Peter DempseyAfter topping the time sheets throughout the meeting Peter Dempsey and Juncos Motorsport duly dominated the Pizza Ranch 100 in Iowa yesterday to move into the lead of the Star Mazda Championship.
Fastest in both free practice sessions before setting pole position in the single car qualifying session, Dempsey led from start to finish and recorded fastest lap in an incident packed race to sprint clear after the final caution for a crushing seven second win.

It’s Dempsey’s second win of the season and the first for Hooters Juncos Racing who plucked the underfunded Ashbourne driver from the sidelines two races ago. Afterwards the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year paid tribute to the efforts of his team.

“I just can’t thank the Hooters Juncos team enough for giving me such a great car all weekend,” he said. “I’ve been going along race-to-race trying to find the money to continue, never with enough to go testing before a race, and now I got to test at this track before I came here to race, and next week we’re going to do a test at Autobahn, the next track where we race.

“This is the way racing should be and I’m lucky to have this opportunity and happy to score a win here for the team and for Irish Sports council and Quayside.ie who have been fundamental in keeping me racing this year.”

Already familiar with track layout and chassis setup before Thursday’s first free practice session, Dempsey topped the time sheets in both sessions and then confirmed that superiority with a controlled run to pole in the one lap shoot out session on Friday afternoon.

Heading into the second oval race of his career, Dempsey was focused on staying out of trouble and staying clear of the baying pack in the 100 lap race which would turn out to be one of several yellow flag caution periods.

On each hectic restart Dempsey was able to draw clear of the chasers and on the final occasion build a seven second lead before the chequered flag fell. With the win in Iowa Dempsey became the second multi-winner of the season and opened up a nine point lead at the top of the championship standings.

In an overt display of national identity, Dempsey had dyed his hair green for the weekend but denied that he would be maintaining the emerald hue to the top of his head for the next round in Autobahn in two weeks.

“The hair colour was a one-off, just something I did for a bet with the team but the momentum we have now is something I’d like to maintain. We’re back on a road course at Autobahn, my first with Juncos and we’ll have to push hard to find the right set up.

“But the last two weekends have shown that all of us in the team have the hunger to achieve and we have a good platform now for the rest of the season.”

Star Mazda Series 2009
Points Standings after seven rounds:-
1 Peter Dempsey 252 Points
2 Adam Christodoulou 243
3 Caio Lara 213
4 Conor Daly 211
5 Joel Miller 210

Rounds 8 and 9: July 24 – 26, Autobahn Country Club, Joliet, Illinois.