We will work hard with Tatiana (Calderon) and J.V. (Horto) to gain what we have lost over the upcoming races. Gustavo (Menezes) really impressed everybody today. With less experience than everybody else, he has showed a lot of potential, and I'm so happy for him and his sponsors. We are really looking forward to competing at Iowa Speedway next weekend."