Indy USF2000 winner Will Owen moves to Juncos Racing, Pro Mazda Series in 2015

Leave a comment

Will Owen, who impressively won the 2014 USF2000 race as a rookie at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past May, is moving up the racing ladder.

According to a team media release, the 19-year-old Owen will compete for Juncos Racing for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

“I couldn’t be happier right now because of this new deal with Juncos Racing,” Owen said. “The opportunity to be with a championship winning team does not happen all the time, so I am beyond excited to see what we can achieve together in the future.

“Everyone involved in Juncos, from the mechanics to the coaches, share the goal of winning and they were very helpful in my test (recent test with the team). I truly believe that I will be able to take my driving and results to the next level because of the team’s resources, experience, and passion. Next season cannot come soon enough!”

Spencer Pigot won the Pro Mazda driver championship this season for Juncos Racing, which also won the team championship.

Owen will become part of the organization’s Driver Development Program, said team owner Ricardo Juncos.

“We took notice of Will (Owen) when he won the Indianapolis Grand Prix in May,” Juncos said. “His steady but solid performances in the USF2000 series proved that he possessed both the maturity and pace to make the move to Pro Mazda.

“Will integrated with the team incredibly well in his two-day evaluation test, and we are looking forward to seeing him succeed in this upcoming season.”

Owen joins Jose Gutierrez, who returns for his second season with Team Juncos, having finished seventh in the 2014 Pro Mazda series.

Owen began racing in 2010, competing in 22 kart races over three seasons, earning eight wins and numerous podium finishes.

He moved to Formula Mazda in 2013 and earned three wins and eight podium finishes with Texas Autosports.

He spent the 2014 season in the Mazda Road to Indy program in the USF2000 Championship for Pabst Racing. In addition to his win at IMS, he had four top-10 finishes in 14 starts.

Owen’s first race with his new team will be the Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship at NOLA Motorsports Park, Feb. 19-20, in suburban New Orleans.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Marvin Musquin’s Indy win may have come too late

SupercrossLIVE.com
Leave a comment

Marvin Musquin answered one question at Indianapolis last week, but the biggest one may well plague him for the next six weeks.

Musquin has won a battle, but can he win the war?

After standing on the podium in eight of the first 10 races, Musquin finally showed the field he was capable of winning in Indy when he grabbed the holeshot and led every lap on the way to Victory Lane. He was never seriously challenged and it was the Musquin that Supercross fans expected to see all season.

It was a long time coming. Musquin must have felt like victory was just around the corner after finishing second in the overall standings in Anaheim II’s Triple Crown race. He was third in the first Main that night and second in the last two Mains.

As it turned out, that single race defined his season until last week. Musquin stood on the podium all night, but he finished two spots behind Cooper Webb in the first Main and was one spot back in the second. It was only as time ran out that he was able to beat Webb by a single spot in the third Main. If Musquin had won either of the first two Mains, he would have had the overall victory – denying Webb his first career win in the process.

Webb’s Anaheim win revitalized the rider and gave him the confidence to rattle off four more wins in the next seven races.

Meanwhile, Musquin scored podium finishes in the next seven races, making him almost perfect. In another season, a record like that would have been enough to give him a comfortable points lead. In 2019, he sit 14 markers out of first, which is the points’ equivalent of the difference between first and 11th in one race. In other words, Webb cannot lose the points lead at Seattle unless he finishes outside the top 10 while his teammate wins.

Looking at the numbers another way the scenario is not quite as hopeless. Musquin needs to shave only 2.3 points off Webb’s lead each week to win the championship. Three points separate first and second. Five points differentiates first from third, which is where Webb finished in Indianapolis. Webb is vulnerable as his 10th-place finish at Glendale and an eighth at San Diego attest.

Those bobbles came early and Webb seems to have forgotten how to make a mistake.

A third-place is Webb’s worst finish in the last six weeks and since Anaheim II when Musquin started his impressive string of podium finishes, Webb has recorded an average finish of 2.2. That came with a worst finish of eighth on an extremely muddy and heavy track in San Diego. Musquin has a worst finish of only sixth, but his average of 2.8 still lags behind Webb.

Worse still, since Anaheim II Musquin has finished behind Webb in every race except for the outlier of San Diego.

It is no longer a question of keeping pressure on Webb. Musquin cannot expect his teammate to make a mistake; he has to find a way to pass him on the track. If Webb adds only two points to his lead at Seattle, Musquin’s fate would no longer be in his hands. He would need to gain 3.2 points per race. With that scenario, Webb could finish one spot behind Musquin every week and still win the championship.