Team Mer With Cadell Takes 3rd Win in Portland

By: Kraig Johanssen

With Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Washington, Team MER took home their third win in four events in this season's Sirius Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship. This was Cadell's first pro win of his career where he led the most laps and stretched to a 6-2 lead by the checker at Portland International Raceway this past weekend.

Jason Saini, his teammate championship point-leader, led several laps but had a mid-race spin while fighting for 2nd place that dropped the driver back. He would go back to the 5th position and a speed for the podium by the end of the race.

Cadell (Pinnacle Mazda / Team MER / AIM) feels great having such result at what is effectively his home track. He said that he and Jason battled back and forth early on and the more zest the other guys got, the more he was able to get away.

Meanwhile, Saini (TheAutobarn.com / Team MER) received advantages from laps lead as well as from a solid 5th place result to retain a 30-point lead in the championship.

Saini reacted that everyone was going for the race and he had to be satisfied with the achieved results. He added that their team maintained their points lead but still need to go to Cleveland with the same focus and determination that kept all their cars at the front of the pack.

A 17-year-old racer, Patrick Barrett showed a lot of potential having qualified 5th in the wet session and ran in the 4th place for much of the race prior to his making contact with the third place car. In the festival curves, he recovered from a spin late in the race and worked his Alpinestars / AutismSpeaks / Team MER MX-5 up to the 9th position at the finish, marking the third fastest lap in the process.

Rick Bellew (B&W Supply / Team MER) had worked hard from his 10th starting position and was battling in the top-10. Unfortunately, though, he lost third gear in the middle through the race and brought home his 18th place finish.

In the entire race, Donnie Barnes (Team MER) struggled with many drivers. He finished in the 20th position in his second career MX-5 Cup event.

After consistently being in the top for 15 times in practice, Forest Barber (Team MER / Feeds the Need Racing), had similar luck in the actual race. Early on, he had transmission trouble after running 15th; making him five posts higher form his starting position. He ended up in the 27th place.

Shannon McMasters, the Team MER owner, said that they had mixed results in the race. But he added that it has always been good to have cars win and be upfront.
The Team MER will be participating in the next SCCA Sirius Satellite Mazda MX-5 Cup event at Burke Lakefront Airport during the Cleveland Grand Prix on June 23-24 as a support series for the Champ Car World Series.

About the Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is a sports car built since 1989 by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan. Also known as "Miata" in North America and "Roadster" in Japan, the vehicle was a significant evolution in the motor car industry since its introduction. It revived the roadster segment of sports cars while other companies were also introducing roadsters to their model ranges, such as the MG F, and the third-generation Toyota MR2.

For the record, there have been three generations of the MX-5. And each consists of huge technical, mechanical and electronic upgrades. The first generation (NA) was introduced from 1989 to 1993 and sold more than 400,000 units. Initially, it had a 1.6-liter straight-4 engine, and then a 1.8-liter engine from 1994-2004. The distinctive pop-up headlights became the standing image of the NA. In 1999, the second generation MX-5 (NB) was introduced. There was a minute increase in the engine power and its fixed headlights, and the glass rear window became its distinctive features. In 2005, the third generation (NC) was introduced with a 2.0-liter engine; its fender bulges over the wheel wells became its distinctive features.
As of the latest record this year, the Mazda MX-5 is the best selling sports car all over the world. It already sold more than 800,000 vehicles.

About Mazda and its Auto Racing

Mazda Motor Corporation is the sponsor of the Star Mazda Championship. Aside from manufacturing quality , the company is also known in the world of auto racing.

In the field of racing, Mazda is successful with two-rotor, three-rotor, and four-rotor cars. Private racers have also had considerable success with stock and modified Mazda cars with Wankel engines.

Mazda's competition in race started on October 20, 1968. This was when two Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S coupes entered the 84 hour ultra endurance race in Marathon de la Route at NÃ?rburgring. One car finished as the fourth placer and the other broke an axle after 81 hours.

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