A Texas Round-Up For The T-Team Ten
The best thing that could be said for a race that was shaping up to be one of the most exciting in terms of finishes was that most of the T-Team Ten improved position over their qualifying placement in the grid. All of the drivers raced well; however, the three drivers who had to retire from the race due to contact did not take others out with them...another good thing.
On lap ten, Mario Dominguez of Pacific Coast Motorsports / Visit Mexico City spun all of the way around and, apparently … according to the announcer, did not touch anything.
Exhaust flames push out as the Pacific Coast Motorsports team replaces flat-spotted tires on Mario Dominguez's car after his spin on Lap 10. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
Said Tyler Tadevic, PCM Team Owner, after the race:
“We now have our first IndyCar race in the books and Mario did a great job. He had a great start and a strong first stint, he picked up three positions.
Unfortunately, he spun but his skill kept it off the wall and kept the car running. He brought it to the pits for a fresh set of Firestone tires and rejoined the race on the same lap.
He developed a handling problem after the spin, which after taking a look at the car, we found that he actually did brush the wall and it bent the rear wing just a little bit and also damaged the right rear shock. Unfortunately that damage created a push.
We didn’t realize that the car was damaged, so we didn’t know that was what was causing the push. We thought it was a handling issue, so we added front wing which actually slowed Mario’s pace despite him being full throttle. He did a great job all night out there.
The crew made great pitstops. They battled a sticky valve on the fuel rig which slowed down one stop, but they were able to remedy it.
All in all, we didn’t finish where we wanted to, but we finished and we are headed back to California with everything where it is supposed to be!”
The bend A-Frame of Justin Wilson's Dallara. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2008) The EDJE
On Lap 38: a Yellow flag for contact with wall in Turn 4 by Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing / McDonald’s slowed the field. He has a broken front right suspension
Lap 47: Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology / Plantronics hits the wall and takes himself out
Lap 55: Yellow for spin out of Turn 4 by Mario Moraes Dale Coyne Racing / Sonny’s BBQ.
Lap 56: Contact was between Tomas Scheckter and Mario Moraes in Turn 4. Scheckter is back out. Mario Moraes was able to get out on the track with repairs and finish the race running 18th.
With just 18 laps to go (Lap 210) Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing / Sangari crashes and has to retire.
Enrique Bernoldi (foreground) and Jamie Camara of Conquest Racing run side-by-side on the track at Texas Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
Qual-Race Pos. / Car# / Driver / Team / Sponsor
18-11/06 Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing / McDonald’s
8-13/ 8 Will Power - KV Racing Technology / AU-Australia
28-14/33 EJ Viso - HVM Racing / PDVSA
26-15/18 Bruno Junqueira - Dale Coyne Racing / Z-Line
22-18/19 Mario Moraes - Dale Coyne Racing / Sonny’s BBQ
24-21/96 Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motosports / Visit Mexico City
20-23/36 Enrique Bernoldi - Conquest Racing / Sangari - Contact
21-24/34 Jamie Camara - Conquest Racing / Sangari
16-26/ 5 Oriol Servia - KV Racing Technology / Plantronics - Contact
23-27/02 Justin Wilson - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing / McDonald’s – Contact
Scott Dixon celebrates another win at Texas Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
This excerpted from Autosport –
Dixon wins again in Texas
By Jeff Olson Sunday, June 8th 2008, 04:37 GMT
Scott Dixon passed Marco Andretti for the lead with six laps remaining, then idled to victory under caution after Andretti crashed with Ryan Hunter-Reay with five laps remaining in the Bombardier Learjet 550k.
The victory was Dixon's third of the season and sixth podium finish in seven races this season, increasing his IndyCar Series lead over runner-up Helio Castroneves to 35 points.
Dixon trailed Andretti on a restart with nine laps remaining in the 228-lap race but passed him for the lead with six laps left.
A lap later, as Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay battled for second, their cars crashed hard and hit the wall. Hunter-Reay was OK, but Andretti sustained minor injuries to his right foot. X-rays were negative, but Andretti was limping noticeably after the race.
Following Dixon and Castroneves to the finish line was Ryan Briscoe, who lost a lap earlier in the race when he missed his pit box and was penalized, and Dixon's teammate, Dan Wheldon, who finished fourth despite an ankle injury to his right foot sustained Friday during practice.
The win was anticlimactic proof that Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team are the class of the series so far this year. He has led 633 of 1,327 laps in the first seven races, and, with Wheldon‘s win at Kansas, Ganassi's team has won four of the first seven races of 2008.
"At the end, he left it wide open," Dixon said of Andretti's move up the track that gave Dixon space to move underneath. "I don't know what he was doing. Marco's car was good on the high line, so maybe he couldn't sit on the bottom. If it was me, I wouldn't have given up that much room.
Tony Kanaan finished fifth, Hideki Mutoh was sixth, and Vitor Meira, who led a stint until he was forced to pit with 21 laps remaining, finished seventh. Buddy Rice, Ed Carpenter and Danica Patrick rounded out the top 10.
The key moment of the race forced a second consecutive race to end under caution and left one driver hobbling and another fuming. After Dixon passed Andretti for the lead, Ryan Hunter-Reay began to pressure Andretti for position.
As Hunter-Reay moved inside Andretti in the entry to Turn 3 with five laps remaining, Hunter-Reay was forced down onto the apron and lost control, sending both cars into the wall.
"He came down on me," Hunter-Reay said. "I went low to try to avoid him and got down on the white line. That upset both cars and took us out. ... This was going to be our breakout night and we didn't get it.
Andretti was seen favouring his right foot as he walked. It was the second time in six days that an IndyCar race ended under caution because of a crash involving Andretti.
At Milwaukee on Sunday, Andretti apologized after his car slid into Ed Carpenter's and caused a three-car crash that led to Briscoe winning under caution. This time, Andretti wasn't apologizing.
"There are some guys you can run close with and some guys you can't," Andretti said. "He clearly hit the white line, and that is that. We ran well today, but to me, that doesn't matter. We need to bring home results. It's very disappointing."
The race tied the Texas record for cautions in an IndyCar race - eight for 52 laps. The yellow-flag ending also renewed the debate about the series going to green-white checkered restarts to prevent races from ending under caution.
"I saw some of the fans walking out before the checkered fell," said Ganassi, an advocate of a green-white-checkered rule. "It's just disappointing. They come to see a show and they deserve to see a good finish.
"They deserve to see an exciting finish. I understand the differences between IndyCars and NASCAR and why some people think you can't do it here, but I think we need to sit down and figure out a way to do it so it's fair for everybody."
The series takes a week off before resuming June 22 at Iowa Speedway, kicking off a stretch of six races over six consecutive weekends.
Pos. Driver / Team / Laps
1. Scott Dixon / Chip Ganassi / 228
2. Helio Castroneves / Penske / 228
3. Ryan Briscoe / Penske / 228
4. Dan Wheldon / Chip Ganassi / 228
5. Tony Kanaan / Andretti Green / 228
6. Hideki Mutoh / Andretti Green / 228
7. Vitor Meira / Panther / 227
8. Buddy Rice / Dreyer & Reinbold / 227
9. Ed Carpenter / Vision / 227
10. Danica Patrick / Andretti Green / 227
11. Graham Rahal / Newman/Haas/Lanigan / 227
12. AJ Foyt IV / Vision / 226
13. Will Power / KV / 226
14. EJ Viso / HVM / 226
15. Bruno Junqueira / Dale Coyne / 226
16. John Andretti / Roth / 226
17. Milka Duno / Dreyer & Reinbold / 226
18. Mario Moraes / Dale Coyne / 223
19. Marco Andretti / Andretti Green / 222
20. Ryan Hunter-Reay / Rahal Letterman / 222
21. Mario Dominguez / PCM / 222
22. Marty Roth / Roth / 221
23. Enrique Bernoldi / Conquest / 210
24. Jaime Camara / Conquest / 210
25. Tomas Scheckter / Luczo Dragon / 56
26. Oriol Servia / KV / 47
27. Justin Wilson / Newman/Haas/Lanigan / 39
28. Darren Manning / Foyt / 19
.... notes from The EDJE