By Patrick Stephan of TrackSideOnline.com presented by Honda Racing/HPD

Pro Mazda Race #1  Winner Neil Alberico

Pro Mazda Race #1 and #2 Winner Neil Alberico

The Neil Alberico led field got through turn one cleanly, but then down at the exit of turn four, we saw a bunch of smoke and then some cars sideways and then several crashed.  Never really got a replay and couldn’t tell exactly what started the mess, but the end result was Weiron Tan, Florian Lattore, and Alessandro Latif were never able to complete a lap.  Pato O’Ward made it back around attempted repairs, but he’d only get credit for one lap completed.

O’Ward and Tan had good starting spots of 8th and 7th respectively ruined, so tough break for those drivers.

Interestingly we heard from the drivers after the race that their in-car yellow light system was actually flashing the entire start of the race. So, some drivers weren’t sure if the race was underway or not, but at least the racing among the leaders stayed clean until the yellow was really out.

Up front, the order was pretty much as they started and it stayed that way through the restart on lap 6.   At the completion of the first flying lap, it was Alberico, Guiterrez, Burkett, Urrutia, Connery, and Grist.

On lap 9, Burkett went for second in to turn one, and made the move work but lost the spot back later in the lap as Guiterrez got the spot back again.  Jose said he wasn’t expecting that “dive bomb” but he was able to get the spot back so it was ok.

For his part, Burkett said he wasn’t actually planning to make that move either, he was going to brake later, and then Guiterrez braked a little earlier so he either had to try and make the pass or hit him.

The next yellow came out on lap 16 when Bobby Eberle stopped between turns 2 and 3 and had to be pulled off the track.  That erased a 3.16 second lead for Alberico.

Back to green for a one lap shoot-out, Alberico was able to hang on to complete the second MRTI clean sweep of the weekend.

He was followed by Guiterrez, Burkett, Urrutia, Connery, Grist, Kellet, Owen, and then the top expert class driver (of 2 here) – Jay Horak who was ninth.  Raoul Owens rounded out the top 10.

Note that Alberico didn’t run in the Cooper Tires Winterfest, though he did do a little bit of testing though (not as much as they wanted).

This is Burkett’s first podium in his first weekend of ProMazda.  And for Alberico he scored his first pole and first win yesterday, backing them up with his second pole and second win today.

Pos Car Name Laps Diff Gap ST Status Team
1 3 Neil Alberico 19 1 Active Cape Motorsports w/WTR
2 7 Jose Gutierrez 19 0.7999 0.7999 2 Active Juncos Racing
3 2 Daniel Burkett 19 2.0101 1.2102 6 Active Cape Motorsports w/WTR
4 81 Santiago Urrutia 19 2.7390 0.7289 4 Active Team Pelfrey
5 91 Kyle Connery 19 2.9040 0.1650 12 Active JDC MotorSports
6 5 Garett Grist 19 3.2548 0.3508 11 Active Juncos Racing
7 28 Dalton Kellett 19 5.2023 1.9475 13 Active Andretti Autosport
8 23 Will Owen 19 5.5832 0.3809 9 Active Juncos Racing
9 37 Jay Horak(E) 19 10.2940 4.7108 17 Active M1 Racing
10 19 Raoul Owens 18 1 LAPS 73.8128 5 Active JDC MotorSports
11 26 Parker Nicklin 16 3 LAPS 2 LAPS 15 Active JDC MotorSports
12 13 Bobby Eberle(E) 14 28.7911 18.0859 16 Mechanical World Speed Motorsports
13 6 Timothe Buret 8 2 LAPS 1 LAPS 3 Mechanical Juncos Racing
14 82 Pato O’Ward 1 11.2377 1.5881 8 Contact Team Pelfrey
15 22 Weiron Tan 1.2724 0.7179 7 Contact Andretti Autosport
16 10 Florian Latorre 1.1046 10 Contact Cape Motorsports w/WTR
17 14 Alessandro Latif 4 LAPS 1.0596 14 Contact World Speed Motorsports