Top Nine Finish for Fittipaldi in Portland

Dale Coyne Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi scored his best Verizon IndyCar Series result of the season thanks to a strong showing on Sunday at the Grand Prix of Portland by taking the checkered flag in ninth place aboard his #19 Paysafe Honda. His teammate, Santino Ferrucci in the #39 Cly-Del Manufacturing car wasn’t as fortunate when a fuel system issue cost him a possible seventh place finish after showing great pace throughout the race.

Both drivers gained positions at the start with Fittipaldi moving up to 12th and Ferrucci 15th. After getting passed by his teammate on Lap 11, Fittipaldi headed to pit lane as the team elected to run a different pit stop strategy by pitting early.

Following his stop, Fittipaldi ran in the back half of the field while Ferrucci was making his way up into the top five. The American driver was sitting third when he entered pit lane on lap 33 for his first scheduled stop and exited right behind his teammate in 16th.

Fittipaldi, who was also running very competitively, then pitted on Lap 42 from 12th just before a yellow flag flew. Ferrucci then took advantage of the caution period to head to pit lane for fuel and a set of Firestone Red tires on Lap 45.

Once the race went back to green on Lap 47, Fittipaldi was running 14th with Ferrucci 19th, and by the time another yellow flag came out 11 laps later, Ferrucci had made his way into eighth with Fittipaldi right behind him.

Both Dale Coyne Racing drivers then made their way forward with the driver of the #19 Paysafe car pitting on Lap 75 from seventh. At the same time, Ferrucci, who was running fourth, encountered some misfortune with a fuel issue that caused him to stop on track.

The #39 Cly-Del car was assisted by the AMR Safety Team and towed back to pit lane where the team fueled the car and sent the rookie back out.

With 30 laps remaining, Fittipaldi stayed in the top 10, fending off current Series Champion Josef Newgarden to cross the finish line in ninth place. Ferrucci would end up 20th on the final results sheet.

Dale Coyne Racing will be back in action in two weeks for the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Sonoma Raceway on September 16, 2018.

What they have to say:

Dale Coyne, Team Owner, Dale Coyne Racing
“It’s a shame that Santino (Ferrucci) had his fuel problem today because with Sebastien (Bourdais)’s third place finish and Pietro (Fittipaldi)’s ninth, all three of our Dale Coyne Racing cars would have been in the Top 10.”

Pietro Fittipaldi – #19 Paysafe Honda
“The race went really well. The car was very fast all throughout the weekend in practice and qualifying so we knew we had the pace. It’s a tough place to pass here so coming into the race we knew it was going to be about strategy and being consistent and trying to get clean air to get track position and that’s what we did. My whole #19 Paysafe Dale Coyne Racing crew did an amazing job on the pit stops and my engineer Mike Cannon did a great job calling the strategy. I’m really happy with the result. I had issues getting up to speed quickly on the restarts because I couldn’t get the brakes hot enough, so unfortunately, I lost some positions there. I also had no more overtake at the end, so I really had to stand my ground and we did that. I’m really happy with today’s result.”

Santino Ferrucci – #39 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda
“The #39 Cly-Del Manufacturing car was on rails today. We lost a couple of positions at the start because I had to short cut the chicane, but we made the positions back on the first stint of Reds. We had a long stint and had really good pace. On my third stint we went back out on Reds and we moved up the field again and were fighting for a spot in the Top 5. However, that’s when we had a fuel system issue that cost us a possible Top 10 finish if not better. I feel bad for the guys, but they did an amazing job throughout the whole weekend and I can’t ask for more. We’ll come back stronger in Sonoma.”