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Status Quo on Top of the Deep Throttle American Driver Prospects Ranking For Open Wheel Road Racing
September 30, 2008

Rochester, N.Y., September 30 The top of the Deep Throttle monthly ranking for American driver prospects in open wheel road racing hasn't changed but shuffling did occur in the middle of the pack. Plus, a 13-year-old makes his debut on the list.

The gap between the two Jonathans, Bomarito and Summerton, closed up in the fight for the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, as they remain one-two in the ranking.

"After such a hot month in August, Bomarito cooled off in September," Deep Throttle Publisher Russell Jaslow said, "Meanwhile, Summerton had some strong finishes which made the decision who to put as number one in the ranking a very difficult choice. However, since there is one more race to go at Road Atlanta, we figured it should be left for the drivers to decide on the track. Thus, we left the order the same for this month."

Meanwhile, the Firestone Indy Lights series has concluded with Richard Antinucci failing to win the title.

"Despite Antinucci being unable to re-pass Raphael Matos for the crown, a strong season overall left him in the third spot," Jaslow said.

John Edwards also remained in the same spot, fourth. Edwards' fellow Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear competitor, Joel Miller, moved up one spot thanks to a strong performance at the New Jersey Motorsports Park while J.R. Hildebrand dropped one spot due to a disappointing ending to his season. Jeff Westphal, idle for the month, remained in seventh.

The big movement in the ranking was Conor Daly jumping two spots and leapfrogging over his BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda competitor, Josef Newgarden.

"Daly nearly swept the month of September," Jaslow said. "He took four poles in four races, two each in Skip Barber and the Ontario Formula Ford Challenge, and won three of those races. In the process, he passed Newgarden for the series lead, and thus moves ahead of him in the ranking. Daly is driving everything he can get his hands on and doing it successfully."

Carl Skerlong also jumped two spots thanks to a dominating Atlantic weekend in New Jersey where he scored maximum points and led every lap. This means Dane Cameron and Newgarden each dropped two spots.

"There seems to be a breakout weekend for every American driver in Atlantic, and New Jersey was Skerlong's turn," Jaslow said.

With the exception of the final spot, the rest of the order remained the same with Alexander Rossi, Alex Ardoin, and Robert Podlesni staying in positions 12-14, respectively.

The big news in September for the junior formula ranks was the debut win by Sean Rayhall in the Skip Barber National in New Jersey ... at the age of 13-1/2 years. He started tenth and moved his way to second place at the checkered flag. A penalty to the leader for rough driving moved Rayhall into first.

"Even if you want to consider Rayhall as a second place finisher in that event, it is still a very impressive debut for such a young driver," Jaslow said. "True, we have to be careful when such a young driver accomplishes a special feat so early in his career. Nonetheless, Rayhall is certainly someone that's worth keeping an eye on."

With two series already completed (Indy Lights and F2000 Championship Series), everyone else wraps up their season in October. Thus, the next ranking will be the final one for 2008. Since the Formula BMW Americas series actually runs their last event on the first weekend in November, the final ranking will not come out until November 4.

You can read more details concerning why the ranking is being done and how the ranking is put together. There is also a junior formula motorsports schedule. with any questions or to discuss the ranking.

If you wish to be added or removed from the American Driver Prospects Ranking for Open Wheel Road Racing press release email list, just stating your wishes, and we will gladly comply.

Copyright © 2008 by Russell Jaslow and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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