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Deep Throttle
American Driver
Prospects Ranking
For Open Wheel Road Racing
September 30, 2008

The September ranking features the top 15 American driver prospects for open wheel road racing. Here is the press release for this month's ranking. The last 2008 ranking will appear November 4, 2008.

  Driver Last Month
1 Jonathan Bomarito (Atlantic)
The hottest driver in August was cooled down in September. He qualified 10th and finished 9th at New Jersey. Not much better at Miller where he qualified 9th and finished 6th. However, Bomarito still holds onto the championship lead ... barely ... with one race to go.
2 Jonathan Summerton (Atlantic)
Closed the gap on the championship lead to just eight points thanks to a third at New Jersey after starting 4th and a second at Miller from a second starting spot. One race left at Road Atlanta to catch Jonathan Bomarito.
3 Richard Antinucci (Indy Lights)
Missed out on the championship thanks to a crash at the finale at Chicagoland after starting ninth. Antinucci completed the season with two victories, four seconds, two thirds, one pole, tied for the lead with most top five finishes (9), and finished 14 out of 16 races.
4 John Edwards (Star Mazda)
Scored another victory, this time at New Jersey where he started second and fought with red hot Peter Dempsey, breaking the Irishman's streak. While ill, took third from the pole in the second race by going off course while leading to avoid a lapped car that spun out. These results allowed him to continue to climb up through the standings into third place.
5 Joel Miller (Star Mazda)
Two front row starting spots with one pole produced a second and fourth at New Jersey. Miller led most of the first race, but caught lapped traffic at inopportune times. A spin in the second race dropped him from second to fourth. All this resulted in losing the championship lead, falling into second, six points back.
6 J.R. Hildebrand (Indy Lights)
Finished the season on a disappointing note with a 19th starting spot and a 22nd finishing position at Chicagoland, dropping him one position in the final standings to fifth. Finished the season with one win, one second, eight top five finishes, and completed 14 out of 16 races.
7 Jeff Westphal (Pacific F2000)
The Pacific F2000 series was idle in September. One weekend remains at Las Vegas where Westphal can officially clinch the championship as well as extend his winning streak.
8 Conor Daly (Skip Barber National)
The month of September was filled with poles and victories for Daly. Grabbed four poles with two of them coming in the Ontario Formula Ford Challenge at Mosport. Won three of those races, one in Skip Barber National at New Jersey which propels him from third to first in the championship and the other two in FF, placing him second in that series.
9 Carl Skerlong (Atlantic)
Had a breakthrough weekend at New Jersey, taking fastest time in both qualifying sessions, leading every lap en route to his first career Atlantic win, and setting the fastest lap time for maximum points. Combined with a fourth place at Miller moved him from seventh to fourth in the points.
10 Dane Cameron (Atlantic)
Contact forced him out at New Jersey after a midpack qualifying spot. He rebounded with a third place finish at Miller, the same spot he qualified. Dropped one position in the standings to seventh.
11 Josef Newgarden (Skip Barber National)
Stumbled in New Jersey with two eighth place finishes, dropping him to second in the points, and a confrontation with another competitor in the paddock. However, along with Conor Daly, was named 2008 Team USA Scholarship winner.
12 Alexander Rossi (FBMW)
No competition for Rossi at New Jersey where he led every lap of both races from the pole winning by over 8 seconds in each. This allowed him to clinch the title with two races to go. He becomes the first American to win the Formula BMW Americas Championship in the five year history of the series.
13 Alex Ardoin (Star Mazda)
Engine problems spoiled a fourth starting spot at New Jersey, but he made up for it in the second race with a second place finish also from the fourth starting spot. Ardoin also ventured into the Skip Barber National series at New Jersey. He started third and finished third in the first race. In the second race, he started second, and then while running fourth, waved the regular championship contenders by.
14 Robert Podlesni (Pacific F2000)
The Pacific F2000 series was idle in September. One weekend remains at Las Vegas for Podlesni to finally get the better of Jeff Westphal.
15 Sean Rayhall (Skip Barber National)
Became the youngest winner in a Skip Barber National by taking first at New Jersey at the tender age of 13-1/2 years. Technically, he crossed the finish line second and inherited the win when the leader was penalized for rough driving. Nonetheless, coming up through the field of more experienced drivers from a 10th starting spot makes this young driver someone to keep an eye on.
Dropped out: Niki Coello.

Copyright © 2008 by Russell Jaslow and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved. Any reprint of this ranking must be done in its entirety and mention Deep Throttle as the source. Any online reprint of this poll must provide a link to the Deep Throttle home page. Otherwise, no reuse permission is granted.

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