Gooden wins Round Five of the Jetta TDI Cup
Wyatt Gooden will always remember his Series debut in his home state of Ohio today as he earned his first-ever victory in Round Five of the Jetta TDI Cup presented by the Cleveland Area Volkswagen Dealers. After starting second, the Gates Mills, Ohio resident was able to make a late race pass to overtake polesitter Arie Ouimet to take the checkered flag this afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"I had a great start and my plan was to just tuck in behind Arie (Ouimet) and pace myself," said Gooden after the race. "However, that's not how the race ended up going for me. JD (Mobley) got around me early so I had to make sure I stayed with the lead cars to put myself in a position at the end to make a move for the win. I was able to get by JD and then I could work on Arie in the final laps and I was able to make the pass for the victory. It's exciting to have won in my home state of Ohio and be able to have all my friends and family see my first Jetta TDI Cup victory. One other great thing about today is that my dad was able to watch me win on Father's Day. He's supported me throughout my career and I just can't think of a better Father's Day present to have given him."
Earlier today, Ouimet set a new track qualifying record on his way to earning his first pole of the 2010 season in his rookie year. In addition to Ouimet, 16 other drivers also set a qualifying pace ahead of last season's pole speed. However, this afternoon, Gooden was too much for Ouimet who had to settle for a second-place result.
Series veteran, JD Mobley earned his second consecutive podium by finishing third (he finished second at the last Jetta TDI Cup event in Utah); while two rookies rounded out the top-five with Jarvis Gennari finishing fourth and Michael Hogg bringing his car home in fifth.
At the season's midway point, Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle currently leads the 2010 Championship point standings with 158 points. Ouimet sits in second place with 152 points, Jake Thompson is in third place with 136 points, JD Mobley is in fourth with 133 points and Gooden now sits in fifth with 130 points. Sierra Lendle's lead has narrowed and now it's anyone's game heading into the season's final five events. The Series goes to Illinois next as they will compete in Round Six of the 2010 Jetta TDI Cup at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill., on Aug. 1.
Jetta TDI Cup News & Notes:
Exciting, Clean Racing through the Entire Field
At the season's halfway point, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup driving instructors are certainly pleased with the progress being made on the track by their 25 drivers. Not only were there four rookies in the top-five today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but also the racing was some of the most exciting action seen in the Series' three-year history to date.
"I think that this was definitely the best race we've ever had," said Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Chief Instructor, Jan Heylen. "We saw a lot of overtaking and clean passes all day, which is so encouraging to see. The whole field was running close together all afternoon and obviously that makes for a very exciting show for the fans. All 25 drivers did a fantastic job racing hard, but clean and I think we'll have more of that in store for the second half of the season."
Guest Driver Gets a Taste of American Competition
This weekend's guest driving responsibilities were filled by Martin Westerhoff, an editor of the German motorsports magazine AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT, who competed in his first American auto racing event today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Not only did he run an impressive inaugural race, but he also had a chance to compete in his fourth Volkswagen Cup event, having previously competed in the former German Polo Cup in 2008, the Scirocco Cup China in 2009 and two weeks ago in Round Two of the newly established Scirocco R-Cup in Germany. Today Westerhoff qualified 20th, but lost a spot during the race to finish 21st.