Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Milwaukee: Road to Indy Update

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted June 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm Indy Lights, Star Mazda, U.S. F2000 National Championship

I apologize for the lack of updates during the last couple weeks. I promise there was a good reason for my absence: I’m officially married.

While I was away, the Mazda Road to Indy gathered at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisc. Here’s a quick recap for those who missed it.

USF2000 National Championship

I’m not sure if Wayne Boyd was inspired by fellow Irishman Rory Mcllroy’s historic performance at the U.S. Open, or if it was something else entirely. Either way, the native of Northern Ireland earned his first career USF2000 victory this past weekend in Milwaukee.

Boyd took the lead on the opening lap and never looked back despite being challenged by pole sitter Zach Veach throughout the 50-lap race. Veach trailed by 0.304 seconds at the checkered flag. The win was also a first for Boyd’s team Belardi Auto Racing.

Boyd was the fifth different winner in six USF2000 races this season. Juan Piedrahita secured his second-consecutive podium with a third-place finish after starting from the tail of the field following a qualifying incident.  Luke Ellery — Piedrahita’s teammate at JDC MotorSports — was fourth, while championship leader Petri Suvanto rounded out the top five. Click here for full results.

Star Mazda Championship

A name very familiar to those of us who follow junior formula racing echoed out of the loud speakers in Milwaukee Sunday night.

Sage Karam, the 2010 USF2000 National Champion, earned his first Star Mazda victory in just his fourth career start. He led all but five laps aboard his No. 88 Andretti Autosport entry Sunday, cruising to the checkered 13.43 seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Martin Scuncio. Karam started third and Scuncio took the green flag in seventh.

Karam, who showcased his speed right-off-the bat by setting the quick time in Thursday’s open practice, set the fastest lap of the race (27.763 seconds). Sunday’s victory marked Karam’s second-consecutive podium finish.

Nick Andries finished third after an impressive weekend which saw him top the time charts in the first official practice and set the pace during qualifying for his first-career pole position.

Frenchman Tristan Vautier — who leads the championship — finished the 98-lap event fourth while rookie Gustavo Menezes claimed his first career top-five finish. Click here for full results.

Indy Lights

It might not have been a very exciting race for the fans, but it sure was fun for Esteban Guerrieri.

The 26-year-old locked down his first career Indy Lights win from pole position Sunday at the David Hobbs 100, despite starting from the point two other times this season (St. Petersburg and Long Beach).

Guerrieri led all 100 laps en route to a 5.5102-second margin of victory over his Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ teammate Josef Newgarden. The final tally marked the fourth time in five races that SSM has had a 1-2 finish. The lone exception was Barber Motorsports Park.

Jorge Goncalvez put together a solid drive to secure the third and final podium spot after starting the race seventh. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Goncalvez landed his first career podium after suffering one of the most violent wrecks in recent memory at the Freedom 100 in Indianapolis a mere three weeks ago.

Bryan Clauson edged Gustavo Yacaman for fourth on Lap 87. Only eight cars were running when the checkered flag waved.

Newgarden, the only repeat winner this season, continues to lead the championship battle heading to Iowa Speedway this weekend.

I’ll be on site reporting from Iowa this weekend, so make sure to check back and follow JOWT on Twitter.

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2 Comments

  1. Bobby on June 21, 2011 12:23 pm

    Congrats on your marriage!!

  2. Paul B on June 22, 2011 4:49 am

    I attended all the Ladder races and was appalled at the lack of IndyCar attention by their organization.I didn’t see any IndyCar presence.It was good to see Michael Andretti stay and support his drivers.I think Andretti was the only owner I saw still there after the IndyCar event.Boyd (USF2000) and Karam(Star Mazda) put on great shows and congratulations to them.

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