Joliet, Illinois (August 29, 2010) - During a race restart on Saturday night’s PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 held at the 2.086-kilometer D-shaped tri-oval Chicagoland Speedway, Canadian driver was punted out of the race following an incident between Brazilian Vitor Meira and Hideki Mutoh of Japan. An off course excursion by rookie Ana Beatriz had caused the second full course yellow on lap 78 of 200, and as the cars were ready for the restart on lap 86, Meira bumped Mutoh’s car which collected Tagliani’s FAZZT racecar causing left side pod and left rear suspension damage. While Tagliani retired in the pits in 25th place overall, Meira would go on to finish ninth and Mutoh 12th.
Tagliani pitted early in the race following the first caution and returned to the track in 20th position. He steadily moved up the field to eventually take command of the event on lap 58. As he was entering pit lane for his second stop, he ran out of fuel on, losing a lap to the leaders. He was soon back on the leaders lap, but the fuel incident had put him in a situation where he was near the tail-end of the field, were race incidents often occur on race restart.
”I am extremely proud of the team,” Alex Tagliani said. “We’ve had a good car this year on the oval and we were able to get it to the front again with the set up changes that we made for the race. We drove from 20th all the way to the front when we had a little issue with the fuel and went a lap down. We got the lap back and I don’t think it was a problem at that point because we had moved so quickly to the front I knew we could do it again. On the restart, I got hit from behind and turned around and that was the end of our race. It’s really unfortunate for the whole team; the Bowers and Wilkins/TorcUP car was great. I think we had the car to beat.”
Chip Ganassi Racing outsmarted its rivals in the race run under the lights on Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway to give its driver Dario Franchitti it 26th IndyCar career win. Ninth coming in for the last round of pit stops on lap 172, Ganassi decided not to change the tires on Franchitti’s car, sending him out of the pits in first place and onto a visit to victory circle. He held off Dan Wheldon by 0.0423 of a second for his third win of the season. Marco Andretti led an Andretti Autosport trio in the top five with a third place finish. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan followed.
Rob Edwards, COO/General Manager PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300:
“So many positives out of such a disappointing result. We had a great car with great preparation from Don, Phil and the crew. Engineering worked into the late hours last night and they were at it again this morning. They put together a heck of a racecar. Alex drove his socks off to come up through the field. We made the decision to splash fuel on the first yellow but unfortunately, we didn’t get as much fuel in as we thought we had. With a miscue there, we ran out before the second stop which put us at the back of the pack. Fortunately a yellow came out at the right time and put us back on the lead lap with 120 laps to go and with a race car as fast as it was I think we had a good chance to get something out of the night still. I don’t know quite what happened between Mr. Meira and Mr. Mutoh, but we were the recipients of the carnage and so we’ll move on to Kentucky. It’s a disappointing result but tonight shows a huge number of positives for the team. It shows the character of the team and the depth of the team. We’re here to be serious, we’re not just here to make up the numbers.”
Point Standings after 14 Rounds
The point standings order remains the same following Saturday’s night PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Will Power is still in first place with 528 points, but his lead has been cut down to 23 points over race winner Dario Franchitti (505). Power, who was battling for the lead with five laps to go, had to pit for a gallon of fuel. He finished 16th overall, one lap down. Scott Dixon, eighth in the race, is still third (443), and polesitter and defending race champion Ryan Briscoe, who finished 11th in the race, is fourth with 406 points. Helio Castroneves rounds out the top five with 398 points. As for Tagliani, he sits in 13th place with 254 points.
IndyCar drivers will not have much of a break as they go back to action for their third consecutive weekend of racing on September 3-4 at the Kentucky Speedway located in Sparta, for the Kentucky Indy 300 presented under the lights next Saturday night on the one and half mile oval track.
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