Andretti Autosport, IZOD IndyCar Race Report, Grand Prix of Petersburg
Story posted - Mar 25 2012 11:42 PM
IZOD IndyCar Race Report: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28
Hunter-Reay started and finished third in the Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
"We had the right strategy today, and we gambled on making two pit stops with the DHL/Sun Drop Chevrolet. I thought we had a really fast car, especially later in the run when the tires were worn, and I think we could have really challenged for the win if we weren't saving so much fuel, but it was absolutely the right strategy. I was happy that the new Chevy engine got great fuel mileage, and I'm glad to see them power three of the top-four finishers today.
"The top-three finish is great - the points are worth just as much here as they are in the last race of the year. We're really racing with points in mind this year, and our total focus is on the championship. If we run with the top-three each time, we're going to be in the right position for race wins and a championship.
"It was a beautiful day in St. Pete, and I think that's fitting on a day when we remembered and honored Dan Wheldon. This was his home town - his adopted home - and I know he was with us every lap."
James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27
Hinchcliffe started and finished fourth in his debut with the Andretti Autosport GoDaddy.com team.
"Awesome job from the Andretti Autosport crew today. It's so good to bring the Go Daddy car home in the top five. The Chevy engine ran strong all day. This was our first time running these (cars) a full distance and you never quite know what to expect, but the prep Chevy did was incredible - and same with the boys from the Andretti crew. Our car ran flawless all day long. I think that says a lot about the preparation the guys did over the winter.
"I kept getting hosed on those restarts after starting on the outside, and the crew did a great job in the pits with the right strategy to get us back up where we started. I can't thank them enough. I learned a lot today about the car; learned a lot about fuel strategy. I know it's my second year now (in the IndyCar Series), but there is still a lot to learn. I'm happy for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and congrats to Helio (Castroneves) as well."
Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26
Andretti's 100th career IndyCar start took place from the seventh starting position. A late pit stop for a splash of fuel dropped him to a 14th-place finish.
"We were short on fuel on the last run and had to make an extra pit stop. I'm not happy to finish 14th, but, considering how I did here last year (knocked-out in lap one crash), it's an improvement. We ran in the top-five early on, and I think we'll have the speed to be at the front at Barber (Motorsports Park, home of next week's IndyCar race)."