Milwaukee IndyFest Race Report

Story posted - Jun 15 2013 11:53 PM

Honda Racing Report
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Milwaukee IndyFest Race Report
Circuit: The Milwaukee Mile (1.0-mile oval) West Allis, Wis.
2012 Winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Chevrolet) 122.020 mph average
Weather: Mostly cloudy, humid, 75 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:
Fn. St. Driver Team Engine - Chassis Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 250 136.848 mph avg., led 65 laps
2. 17. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 250 +4.8059 seconds
3. 3. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 250 Led 4 laps
4. 5. E.J. Viso Andretti Autosport/HVM Chevrolet Dallara 250 Led 10 laps
5. 2. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 250
6. 11. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 250 Led 109 laps
7. 15. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 250
8. 23. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 250
9. 13. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 249 Led 1 lap
10. 7. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 249

Other Honda-powered Results:
11. 8. Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Dallara 249 Running
12. 9. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Hamilton Honda Dallara 249 Running
16. 24. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 247 Running
17. 21. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 246 Running
18. 12. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 245 Running
19. 19. Ana Beatriz Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 242 Running
21. 10. Tristan Vautier-R Schmidt Peterson Honda Dallara 173 Did not finish – mechanical
23. 16. Alex Tagliani Barracuda Racing/BHA Honda Dallara 252 Did not finish – mechanical

Sato Shines Mid-Race at Milwaukee
Takuma Sato played a starring role Saturday at the Milwaukee IndyFest, leading a race-high total of 109 laps in search of his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory of 2013. But a yellow flag late in the race – just after his final pit stop of the day – dropped Sato to an unrepresentative seventh-place finish as Ryan Hunter-Reay was able to pit during the final caution and race on to his second consecutive victory at The Milwaukee Mile.

Sato took the lead for the first time on Lap 75 of the 250-lap contest, and was in clear command of the field in the middle stages of the race, extending his lead to as much as five seconds when running in the clear. But struggles with lapped traffic late in his third run led Sato's A.J. Foyt Racing team to call him in for his final pit stop early in his pit "window" on Lap 200. Just 12 laps later, a spin by Ana Beatriz brought out the fourth and final yellow flag of the day and resulted in Sato falling to seventh place as other leadlap cars were able to make their final stop during the caution and rejoin the field without losing track position.

Scott Dixon was one of those benefiting from pitting during the final yellow flag, and finished sixth for Honda and Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He briefly ran fourth following the last restart on Lap 220, but was forced out of the racing line and lost two positions as a result. Teammate Dario Franchitti made gains in the race after a troubled qualifying to finish eighth; while Justin Wilson also made up ground in the final 50 laps to finish ninth for Dale Coyne Racing.

Honda Fastest Seat in Sports winner Joel Hammack from Des Moines, Iowa, led the field prior to the green flag in the two-seat Honda IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and former Milwaukee resident Arie Luyendyk. For more information on how you can receive the ride of a lifetime in the Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes, go to

The IZOD IndyCar Series completes its June run of consecutive oval track races next weekend with the Iowa Corn Indy 250, Sunday, June 23 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 9 of 19 rounds):
1. Helio Castroneves 299 points (1 win) 6. Tony Kanaan 215 (1 win)
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay 283 (2 wins) 7. Simon Pagenaud 212 (1 win)
3. Marco Andretti 249 8. Justin Wilson 207
4. Takuma Sato 223 (1 win) 9. James Hinchcliffe 206 (2 wins)
5. Scott Dixon 221 10. Dario Franchitti 191

Manufacturers' Championship:
1. Chevrolet 72
2. Honda 63

Takuma Sato (#14 ABC Building Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara) started 15th, finished 7th, led a race-high 109 laps: "I think we need to investigate why we lost so much speed in our third stint. We lost a lot of stability in the car and that forced us into an early [final] pit stop. Then the yellow came out – at the worst possible moment for us [as the other front-running cars could pit under caution] – and we immediately went from fighting for the lead to fighting for 10th place. That was just a shame, because the car was so very good earlier in the race. During the middle stint, in particular, the car was so strong it seemed like I could run anywhere on the track and pass anyone. But after the third [pit] stop, the balance disappeared and I had several big 'moments'. It's racing, but it was a really hard day and I feel bad for the team, which did such a good job all day long."

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) started 11th, finished 6th: "I think we went down a [setup] road earlier this year that was in the wrong direction, and now we're just trying to regroup and find our way. Maybe we're lacking confidence in our changes with the car, but we'll work hard and make it better. The balance of the car was moving back-and-forth all day, we had understeer in the middle of the corner and the car 'snapped' coming off. Even with all that, we had a better car than we showed. I got run wide on the restart and I think it cost me at least a couple of positions. At the end of the day, it was an okay result, but it could have been more."

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "During the middle stage of the race, Honda was looking pretty strong with Takuma Sato and the A.J. Foyt team. We thought they were in a good position to score their second victory of the season. But unfortunately the team got caught out by the last yellow flag, right after their final pit stop. We had no engine reliability issues this weekend, which is good, but we have to be disappointed with the outcome. Now we go on to Iowa Speedway, another short oval, and do it all once again next week."

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