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Final 2008 Deep Throttle American Driver Prospects Ranking For Open Wheel Road Racing
November 4, 2008

Rochester, N.Y., November 4 The biggest news for the final 2008 Deep Throttle monthly ranking for American driver prospects in open wheel road racing is the astounding performance of two American drivers in England.

After finishing one-two in the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, respectively, Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden, went to England as Team USA Scholarship winners and left quite an impression in the heart of formula ford racing.

"Josef Newgarden winning the prestigious Formula Ford Festival and Conor Daly winning the even more prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy is fantastic news for American drivers," Deep Throttle Publisher Russell Jaslow said, "No American has ever won any of those events. To do so in the same year says a lot for the talent base in the United States, and most likely opened a lot of eyes in Europe."

Daly moved up a spot to seventh and Newgarden jumped three spots to eighth because of those results. The top six remained the same as the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda drivers, like the Firestone Indy Lights drivers the month before, faltered down the stretch.

"Though Jonathan Bomarito and Jonathan Summerton had disappointing endings, they remained in the first and second spots due to their performance overall throughout the year," Jaslow said.

John Edwards did have a strong ending, taking a first and second to claim the Star Mazda Championship. Joel Miller also finished strong to wind up second in that series. They kept their positions in the rankings behind Richard Antinucci and ahead of J.R. Hildebrand, again based on the complete year's performance.

The other big movement was due to Dane Cameron making a guest appearance in the Pacific 2000 series. His domination of the race indicated those drivers need some more seasoning. Thus. Jeff Westphal, despite controlling the championship, dropped four spots to 11th.

"Having drivers cross over into other series is an excellent measuring stick for all involved," Jaslow said.

Carl Skerlong, who missed the last Atlantic race due to an injury, and Dane Cameron maintained their positions in the rankings, as did the last four, Alexander Rossi, Alex Ardoin, Robert Podlesni, and Sean Rayhall.

"Rossi is the most difficult one to gauge," Jaslow said. "Even when he went down to Brazil, he was competing against very small fields. That may not be his fault, but it makes it difficult to figure out how good Rossi is. We look forward to following his performance next year as he moves up the racing ladder.

"As for Rayhall, he may have been brought back down to earth at VIR, but he is still a talent that should be watched very closely."

This is the final rankings for 2008. The rankings will pick back up for the 2009 season sometime in March based on when the junior formula schedules start up.

"The first year of the Deep Throttle American Driver Prospects Ranking for Open Wheel Road Racing has been a grand success," Jaslow said. "By success, I measure it by the reaction of the racing community and the discussions it created, but most importantly, by the publicity it provided drivers who typically do not get noticed. We look forward to continuing the rankings in 2009."

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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