Peter Dempsey wins Star Mazda race in Iowa

Peter Dempsey, sporting bright green hair in celebration of both his Irish heritage and his pole-winning performance in qualifying earlier in the afternoon, put all joking aside to dominate a 21-car field on the 7/8ths-mile Iowa Speedway oval in the inaugural Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Pizza Ranch 100.

Surviving a crash-filled race and multiple, hair-raising re-starts, Dempsey pulled away from the field again and again in his #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Mazda, building a 7-second lead heading into the home stretch. This is Dempsey's second win of the season, achieved with two different teams; he took the top step of the podium in Round 2 at Virginia International Raceway with AIM Autosport early in the season, but switched to Juncos Racing just before the Milwaukee Mile two weeks ago. After running second for most of the race and finally finishing fourth there, he came to Iowa in second place in the championship… and leaves with a 9-point lead.

"I just can't thank the Juncos team enough for giving me such a great car all weekend," says Dempsey, who earned the nickname 'The Irish Steamroller' with four Star Mazda wins in the 2008 season – including three of them in a row. "I've been going along race-to-race trying to find the money to continue, never with enough to go testing before a race, and now I got to test at this track before I came here to race, and next week we're going to do a test at Autobahn, the next track where we race. This is the way racing should be and I'm lucky to have this opportunity and happy to score a win here for the Juncos Racing team."

Finishing a hard-fought second after qualifying 8th was Conor Daly, who races the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda with sponsorship from the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder. Starting fifth and placing third, in his best finish so far this season, was Canadian David Ostella in the #71 AIM Autosport/Global Precast Mazda. The winner of the Expert Series for drivers 30 – 44 years old was Japanese Racer Toshihiro Deki in the #80 Goshen Motorsports Mazda; he won his class and finished 12th overall, moving him into the lead in of the Expert Series championship battle.

Also having an excellent race was American Rusty Mitchell, who qualified 6th in his #66 Mitchell Motorsports / Motorola Mazda and finished 4th; this on the heels of a well-deserved 6th-place finish two weeks ago at the Milwaukee Mile, the first of two oval races in a row for the Star Mazda Championship. Rounding out the top-5 was Englishman Adam Christodoulou who scored two quick wins early in the season; he came to Iowa leading the championship and started from third on the grid.

In the Star Mazda Championship points battle, Dempsey leads with 252 points, followed by Adam Christodoulou driver of the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda; he is the only other driver so far this season with two race wins and came to Iowa leading the championship but after qualifying third and finishing fifth, he leaves nine points behind at 243. Brazilian racer Caio Lara, who qualified 17th and finished ninth in the #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW/ Molecule Mazda, moves from 5th to 3rd in the championship with 213 points.

Conor Daly, one of the five race winners so far this season with his victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park climbs from 7th to 4th in the championship with 211 points. Rounding out the top-5, despite the worst luck a driver can have at a race – tangling with a teammate –is Joel Miller, driving the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda. Nor was his luck in qualifying any better; a loose spark plug wire and subsequent misfire consigned him to the back of the grid in the 20th starting spot; in the race he only finished two laps before a collision with another car took of his rear wing.


Pos No. Start Pos Name Laps Hometown Team
1 3 1 Peter Dempsey 100 Ashbourne, Ireland Juncos Racing
2 22 8 Conor Daly 100 Noblesville, In Andersen Racing
3 71 5 David Ostella 100 Maple, Canada Aim Autosport
4 66 6 Rusty Mitchell 100 Midland, Tx Mitchell Motorsports
5 11 3 Adam Christodoulou 99 Birmingham, England JDC Motorsports
6 27 9 Anders Krohn 99 Sandnes, Norway Mundill
7 77 12 Kevin Toledo 98 Rancagua, Chile Eliseo THL Motorsports
8 13 21 Michael Furfari 98 Toronto, Canada Juncos Racing
9 19 17 Caio Lara 98 Sao Paulo, Brazil JDC Motorsports
10 48 18 Kristy Kester 98 College Station, Tx Kester Racing Team 3G
11 20 16 Gustavo Linares 97 Maracaibo, Venezuela JDC Motorsports
12 80 19 Toshihiro Deki 94 Yokohama, Japan Goshen Motorsports
13 82 13 Billy Goshen 94 Brea,CA Goshen Motorsports
14 61 10 Sean Burstyn 88 Miami Beach, Fl Juncos Racing
15 51 4 Alex Ardoin 47 Lafayette,La JDC Motorsports
16 21 2 Denis Navarro 47 Sao Paulo, Brazil Andersen Racing
17 24 15 J.C. Kester 46 College Station, Tx Kester Racing Team 3G
18 33 7 Richard Kent 3 Millton Keynes, England Andersen Racing
19 15 11 Taylor Hacquard 2 Vancouver, Canada Kester Racing Team 3G
20 72 14 Jorge Goncalvez 2 Los Teques, Venezuela Aim Autosport
21 2 20 Joel Miller 2

The next event on the Star Mazda Championship schedule is a double-header, rounds 8 and 9 at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda, July 24 – 26.

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