BRASELTON, Ga. (April 25, 2004) – Niki Coello, of East Troy, Wis., completed a weekend sweep by winning Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Atlantic Tour race at Road Atlanta, as part of the inaugural Drift Atlanta weekend. Payton Wilson, of Gainesville, Ga., and Ryan Pilla, of Amagansett, N.Y., finished second and third, respectively.-30-
Starting from the pole position, Coello drove his No. 81 pouredfoundations.com machine flag-to-flag to capture his seventh career Miata Cup Atlantic Tour win and his second win in as many days. Ten laps into the race, Coello led by more than five-seconds over Wilson when a full course caution came out for an incident involving Jason Owenby, of Clemmons, N.C., and Robbie Kollar, of Atlanta, in turn 10. After running three laps under yellow, Coello got a good jump on the restart and never looked back winning by 3.733-seconds.
“I was kind of disappointed about the yellow,” Coello said. “On the restart, I just wanted to get the same kind of jump I got on the first start and then be consistent. The way the car was working this weekend, it made it really easy to do that.”
On lap five, Coello set the race’s fastest lap with a 1:47.547 (85.023 mph)
Wilson, who qualified his No. 38 Victory By Design/Manassas/Colbalt Mazda Miata third on the grid, spent the first nine laps chasing then second place driver Bob Stretch, of Dallas, until he was able to pass Stretch coming down the hill heading into turn 12. Once Wilson got by Stretch, he had his sights set on catching Coello and was able to narrow the gap thanks to the full course yellow. But on the restart, Coello pulled away and Wilson had to settle for a solid second place finish, giving him four career Miata Cup Atlantic Tour podium finishes.
Driving the No. 10 Car Doctor World Mazda Miata, Pilla was the model of consistency this weekend as he recorded his second third place finish in as many days.
Stretch piloted the No. 02 Wheels America Mazda Miata to a solid fourth place finish, while Shawn Dewey, of Townsend, Del., finished fifth for the second straight day.
The SCCA Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires Atlantic Tour next heads to Mosport International Raceway for Rounds Three and Four, as part of the traditional Victoria Day weekend.
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