Juncos Racing has rounded out its 2016 lineup in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires championship with the confirmation that Garett Grist will return to the team for a second consecutive season. The news was confirmed Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis.
Grist, the 20-year-old Canadian from Grimsby, completes the four-car lineup alongside fellow returnee Will Owen and team and series newcomers Nicolas Dapero and Jake Parsons.
For Grist, who returns to the series for his third full season, he’ll become an instant title contender. He won both Pro Mazda races to conclude the 2015 season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and that helped vault him into third in the driver’s championship.
“I still have a lot to learn and plenty to prove in Pro Mazda,” Grist said. “We had a slow start to the 2015 season and that put us behind in the championship. Peter (Dempsey) and I really hit our stride in the second half of the year and we look to continue that form in St. Petersburg in March. Just look at Laguna Seca. The crew at Juncos has been amazing and I think we have a real shot at the championship in 2016.”
It marked a five-spot improvement on his opening campaign in 2014, when he finished eighth with Andretti Autosport, and won two races.
“I am thrilled to confirm that Garett Grist will be returning to Juncos Racing for 2016,” said team principal Ricardo Juncos. “Garett’s 2015 season ended so strongly that it became a must to have him return this year.
“He is certainly a championship favorite and rightfully so, having won three of the last six races of 2015 as well as nearly every pole position during the second half of the season. Garett works extremely well with everyone on our Pro Mazda team and we are very excited to see what we can do now that we have a season working together under our belt.”