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Cunningham only interested in results this weekend

 

While the Indy Pro Series website is full of stories about points permutations going into this weekend's Double-Header meeting at Northern California's Infineon Raceway, defending champion, New Zealand driver Wade Cunningham, is only interested in results.

While the Indy Pro Series website is full of stories about points permutations going into this weekend's Double-Header meeting at Northern California's Infineon Raceway, defending champion, New Zealand driver Wade Cunningham, is only interested in results.

"Qualify quickest and win both races, that's all I'm focused on," he said from the Napa Valley this morning. "I'm not interested in the points."

The reason Indy Pro Series administrators are is that for the first time in the series' history nine drivers have a mathematical chance of winning the title and just 25 points separate leader Jay Howard and second placed Jonathan Klein.

What makes this weekend 'doubly' important is that the Infineon Raceway road course (a conventional 3.8 km left/right corner circuit) is hosting the season's second 'double-header' meeting with points races on Saturday and Sunday. And just to throw a further factor into the mix, the starting grid for Sunday's race features a reverse top six format based on the finishing order of Saturday's race.

Kiwi driver Cunningham lost any real chance of being a season-long title contender this year when he was forced to sit out the first double-header meeting at the St Petersburg street race after an emergency appendectomy on the eve of the weekend.

Losing one points scoring opportunity is bad for any driver seriously chasing a title, and two effectively changed the complexion of the 2006 battle.

That said, Cunningham remains the series pace-setter, and the benchmark by which all the other drivers must judge themselves, and in terms of laps led he has no peer.

Despite missing those two races at St Petersburg, Cunningham has led 245 laps, more than double the number points leader Howard has (112).

Which gives the young New Zealander, who has just turned 22, every cause for confidence this weekend.

Last year's results at Infineon Raceway are also worth noting. Cunningham qualified fourth and after being slowed by a spinning car in front of him on the first lap fought his way back up to second place, where he finished on the tail of winner Marco Andretti.

Wade Cunningham is proud to be one of New Zealand motor racing's Black Bullets. To find out more about our Black Bullets go to www.blackbullets.com

2006 Indy Pro Series
Points after Rnd 9 of 12
1. Jay Howard 319
2. Jonathan Klein 279
3. Bobby Wilson 265
4. Nick Bussell 243
5=. Jaime Camara 242
5=. Wade Cunningham 205
7. Brett Van Blankers 179
8. Chris Festa 175
9. Alex Lloyd 156
10. Raphael Matos 154

2006 Indy Pro Series
Calendar
Rnd 1 Sun March 26 Homestead-Miami Speedway (2.4 km oval)
Rnd 2 Sat April 01 & 02 Streets of St Petersburg (2.88 km street course)
Rnd 3 Sun April 2 Streets of St Petersburg (2.88 km road course)
Rnd 4 Fri May 26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (4.0 km oval w/Indy 500)
Rnd 5 Sun June 04 Watkins Glen International (5.3 km road course)
Rnd 6 Sat July 1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (4.16 km road course w/ US F1 GP)
Rnd 7 Sat July 15 Nashville Superspeedway (2.12 km oval)
Rnd 8 Sat July 22 The Milwaukee Mile (1.6 km oval)
Rnd 9 Sun Aug 13 Kentucky Speedway (2.4 km oval)
Rnd 10 Sat Aug 26 Infineon Raceway (3.8 km road course)
Rnd 11 Sun Aug 27 Infineon Raceway (3.8 km road course)
Rnd 12 Sat Sep 09 Chicagoland Speedway (2.4 km oval)

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