INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi completed his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, driving his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda to a 25th place finish after a solid performance.
The result could have been much different had there been one more caution period in the 200-lap race but nonetheless, Fittipaldi picked up valuable experience as he raced around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval for the first time.
Fittipaldi lost a few positions from his 13th place on the grid at the start of the race but maintained 17th place for the majority of his first stint.
The Miami-born Brazilian headed to pit lane for his first stop on Lap 30 and while he exited the pits in 33rd, he had made his way back up to 30th by the time a full course caution came out a handful of laps later. Fittipaldi was then 22nd by the time the field took the restart on Lap 47.
The fastest Indy 500 rookie qualifier continued to maintain his strong race pace and was running 18th by the halfway mark of the event. He made his third pit stop on Lap 104 and the team then gambled with bringing him once again on Lap 119 during what was the final caution period in the hopes of only having to do one more stop.
While Fittipaldi made his way up as high as third by the time he made his fourth stop with just over 40 laps to go, he ended up having to visit pit lane one last time for a splash of fuel with five laps remaining.
“It wasn’t the finish we were looking for. We got caught out by the first yellow after our first stop,” explained Fittipaldi. “We were making our way back up on the restarts and the #51 Nurtec ODT car was really racy. Every restart we made up two or three spots. We were running in the teens when we made the call to pit under the last yellow to then try and save fuel to only have one more stop to do, but it didn’t go our way. Had a yellow come out, it would have been great, and we would be looking at a different result. It just wasn’t our day.
“Overall, I’m really happy with my first experience at the Indy 500. The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team has done a great job. I want to thank everyone for all their hard work.”
The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action in two weeks as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader weekend June 12 and 13, 2021. Romain Grosjean will be back behind the wheel of the #51 Nurtec ODT car for the event.
Fittipaldi will be back with the team for the final oval race of the season at WorldWide Technology Raceway in August.