10/10/2011 12:24 PM
CJ Wilson Racing put their stamp on the 2011 Playboy Mazda MX5 Cup season with their first career victory as a team at the hands of Jason Saini this past week at the final round of the championship at Road Atlanta. To further end the season on a high note, Saini was joined on the podium by CJ Wilson teammate, Marc Miller, who placed third in his first return to the famed track since the 2009 season. The 23-car field consisted of a “who’s who” of championship and race winning competitors, including SEVEN previous series race winners, three Mazda MX5 Cup series champions and race winning drivers from Rolex, Grand Am, World Challenge and NASCAR.
“What an amazing way to end our first season as a team,” said Saini in his post-race interview. “This was a great win and feel we are really beginning to figure out what these cars need to go fast for the entire race distance. It was especially great to have two cars on the podium for the first time. We hope to continue this for the 2012 season!”
Saini battled for the lead from the drop of the green, leading several laps in his #28 CJ Wilson Children’s Charities / Autobarn Mazda MX5. Going down to the final lap, he bested series champion, Michael Cooper to go on to the win. The win secured third place in the 2011 series championship for Saini.
Miller, driving the #29 RaceNowForAutism.org Mazda MX5, started the race in the 5th position and fell back to 7th early before recovering to lead the second pack of cars early in the race. He would pull away from the pack and run the last several laps alone to lock in the final podium position, nearly capitalizing on a late-race spin by Cooper for the runner-up position.
“We had some set-backs early in the week and it wasn’t until qualifying to where I felt confident in the car,” said Miller. The crew did an amazing job and for the race I felt we hit the set-up, able to pull away from a group drafting together and match the leader’s pace on my own. I only wish I could have been up there in the lead pack, as we definitely had a car capable of winning. It was a great team effort.”
Justin Marks, driving the #30 Construct Corps / ModSpace Mazda MX5, recovered from a spin and manage a top 10 for the team, setting the third fastest lap of the race in the process. Charles Paquin accomplished his goal of a top 10 in the series championship (9th place) thanks to an uneventful XX place result in his #27 ModSpace / Construct Corps machine.
The team is already in the process of making plans for the 2012 Playboy Mazda MX5 Cup season and is searching for both partners and drivers for their four-car operation. In addition, CJ Wilson Racing has completed their first of two Mazda MX5’s built for the Grand Am Continental Tire Series and will attempt an official series test later this month at Barber Motorsports Park.
About C.J. Wilson Racing
Based in Arlington, Texas, C.J. Wilson Racing is a collaboration between successful Texas Rangers pitcher, C.J. Wilson and longtime Mazda motorsports experts Jason Saini and Juliann Pokorny. The team provides car development, driver development and top level arrive-and drive experiences, while presenting a wide media footprint for potential partners. Interested drivers and partners should email email@example.com. C.J. Wilson Racing is proud to partner with Mazda, New Balance, Phiten, SunTrust, Autobarn Mazda of Countryside and C.J. Wilson's Children's Charities.