Aidan Fassnacht Drives Sword Performance Mazda From Last To His First Professional Podium Friday at Watkins Glen

Aidan Fassnacht Drives Sword Performance Mazda From Last To His First Professional Podium Friday at Watkins Glen

25.06.2022: ...in Mazda MX-5 Cup Fassnacht’s No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Started From the Rear of the Field and Added Hard Charger to Third Place Finish

...in Mazda MX-5 Cup




Fassnacht’s No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 Started From the Rear of the Field and Added Hard Charger to Third Place Finish

 

Aidan Fassnacht earned his first career professional podium in dramatic fashion on Friday at Watkins Glen International, driving the No. 15 Sword Performance Mazda MX-5 from the rear of the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup field to third-place in the 45-minute sprint race.


The 19-year-old is in his first season as a pro, and for the first time this season was racing a track that he had been to prior to the IMSA weekend.



“I don’t know if I’ve fully processed it yet,” Fassnacht said. “I’m just numb right now. When you’re on the track, you’re just doing your job, it’s always the next car. But I know in the next few minutes it’s going to set in, I just got my first professional podium and I did it from last place. It means a lot. It means a lot to have my family here with me when I get my first podium. It means a lot to have Sword Performance support. I’m glad I could make those people proud.”



Fassnacht had qualified eighth on the track, but a technical infraction – an unapproved oil filter was on the car during qualifying – relegated him to the rear of the field to start the race. From there, the Boston College student passed cars on track and used well-timed cautions to get his McCumbee McAleer Motorsports (MMR) prepped-Mazda to the front. That run also earned him the Hard Charger award for most positions improved during the race.

 



“I took every opportunity I had to make a move,” he said. “I wasn’t being overly aggressive, I was letting the race come to me. You have to put yourself in precarious situations if you’re going to go from 29th to third, but it’s all calculated. I tried to stay levelheaded, which is difficult to do when you get a penalty right before the race. I’m just glad I was able to focus up and really get my head down and move forward.”



The race was round seven of the 14-race championship. Following races at Daytona, St. Petersburg, and Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen was the first track that he had previous experience on. While Fassnacht celebrates this podium, he’s also put the focus back on racing for the second of the doubleheader weekend on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. That Friday penalty unfortunately means he'll have to repeat his run from the back of the grid on Saturday.



“The job’s not finished,” Fassnacht said. “It’s a two-race weekend. We’re done with one and we have another tomorrow. I’m happy we got the podium today but the mindset is on repeating tomorrow. I want to capitalize on this finish and turn it into a really high points paying weekend.”



Saturday’s 45-minute race goes green at 10 a.m. ET, with a live stream on IMSA.com and RACER.com.

 




Adam Saal- photos MAZDA

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25.06.2022 / MaP

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