A.J. Foyt Racing race report

Birmingham

Vitor Meira, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Vitor Meira, A.J. Foyt Enterprises

Photo by: Glenn F. Katauskas

There's an old saying in racing, 'You live by the traffic, and die by the traffic' which these days could be changed to 'You live by the double file restarts, and die by the double file restarts.' It was certainly true for Vitor Meira and the ABC Supply team in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, the aptly named park-like circuit outside of Birmingham.

\As he did in the season opener two weeks ago, Meira was able to take advantage on the start and the first five double file restarts as he came from 19th to eighth with 22 laps to go. However, on the final restart, Helio Castroneves, who was seventh and on the inside, went very wide in turn two running Meira off the track and into the grass. Keeping the No. 14 under control, he made his way back onto the asphalt, but not before six cars zipped past him dropping him to 14th.

Meira fought back and picked up two spots to finish 12th to remain in the top-10 in the IZOD IndyCar points standings. He is currently 10th with 42 points and just two points shy of being tied for seventh.

"Every restart there was an incident and on most of them we took advantage of it because we were well positioned and the car was good so we could take advantage of it," said Meira. "Unfortunately, there are still people out there including Castroneves that I don't think are getting the concept of double-file restarts; he's acting like it's a single file restart having the entire track for himself. That hurt us badly on the last restart because he pushed me off the track into the grass and we lost six positions."

What I take out of here is that the ABC Supply car improved huge over last year.

Vitor Meira

It was a frustrating finish for Meira and the ABC Supply crew whose pit stops were all completed in less than eight seconds. In fact, the stops were faster each time with the final stop coming in at 7.08 seconds!

However, the team overcame struggles with the car in the practices and qualifying on Friday and Saturday to give Meira a car he could race competitively on Sunday. After making changes to the car after qualifying, Meira reported that the changes worked well in the Sunday morning warm-up.

For Meira that was the silver lining he saw in the weekend. "What I take out of here is that the ABC Supply car improved huge over last year and that was our primary goal," he said. "The final result is always the result of your work and I feel much more comfortable leaving here this year than I did last year."

The team heads to California this week for the Long Beach Grand Prix which will be broadcast live this Sunday, April 17th, at 3:30 p.m. ET on the VERSUS channel.

-source: ajfr

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Series INDYCAR
Tags abc supply, barber mororsports park, meira