Alex Tagliani moves up the field to finish 13th in Japan
Starting in the back of grid in 23rd position, Canadian driver Alex Tagliani moved up the field in the penultimate race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar schedule to finish 13th in the Indy Japan 300 held Sunday at the 2.414-km Twin Ring Motegi oval located 130 kilometers north of Tokyo in Japan. The FAZZT Race Team driver flirted with 10th place during the race following his final pit stop on lap 150. Fifteenth coming into the pits, he came back out on track in 11th place following excellent work by the FAZZT Team. Unfortunately, Tagliani was unable to fend off Dan Wheldon and Takuma Sato who respectively went by him on laps 170 and 171.
“Yeah it was a good race for the Bowers & Wilkins/TorcUP machine,” Alex Tagliani said. “We recovered well from qualifying although obviously it would have been really better to start in the top 10. It was a good race, the strategy was good, and the boys did a great job in the pits. We had a quick car and considering the track is known to be a very difficult place to pass, I think we can be very happy with the fact that we gained ten positions during the race. We come away very proud with what we accomplished. We finished in front of the drivers we are battling with in the championship, and we made up one spot. We’ll go into Homestead-Miami to do better than we did here and wrap up the season doing the best job we can.”
Helio Castroneves dominated round 16 of the 2010 schedule to score his third win of the season, his second on the Twin Ring Motegi oval. Starting from pole, the Team Penske driver led 153 of the 200-lap race to cross the finish line 4.5 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti. Franchitti’s second place finish enabled him to win the A.J. Foyt Oval Championship. Team Penske teammates Will Power and Ryan Briscoe finished third and fourth. Danica Patrick finished fifth. Eighteen drivers finished the race on the leader’s lap.
Rob Edwards, FAZZT Race Team COO/General Manager:
“I said last night that I had every confidence in Alex and our engineers working through the data to give us a good race car and they did just that. We were able to make some calls on strategy and Alex did an excellent job in the car as we moved up through the field ten places. The result moved us up to 12th in points and so we will go to Homestead-Miami looking to finish our first season on a high note. Great teamwork has been our strength all year and it was again today. I am very proud and happy for Alex and all of the team.”
In the point standings after 16 of the 17-race schedule, Will Power still leads with 587 points, but Dario Franchitti closed the championship point’s gap to 12 heading into the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami in two week’s time. Helio Castroneves who has scored his second win in a row moves up another spot in the standings to third with 501 points. He is followed by Scott Dixon (497) and Ryan Briscoe (450). As for Tagliani, he takes sole position of 12th place with 286 points.
The IndyCar Series drivers will have 12 days off before their final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 1st.
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