Sunday, April 5, 2009

Heading Home after Sunday’s Race

I am heading down the road back towards Palm Beach and thought I would take the opportunity of a 4 hour drive to update everyone on my Sunday. I had race 2 this morning at about 10 AM and then hung out at the track to watch the Indy Car race.

I started the race in 18th after qualifying yesterday morning. We had made some major changes to the car for yesterday’s race and it made a big difference. Overnight we had the chance to tune the car into the sweet spot a bit more. Going into the race, I was pretty sure it was going to be more disrupted and have more action than race 1. And boy was I right! I had a good start and avoided the first spinning car in turn 1. Then as I got to the apex, I got tapped in the right rear- not hard enough to spin me, but I had to catch the car. That in turn gave me a bit of a gap to the group of cars in front of me which was a good thing when I got to turn 4 (the next big braking zone and passing opportunity). By the time I started braking, there was a car wedged into the tire wall. I finished the first lap up two spots in 16th. Then after a lengthy full course yellow to pick up the pieces of the first lap, I continued to move up, passing 2006 Indy Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham, Stefan Wilson, Gustavo Yacaman, James Davison, Richard Philippe, J.R. Hildebrand and Ana Beatriz. A couple of those passes entailed me threading the needle through the other cars spinning across the track in front of me. One of those incidents was my teammate Jay Howard missing a crash between J.R. Hildebrand and Ana Beatriz. To avoid the incident, Jay had to go around the outside where it was really dirty and slippery. By the time I got there, the inside was clear and so I went past all three of them on the inside and up to 7th. There was a full course yellow that dragged on until there was only a three lap sprint to the checkered. I didn’t get the best restart, but managed to hold onto my 7th place.

I was really really happy with the result especially after the qualifying. The team made huge progress during the weekend. I know that when we unload for Long Beach, we will be a lot closer to the pace and a lot more experienced. I can’t wait for my ‘home’ race!

As a TV reminder, the St. Pete races will be broadcast tomorrow, April 6th on Versus TV at 6PM EST (3PM Pacific).
Edit on Thursday April 9th: Here's a photo of me in the car on the drive home after I had finished writing the blog. I am not sure what is scarier- how deep my sleep was to not realize this photo was being taken or that the team manager took this photo when he should have been focused on driving!

1 comment :

  1. This blog was a lot more exciting then all your other ones. Make more like this, please!