MRTI Race Two Report: Mazda Raceway
SHELBY BLACKSTOCK, NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA
- Starting today's 38-lap race from the eighth position, the Nashville native maneuvered his way up to fourth place before battling with Ed Jones on the final lap and capturing a fifth-place finish
“We had a massive improvement from yesterday for the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights team. I’m really happy with the weekend, but unfortunately right at the end we didn’t have any rear tires left coming out of the corkscrew and heading into the last corner; Ed Jones had more push-to-pass than we did so he got around us on the final lap. We really needed those points, so we live and learn and move on from here. We learned a lot with the car and this weekend we had more pace than usual, so a great weekend for us."
- Canadian racer clinched a top-five finish in fifth today on the 2.238-mile permanent road course after starting from the ninth position and comes away 10th in the Pro Mazda Championship fight (unofficial)
“Finishing fifth here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was a great way to top off the season. Really grateful for all the support I’ve had all year from the Andretti Autosport Pro Mazda crew and K-Line Insulators USA; definitely would not have had the season we’ve had without their support, I’m very grateful for that. It was an exciting race, starting ninth and I was able to make some moves on the first lap and capitalize on all the action and move up to fifth. I think if we had gone green and had some more running, we would have been able to challenge for third and fourth positions. It turns out we spent most of the race behind the safety car, regardless, I’m satisfied with the way we ended our season. Hopefully this provides some good momentum going into next season. Huge thanks to Mazda, Cooper Tires and everyone for all their support this season.”
- Mazda Road to Indy rookie came away with a top-10 finish for today's Soul Red Finale in P9 and captures fourth in the championship (unofficial)
“Race Two, we actually started pretty well and gained three positions at the start; I got up to sixth and would have been fifth if it wasn’t for the slight contact with another driver going through Turn 3. I got a slight tap on the rear right tire and the suspension wasn’t quite right; the fast lefthand corners became a bit hairy for me which is why I dropped a wheel off at Turn 6 and lost all my positions going back to 10th. It wasn’t the best, regardless of where I finished today, even if I had finished fifth, which I think was where our potential finish, I still had been fourth in the championship. Finishing ninth today, not the best. Thank you very much to the team – the whole Andretti Autosport team did a wonderful job this year, and I’ve been really happy with that. I couldn’t have asked for more from them, and I hope that we will have a better season next time. Thanks so much to the Andretti family – it’s been a great year.”