INDYCAR & MRTI: WATKINS GLEN REPORT
Photographer: IMS Photography
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
After a weekend off, the series will make the cross-country trip to Northern California for the season finale race at Sonoma Raceway on September 18.
No. 98 Castrol EDGE / Curb Honda
“I think it was a decent race. We had to save a lot of fuel there at the end, so I think a potential top five slipped through our hands because of that. But generally I think with a disappointing qualifying, that is the best that we could come up with. We’ll have to take this result and move on to Sonoma.”
No. 26 hhgregg Honda
“I don’t know, it was kind of a weird race, really. We were a little bit lucky on the yellow in the beginning and then we just didn’t have enough speed. I think compared to where we were in qualifying we improved, but it wasn’t enough. I think the hhgregg team worked really hard over the weekend. We tried hundreds of different things but we never got it exactly right. But I can’t say thanks enough to the guys for working really, really hard this weekend, it's too bad we just didn’t get it right.”
No. 27 United Fiber & Data / Snapple Honda
No. 28 DHL Honda
“Not the position we wanted to see the DHL Honda in to end our weekend at Watkins Glen. We really enjoyed being back at The Glen and are looking forward to being back in 2017. Our strategy was just off all day. We ended up saving fuel when in the end it would have been faster to have just taken a pit stop. On to Sonoma where we can hopefully end the season on a better note.”
INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Today’s 25-lap race proved to be very unpredictable for the entire field. The caution-free race marked the completion of Round 16 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition, leaving only two more rounds left on the schedule. Shelby Blackstock, who started from 10th, picked up four spots to claim the sixth positions when the twin checkers flew. Dean Stoneman started in seventh and ran as high as fifth before coming into the pits for a fresh set of Cooper Tires. The rookie clocked a 93.6921 second lap -the fastest lap of the race – just before crossing the finish line in 10th. Dalton Kellett saw the green flag from the 11th position at today’s Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Watkins Glen Presented by Cooper Tires. Kellett claimed the second fastest lap of the race with a time of 94.1919 seconds. The Canadian had to make two separate pit stops, one for a front wing change and one for fresh tires and finished the race 11th.
Next week we head to the West Coast for the season finale held at Mazda Raceway. The event will see Race 1 on Saturday and the final checkered flag of the season will be waved Sunday to crown a new Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion. Stoneman remains third in championship standings, closing the gap to just 23 points from the leader.
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA
“It was an interesting race to say the least. It was more of a tire management race the entire time. I fell into a rhythm and we made a change to the car, so I had to figure out where [the car] was happy. Once I figured that out I was able to look after the tires as long as I could. There at the end I was kinda flat-out. For where we qualified and how the car was today, I will definitely take sixth. It was a good effort by the team to never give up and keep on trying to fight for it. So we’ll take the points and move on to Laguna [Seca Mazda Raceway]. I really wish we had two races here - that’s kinda a real bummer. It’d be real nice to come out here and race again tomorrow because the 25 laps just absolutely flew by. I can’t thank my team enough for all their hard work this weekend. We have to look everything over and get ready for Mazda Raceway next week – cant wait!”
NO. 27 STELLRECHT MAZDA
“Overall, it was a disappointing weekend. We set the fastest lap of the race, which is a bonus at the end, but we had an issue with the tires. We knew the grain was going to be a problem throughout the race and unfortunately we think we may have had an ‘iffy’ set of tires because we put a fresh set on at the end of the race and it transformed the car. So, we’re not sure what the reason was for the behavior of the car. We were looking promising in the first practice when we were third quickest and it seems to be we just haven’t been able to improve over the weekend like we had hoped. We worked the car and changed some things, but for some reason it was not in the right direction.”
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC. MAZDA
"It was kind of a frustrating day here at Watkins Glen. I guess during the race it was really good but I kind of got caught up in a battle with Shelby [Blackstock] and had to come in and get the front wing replaced. Thanks to my K-LINE crew for getting us back out on track quick. Once we got back out our pace was on par, quicker than the leaders, so its disappointing that we didn’t get to keep running and see where things could’ve gone. We were having a major vibration with five laps to go and we made the call to come in for fresh tires and tried to go for the fastest lap of the race– which I think Dean bumped us at the end. We had competitive cars, so thanks again to the Andretti Autosport guys for their hard work this weekend. It’s too bad our results didn’t show the pace we had."