Grand Prix of Baltimore Sunday Notebook
Story posted - Sep 02 2012 8:50 PM
HUNTER-REAY WINS GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE TO KEEP TITLE HOPES ALIVE
BALTIMORE (Sept. 2, 2012) -- For the seventh consecutive year, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race of the season.
Ryan Hunter-Reay made sure of that with a stirring victory in the second Grand Prix of Baltimore. Driving the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car, Hunter-Reay started 10th and overtook leader Ryan Briscoe on the front straight of a Lap 70 restart.
A full-course caution on the same lap for a four-car pileup in Turn 4 gave Briscoe, who won a week earlier at Sonoma, another shot. But Hunter-Reay used the last of his 90 seconds of push to pass on the Lap 73 restart and went on to a 1.4391-second win over Briscoe, who started 14th in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske car.
Hunter-Reay made up 20 points on front-runner Will Power, who finished sixth in the 75-lap race on the 2.04-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit and takes a 17-point lead into the finale Sept. 15 on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval.
"We still have a shot," a beaming Hunter-Reay said on pit lane after recording his fourth victory of the season. "We all want it bad enough; we can go get this thing. The team deserves it; it's a matter of if we can put it together."
Hunter-Reay has four Indy car oval victories, including two this year (Milwaukee and Iowa). Power's lone oval victory came in 2011 on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.
"I knew it would be a day like this. It never comes easy," said Power, who earned the three bonus points for earning the pole and leading the most laps (22). "We just have to do our best and fight like a dog till the end. We'll come out swinging."
Simon Pagenaud, who a week earlier clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award, finished third for the two time in the past three races and Scott Dixon was fourth in his 200th Indy car start. Rubens Barrichello overtook Power on the final restart to claim fifth. Oriol Servia, who started 16th, finished seventh.
Earlier in the day, Tristan Vautier reclaimed the Firestone Indy Lights points lead with a commanding victory in the Grand Prix of Baltimore. The 2011 Star Mazda champion, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car, takes an 11-point advantage over teammate Esteban Guerrieri into the Sept. 15 race at Auto Club Speedway.
Vautier swept the bonus points for earning the Sunoco Pole Award and leading the most laps. He won by 15.3783 seconds over Gustavo Yacaman, who won the 2011 race.
"This win feels great. From the start of the weekend the car was hooked up," said Vautier, who turned 23 on Aug. 22. "We scored lots of points so that was very good for us with an oval at Fontana coming up next. We have to stay focused and arrive ready in California."
DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:
Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Firestone Indy Lights driver Emerson Newton-John was checked and released from University of Maryland-Baltimore Shock Trauma Center Saturday night. He has been cleared to race.
The following changes have been made to the chicane on the Pratt Street straightaway for today's races:
A short stack of tires has been placed at the apex of the turn. The tire stack is short enough so drivers can see over it.
The wall on drivers' left has been moved to a less harsh angle
The wall at drivers' right was not moved.
Less than 24 hours after the checkered flag falls on the Grand Prix of Baltimore, Ed Carpenter and Graham Rahal will unwind on the golf course.
Or will they be able to? The IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will be seeking long drives on the 7,316-yard Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., which this week plays host to the PGA Tour's BMW Championship, in the Celebrity Shootout.
Carpenter and Rahal will join course architect Pete Dye, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel, former Masters and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller, and former IZOD IndyCar Series driver A.J. Foyt IV among others in the nine-hole scramble tournament. A donation of $5,000 will be made to the winning team's preferred charities.
"I've been playing a little bit more lately. Once I found out I was going to play in the event I felt a little more pressure to try to improve my game," said Carpenter, the only team owner-driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series. "I don't play as much as Graham or Simona (de Silvestro), but it will be fun and hopefully we'll raise some money for charity."
Zoeller's namesake company, Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, is the primary sponsor of Carpenter's No. 20 car. Carpenter said that Zoeller's demeanor relaxes recreational golfers such as him in events on championship courses.
"He always keeps it loose, especially in events that are for charity. He makes sure everyone around him is having a good time, and he's always having a good time," Carpenter said.
In March, Rahal was a member of the team that won the Kenny G Gold Pro-Am preceding the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Foyt competed in INDYCAR in 2002-08 (winning the Indy Lights championship in '02) and now is a scouting assistant with the Indianapolis Colts.
The BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., is the penultimate event of four in the PGA Tour playoffs for the FedEx Cup and determines the field of 30 for the TOUR Championship. There's a 70-player field based on qualifying points.
One thing stood out to Bruno Junqueira as he raced between the IZOD IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series paddocks over the weekend: "I love this new car."
Junqueira, thrice a CART championship runner-up, drove the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car in lieu of rookie Josef Newgarden (recovering from surgery on his left index finger). The 2012 Dallara chassis and Honda engine package obviously impressed the veteran driver from Brazil.
"It's a real rocket ship. It's very fast and brakes really well. I haven't gotten to drive a single-seater race car for a while so this was a real treat," said Junqueira, who was competing in his first IZOD IndyCar Series road/street event since 2008.
Junqueira qualified 10th on the 2.04-mile, 13-turn temporary street course. He started from the Prototype Challenge pole position and finished second with co-driver Tomy Drissi in the ALMS race.
"I'm in cars a lot," Junqueira said. "You have to completely change your mind-set when you are moving between the two cars. They are very different night and day."
In June at the annual Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Motorsports Summit, all partners were given a "create your own helmet" project. Each partner had the opportunity to design a mini replica race helmet as they would like to see a driver wear.
No guidelines. Just multiple-color markers.
As a surprise to the partners, two helmets were selected by Ganassi and guest speaker Joe Montana to be produced and worn in races. This weekend, Rahal wore a helmet designed by Mickey Holmes of Lincoln Electric. It will be signed and presented to Holmes.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner and former IZOD IndyCar Series driver Robbie Buhl celebrated his 49th birthday Sept. 2. ... Simona de Silvestro, driver of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing car, turned 24 on Sept. 1. ... U.S. Army Col. Gregory Gadson was the grand marshal.
The following cars will have grid penalties for today's IZOD IndyCar Series race: #14 Conway (fitting sixth engine at Baltimore); #15 Sato (fitting seventh engine at Baltimore); #67 Junqueira (fitting sixth engine at Baltimore) #78 De Silvestro (carry-over for fitting seventh engine at Sonoma) and #83 Kimball (unapproved engine change).
The following cars: #77 Pagenaud, #8 Barrichello, #22 Servia, #83 Kimball, #26 Andretti, #67 Junqueira, #38 Rahal, #5 Viso, #4 Hildebrand, #15 Sato and #78 De Silvestro will start on the primary black tires. All cars must use a new set of alternate red tires for two green flag laps in today's race, unless rain tires are used due to weather.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE RACE SPECIFICS:
The race is 75 laps, 150 miles on the 13-turn, 2.04-mile road course. The time-limit of 2 hours, 30 minutes will go into effect in the event of rain.
The pit road speed limit is 50 mph.
Pole sitter Will Power has chosen to grid drivers' right.
The green flag to start the race will be shown the second time by the start-finish line.
Drivers will have 90 seconds of overtake assist available during today's race.
The E85 ethanol allotment for today's race is 70.5 gallons with a fuel window of 23-27 laps under green flag conditions.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car.
There will be no tow-ins or returns from the garage within the final 15 minutes of the race.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE RACE RUNNING:
At 2:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 82 degrees, with a relative humidity of 73 percent. Skies were overcast. The track temperature was 96 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
2:40 p.m. - American hero Col. Gregory Gadson gave the command, "Drivers, start your engines." All cars but #2 Briscoe are running and rolling on the grid. #2 Briscoe joins at the end of the grid and will be allowed to start from his original starting position.
Lap 1: #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1.
Lap 2: #5 Viso and #78 on pit lane for four tires and fuel. #78 De Silvesto also replaces the nosecone. #5 Viso also takes red tires.
Lap 3: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 2.5259 seconds. Reports of sprinkles on the race course.
Lap 5: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 3.3423 seconds.
Lap 6: #8 Barrichello and #4 Hildebrand on pit lane for four red tires and fuel.'
Lap 7: #38 Rahal on pit lane for four red tires and fuel.
Lap 8: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #20 Carpenter has stopped on course on the main straightaway after contact at the exit of the chicane. Leaders under caution are: #12 Power, #7 Bourdais, #9 Dixon. #15 Sato and #26 Andretti pit for four tires and fuel.
#12 Power leads for the 10th time in 2012. He has led at every road/street course race except at Belle Isle.
#20 Carpenter has retired from the race due to contact. He had been the only driver to finish every race in 2010.
Lap 13: #15 Sato on pit road for fuel only.
Lap 14: GREEN. #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1. #14 Conway spins in Turn 5 after contact from #3 Castroneves. #67 Junqueira has also spun in Turn 5. FULL COURSE YELLOW. #67 Junqueira in need of assistance. #7 Bourdais spins in Turn 11 under caution.
Lap 15: #10 Franchitti on pit road for four black tires and fuel.
Lap 16: #5 Viso and #67 Junqueira on pit road for four rain tires and fuel.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have ordered #7 Bourdais to fall to fifth position for the restart after his spin.
Lap 18: #98 Tagliani and #4 Hildebrand on pit lane for GREEN. #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1. #3 Castroneves and #5 Viso off course in Turn 1.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #4 Hildebrand with a drive-through for avoidable contact with #67 Junqueira on Lap 14.
Lap 19: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #26 Andretti makes contact with the tires in Turn 1. Most of the leaders pit for four tires and fuel, including #12 Power, #9 Dixon, #77 Pagenaud, #7 Bourdais. Most of those who stopped have fitted wet tires. New leader is #28 Hunter-Reay.
Lap 21: GREEN. #28 Hunter-Reay leads the field into Turn 1. #10 Franchitti is off course in Turn 1 after contact from #78 De Silvestro. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leader is #28 Hunter-Reay. #10 Franchitti is assisted by the Holmatro Safety Team and has rejoined the race.
Lap 23: Leader, #28 Hunter-Reay, #2 Briscoe, #18 Wilson 9 Dixon, #77 Pagenaud, #7 Bourdais and #8 Barrichello on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #27 Hinchcliffe.
Lap 25: GREEN. #27 Hinchcliffe leads the field into Turn 1. #15 Sato takes the lead into Turn 1.
Lap 26: #15 Sato leads #38 Rahal by 5.2944 seconds.
Lap 28: #12, #9, #98 and #5 on pit lane for four red tires and fuel. #15 Sato leads #38 Rahal by 7.3469 seconds.
Lap 30: #27 Hinchcliffe on pit road for four tires and fuel. #15 Sato leads #38 Rahal by 5.7671 seconds.
Lap 32: #15 Sato leads #38 Rahal by 1.0250 seconds. FULL COURSE YELLOW. #19 Jakes makes contact with the tires in Turn 4. Leader under caution is #15 Sato. #7 Bourdais on pit road for four tires and fuel. Crew reports issue on the car.
Lap 33: #38 Rahal, running second, on pit road for four red tires and fuel.
#7 Bourdais has retired from the event with a mechanical failure in the suspension.
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "I was trying to gain time through the chicane and I just pushed too hard and hit the wall. I really feel badly for our crew guys and the Fuzzy's Vodka folks. I am pretty frustrated. We had an opportunity to pick up some points and have a good street race. It was a good weekend for us overall and this is a disappointment for our team. The good news is we improved the car throughout the weekend and we felt we had a good chance for a solid finish here. We have been making progress with our new team. We'll just lick our wounds and get ready for the big oval at Fontana (Calif.). I'm disappointed that we ended our finishing record too. Our crew has done a great job throughout the season with a well-prepared race car to finish every race. We'll regroup for the season finale (in Fontana). I know we'll have a strong car for that race."
Lap 37: GREEN. #15 Sato leads the field into Turn 1. Hunter-Reay passes for the lead at the line. #77 Pagenaud, who restarted sixth, makes move for the lead in Turn 1 and completes the pass of #28 Hunter-Reay. #27 Hinchcliffe stops on course in Turn 2. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leaders under caution are #77 Pagenaud, #28 Hunter-Reay, #83 Kimball, #11 Kanaan and #15 Sato.
Lap 40: GREEN. #77 Pagenaud leads the field into Turn 1. #78 De Silvesto makes contact on the frontstretch and stops on the frontstretch. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leaders under caution are #77 Pagenaud#83 Kimball, #28 Hunter-Reay, #11 Kanaan and #15 Sato.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "I thought it was something was sitting on the right rear, or I thought I had a cut in the right rear, but that wasn't it. It was something in the suspension."
Lap 41: #2 Briscoe on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 42: #9 Dixon on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 43: GREEN. #77 Pagenaud leads the field into Turn 1.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #38 Rahal with a drive-through for passing under the yellow.
Lap 45: #77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by .7853 of a second.
Lap 47: #15 Sato on pit road for four tires and fuel. #77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 1.0973 seconds.
Lap 48: #4 Hildebrand on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 50: #83 Kimball on pit road for four tires and fuel. 77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 2.7415 seconds. Leader, #77 Pagenaud on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #28 Hunter-Reay.
Lap 51: #14 Conway, running fourth, on pit road for four tires and fuel. #15 Sato on pit lane after slowing on course. #11 Kanaan off the pace on frontstretch after contact with the wall at the exit of the chicane.
Lap 52: Leader #28 Hunter-Reay and #8 Barrichello on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #12 Power.
Lap 54: #12 Power leads #22 Servia by 7.1220 seconds.
Lap 56: #12 Power leads #22 Servia by 10.3639 seconds. #28 Hunter-Reay is fifth, 13.8 seconds behind. Leaders #12 Power and #22 Servia on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #98 Tagliani.
Lap 57: Leader, #98 Tagliani, pits for four tires and fuel. New leader is #2 Briscoe.
Lap 58: #2 Briscoe leads #28 Hunter-Reay by .5702 of a second.
Lap 60: #2 Briscoe leads #28 Hunter-Reay by .8417 of a second.
Lap 62: #2 Briscoe leads #28 Hunter-Reay by .9618 of a second.
Lap 65: #2 Briscoe leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 1.0089 seconds. #83 Kimball stopped on course at exit of Turn 3. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leader under caution are: #2 Briscoe, #28 Hunter-Reay, #77 Pagenaud, #9 Dixon and #12 Power.
#12 Power has clinched the 2 bonus points for most-laps led.
Lap 70: GREEN. #2 Briscoe leads the field into Turn 1. #28 Hunter-Reay takes the lead into Turn 1. There is a multi-car accident in Turn 4 as the track is blocked after contact by #14 Conway, who collects #18 Wilson. Leader under caution are: #28 Hunter-Reay, #77 Pagenaud, #2 Briscoe, #9 Dixon and #12 Power.
Lap 73: GREEN. #28 Hunter-Reay leads the field into Turn 1.
Lap 74: #8 Barrichello and #22 Servia pass #12 Power for fifth place in Turn 3. WHITE: #28 Hunter-Reay leads #2 Briscoe by .5794 of a second.
Lap 75: CHECKERED: #28 Hunter-Reay wins the Grand Prix of Baltimore by 1.4391 seconds.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE POST-RACE NOTES:
This is Ryan Hunter-Reay's fourth win of the season - most of any driver this season. It is his ninth (9th) career Indy car victory. His last victory was Toronto earlier this year.
Hunter-Reay previously won at Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto.
Ryan Briscoe finished second, his fifth top-five finish in 2012.
Simon Pagenaud finished third. He has finished in the top-4 in his last six starts at Sonoma.
Scott Dixon finished fourth, his seventh top-five in the last three races. Dixon is the only driver to record top-five finishes in the two races at Baltimore
Rubens Barrichello finished fifth, his second-straight top-five.
Will Power finished sixth, his 10th top-10 finish of the season. Power's IZOD IndyCar Series' championship point lead was trimmed to 17 points.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE POST-RACE QUICK QUOTES:
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): ""We still have a shot. We all want it bad enough, we can go get this thing. The team deserves it; it's a matter of if we can put it together."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): ""I knew it would be a day like this. It never comes easy. We just have to do our best and fight like a dog till the end. We'll come out swinging."
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE POST-RACE QUOTES:
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "It's massive. I'm just trying to catch my breathe. Those restarts were crazy, crazy, crazy." (About restart w/ Briscoe) "Everyone had been going late. The green flag was actually coming out before the leaders were accelerating and I caught wind of that so I just started to focus on the green flag instead of focusing on the guy next to me and Briscoe got jumped on that one but the green flag was flying when he was still sitting there in first gear. I mean I feel sorry for him, well I don't really feel sorry, but you know what I mean." (About the tires) "Wild day. That's what we needed. We needed a wild day. We needed a bit of rain. I was hoping it was going to rain more than it did. They rolled the dice, and left me out there on Firestone slicks and it was treacherous for a bit but started drying up coming our way and paid off."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet): "It was a tough race today. Really mixed conditions with the rain and everything. Strong finish, the car was fast, even saving fuel that whole final stint, the car was really fast. I'm really proud of the whole team, my engineer, everybody, for giving me the whole car to race today. Bit of frustrating end there on that final restart, they waved the green and we weren't even lined up yet, it was a little bit unfair. But Hunter-Reay did a great job today, and I'm just really proud of my whole team. And Roger pulled off one of those strategies today and it worked for us."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It was a tough day. We missed a little bit on picking the wets and the slicks and that kind of cross over. It seemed about three or four of the guys worked that out. I guess it's luck really, whether it's going to rain or not. Then we went off strategy big-time at the end there. We pitted really early and had to save a lot of fuel on black tires. It's probably one of the hardest stints all year, to try and get speed and try to save fuel. It was a crazy finish there."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "I thought we were going to come away with some good points. on that last restart, I got a couple cars when they bottled up on the hairpin but then I tried to go in too quick on the next corner and I was into the tires. It's a shame because my ABC crew did a great job putting the car back together after yesterday. Tough way to end."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Lexar Media Honda): "Very disappointing race for us. We ran out of fuel at the end. INDYCAR officials need to take a look at what is and what isn't acceptable. This is becoming a full contact sport."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): "Obviously, we're pretty bummed out about the result. Really, 11th isn't bad but we were in a position to win this race and the engine shut off under yellow, we lost a junction box and we lost overtake and our pit lane speed limiter. We lost a lot. I'm pretty upset that we worked that hard and didn't get a better result."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "The start of the race was a tough one due to the chicane. Where I started, which was basically at the back of the grid, it was already green for me before the chicane, around Turn 12. After a few laps I settled into a rhythm as it was difficult to overtake at that point. But then the weather really helped me a lot. It started raining and I was grinning a little bit of course. It was strange weather. On the main straight it was quite wet, more than damp, and on the back straight it was dry. We just stayed on our program. It was difficult conditions and a lot of people came in to change to wet tires but we decided to stay on dry tires and I made a huge jump and was in fifth. We overtook on the restarts and led the race, and we led comfortably. But then unfortunately the problem started - I think a fuel pressure problem. The engine started coughing and I started to lose power; especially on the restart, there was just no power and a bunch of the drivers overtook me. Every restart was difficult and in the end it was difficult to select the gears due to some engine response I think. In the end we had to stop which is a big shame. The boys did a tremendous job and some really hard work over the course of the weekend with changing the engine twice. We worked through it and had a really competitive race and I am really proud of that so it's just a shame that we couldn't bring home a good result today."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "It was a crazy race with conditions that were dry, wet and then dry again. I was hit from behind early and lost a lap. But when the track dried I was able to get a good pace and got good laps in. Unfortunately near the end of the race I brushed the wall after going through the chicane. My left rear suspension was broken and we couldn't continue on in the race. I was very sorry and frustrated because I had been making up distance all afternoon. I have to thank the entire Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team for giving me a great opportunity this weekend in a great race car."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It was a really great run for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car all day. The car was quick and the guys in the pit lane did an awesome job. The team not only made the right strategy calls to keep me on slicks when it was damp but also the second stop they did a really good job. It's a shame to have something behind me go wrong around lap 65 but we proved we have the speed all weekend. We'll carry that on to Fontana, finish the year out with a really good result and head to 2013 looking to come back stronger than ever."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "It was a shame we got passed by Hunter-Reay on the stop there, but anyway, on the last restart we got too much pickup from the tires and I couldn't get rid of it. I'm happy to take third, we're knocking on the door and sometimes it's that way, it's the first year. Next year we'll be tough with those guys." (About his pass for the lead): " It was a little bit of a sports car trick there. I saw where they were starting, and it was consistently at the same point, so I used the push to pass at the right time, and I had really good traction. It's perfect with my gears, so I had a big jump and man, I got to Turn 1 and I thought 'OK, I'm P1, I think," so, it was great for braking and everyone followed me."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HMV Racing Lotus): "Well, I'm disappointed because I made a mistake. I hit the curb in the chicane and it ended our day. Until then it was kind of a crazy race. We made some positions; we don't know where we would have finished. This time it's kind of my fault. It's a shame because we were doing really well. Now you just go to the next one I guess."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): ""It was kind of a bummer of a day, things just didn't go our way towards the end of the race. We stayed out on slicks when it started to rain and that was definitely the right call. We got ourselves up into the top five legitimately, but we kind of got hosed on a restart; the pole sitter was kind of just sleeping on the restart and I got stuck behind him and couldn't find a way around which put us into sixth or seventh. We were looking to have a really good day and with five laps before we were going to pit, I clipped off the right side of the front wing and that just hosed our day at that point. I lost a few spots right there because of that, and then having to make the nose change in pit lane cost us an extra fifteen seconds, which at that stage put us behind all the cars we should have been ahead of. I was a little overly aggressive at a couple points during the race and that ended up costing us. But the guys did an awesome just today, and that's what makes it so disappointing. We picked the perfect strategy today and because I made a couple mistakes things just didn't pan out."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "We could always do better, but finishing ninth was not a bad way to end the weekend after the way we started. . It was a very difficult and long race to drive. There were a lot of decision that needed to be made at different parts of the race. Some of them based on the weather and some of them based on how the car was handling. I believe we made the best decision we could under the circumstances. Looking toward the final race of the season in Fontana, we have been fast on all the ovals this year and hopefully we can continue to be fast and have a good result to end the season."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): ""We had another top-five finish which makes me very proud. I didn't want to get involved in that melee right at the end of the race. I am sorry if people thought I was a little bit aggressive towards the end with Dario and Will. In the case of Dario, I had run out of lock which is why I went in wide, I had no intention to push him wide. Regarding Will, I took avoiding action, everything stopped ahead of me and then I ended up on the inside. I was happy with the race and the car from the moment I arrived here I fell in love with this track and am pleased I was able to bring another top-five finish home."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO/Mouser KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): ""It was too bad for the GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS guys the way the race ended. We had a pretty good car. I was just pushing hard on the last lap before a pit stop and I made a mistake. The crew told me it was OK. Now I just have to focus on Fontana and the battle for the A. J. Foyt oval championship."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "Today was a clinic in what not to do. Pretty ashamed of the whole deal, it's just not what the Go Daddy team is capable of. We will bounce back in Fontana. I'm super happy for Ryan (Hunter-Reay). He drove a blinder and after all the bad luck he has been through this season, he deserves this title. We will go to Fontana and do everything we can to help him win."
MARCO ANDRETTI (Team Dr Pepper TEN Chevrolet): "It was a war zone out there today and I messed up and put the car in the wall which started my fate for the afternoon. We ended up driving an ill car for the rest of the day. I had a piece of carbon fiber fly up and hit my helmet which took a big gash out of it and we broke two front wings. I would like to thank all of my sponsors and crew guys for all their hard work this weekend."
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE (FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS) RACE SPECIFICS:
The race is 35 laps or 60 minutes, whichever comes first, on the 13-turn, 2.04 -mile temporary street course.
The pit road speed limit is 45 mph.
Pole sitter Tristan Vautier has opted to grid on driver's right.
The green flag to start the race will be show the second time by the start-finish line.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car.
The race leader will accelerate exiting Turn 13 (Pratt Street Chicane) on restarts.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE (FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS) RACE RUNNING:
At 12:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 81 degrees, with a relative humidity of 75 percent. Skies were overcast. The track temperature was 94 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
12:30 p.m. - Start of the race on hold for track cleanup following the Star Mazda race.
12:55 p.m. - Ryan Shelton, vice president of finance for Giant Foods, gave the command, "Drivers, start your engines." All cars have started and are rolling on the grid.
Lap 1: GREEN. #77 Vautier leads the field into Turn 1. #76 Garcia off course in Turn 1.
Lap 2: Contact between #2 Yacaman and #11 Guerrieri in Turn 1 battling for second place. #2 Yacaman has a damaged front wing but is continuing on course.
Lap 3: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 2.4034 seconds.
Lap 4: #27 Saavedra spins trying to pass #11 Guerrieri and #2 Yacaman for second place in Turn 1. Car is slowing on course with damage and continues to the pit lane for repairs.
Lap 6: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 3.2456 seconds.
Lap 8: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 3.2901 seconds.
Lap 10: #8 Fong on pit lane to re-adjust seatbelts. #77 Vautier leads #11 Guerrieri by 2.9246 seconds.
Lap 12: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 3.2716 seconds.
Lap 15: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 4.5410 seconds.
Lap 18: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 5.7646 seconds.
#77 Vautier has clinched the two points for leading the most laps led in today's race. He also earned a point for winning the Sunoco Pole Award yesterday.
Lap 21: #77 Vautier leads #11 Guerrieri by 6.0422 seconds.
Lap 24: #26 Munoz passes #2 Yacaman for second on the front stretch.
Lap 25: #77 Vautier leads #26 Munoz by 8.6804 seconds.
Lap 28: #77 Vautier leads #26 Munoz by 7.9285 seconds.
Lap 30: #26 Munoz, running second, runs off course in Turn 12. #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 10.4928 seconds. Crew reports mechanical issue - electrical on #26 Munoz.
Lap 33: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 13.0287 seconds.
Lap 34: WHITE: #77 Vautier leads #2 Yacaman by 13.5409 seconds.
Lap 35: CHECKERED: #77 Vautier wins Grand Prix of Baltimore by 153787 seconds.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE (FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS) POST-RACE NOTES:
This is Tristan Vautier's fourth win of his Firestone Indy Lights career. He also won at St. Petersburg, Milwaukee and Trois Rivieres, all from pole.
It is the 53rd win for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in Firestone Indy Lights, most of any team in the series.
Vautier also won last year's Star Mazda race on the Streets of Baltimore.
Today's win vaults Vautier to the top of the Firestone Indy Lights championship points standings, leading his Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri by 11 points.
Gustavo Yacaman finished second, his fifth podium finish of the season. Today's finish moves Yacaman to third in the championship standings.
Esteban Guerrieri finished third, It's his eighth podium finish of the season .
David Ostella finished fourth, matching his career-best finish in the series. He also finished fourth at Milwaukee in 2012 and St. Petersburg in 2011.
Peter Dempsey finished fifth, his third top-five finish of the season.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE (FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS) POST-RACE QUOTES:
TRISTAN VAUTIER (No 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb Agajanian, winner Grand Prix of Baltimore): "This win feels great, from the start of the weekend the car was hooked-up. It felt great at the start and I could pull away so I could save my tires. The Firestone tires were amazing and I never had a problem with them during the race. I'd like to thank Sam and Mazda for putting me in the car this weekend. We scored lots of points so that was very good for us with an oval at Fontana coming up next. We have to stay focused and arrive ready in California. Today was a great win on a track that was very exciting and quite physical but a good race for us - we're all quite happy."
GUSTAVO YACAMAN (No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling, finished second): "The first two times I had contact with Esteban, it's a shame. I had a very good car, some mechanical issues yesterday in qualifying kept us from qualifying more up front. But we definitely got those fixed for today and I had a winning car. I had a really, really good car, but the impact with Esteban just shattered all the chances of a better result. But I can't complain that we finished second, in the end of the day itw as a good result. At this point in the season, I've completed every lap since Race 1, so the consistency is the name of the game."
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI (No. 11 Pistas-Argentinas/SSM with Curb Agajanian, finished third): "Today's race wasn't the best one. We were lacking pace, basically since Trois Rivieres we are not quick on the race pace and we didn't have it here. Basically, not really happy. Obviously you want to fight for positions and go to the front, but it didn't work out. Of course, it's good to finish the race and in the end get the podium and the points to still get a shot at Fontana, but it's not the way you want to do it. I want to be quick and go forward, and it's not working. We have to sit down realize that what is done is done, but still going to push for the last one for sure.
DAVID OSTELLA (No. 22 TMR-Global Precast-Xtreme Coil Drilling, finished fourth): "Coming from Canada go-karting we always have bumpy tracks, so I love the street courses that are bumpy. It's a little bit rougher than the other ones we have raced on, except for Toronto which is another Canada track. It felt great out there. Felt that the track gripped up a lot. We were supposed to have some great thunderstorms, kind of happy that didn't happen. But we've always been strong in the rain. It was great. I'm happy. My teammate ended up on the podium and I was in fourth. And it was a great run for the team we worked hard."
OLIVER WEBB (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "Initially it felt good, but it's unfortunate that the front wing got broken so early or even at all. I had a decent start initially then (Gustavo) Yacaman did a, whether it was a good or bad move, whatever it is it worked. It pushed me to go three-wide. Unfortunately, I was on the outside and that's not where you want to be around that corner. I could have either crashed or gone a little later and lost positions I did. It's disappointing. I worked my way back up through the field and I started to have some real, real problems. We're going to have a look at it later on. I probably damage the wing but I just couldn't stop the car."
The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the MAV TV 500 on Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway. The race will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (ET) by NBC Sports Network and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (Sirius 212 and XM 94). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Fontana 100 on Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway. It will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m., on Sept. 20.