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Disappointment at Edmonton Indy doesn't dampen James Spirits for Ohio30/07/2012
James Jakes went into the Edmonton Indy feeling confident after his best performance of the year, finishing 8th in Toronto two weeks ago. What made the top-10 finish all the more impressive is the fact he started the race in 25th spot after taking a 10-grid penalty for changing his engine.
"This track (Edmonton) is different from the one in Toronto, there is a lot of heavy braking here, there are a lot of slow-speed corners," he said. "Concentrating on the two races, Toronto has a little bit of everything, but you only have one hairpin down on the back straight and that's it really. You have a lot of medium to high-speed corners there, where here, it's all mainly low to medium."
James had put together a couple of solid practice sessions at Edmonton before heading to qualifying Saturday. He went out in the second qualifying group and just missed out moving on to the next round, finishing eighth. "Qualifying wasn't too bad actually, we got out there at the same time as everybody else," Jakes said. "But it was pretty frustrating missing out on the next group by 9,000th of a second."
Jakes finished 16th overall in qualifying, but moved up to 14th on the grid as a couple of drivers were penalized for switching engines.
Unfortunately James Jakes ended the day early in Edmonton, due to a broken rear damper on the #19 Boy Scouts of America car. "I am really disappointed we had to end our race early in Edmonton. I feel like we had a good strategy and we would of been able to come on strong at the end." Jakes completed 43 of 75 laps.
Continually proving to be the optimist, Jakes is focused on the next race.
"I am excited to return to Ohio for the Honda Indy 200. I was able to test there last week and it went very well. Last year I didn't have the best race and my qualifying wasn't great. You really have to sort the qualifying out there to get the maximum result for the race. That is what I am hoping to do this weekend."
After Toronto, Jakes set a goal to finish the season with a Top 5 finish at the remaining events. Regardless of the outcome in Edmonton, this is still his goal for the four remaining races. "I believe if we can sort the small issues that we are having in qualifying there is no reason we won't be battling at the top. Our race pace is always very good."
The Honda Indy 200 will air on ABC at 1:00pm ET. For more information on the Honda Indy 200, go to www.indycar.com. Be sure to follow @JamesJakes on Twitter for LIVE updates on practice, qualifications and appearances throughout the race weekend.