Indianapolis, IN - Alex Tagliani and his Barracuda Racing crew were on their way to a strong Indy 500 finish on Sunday when a minor incident and subsequent prolonged pit stop put them in P24 with the checkered flag.
In a record-breaking race that saw almost 70 lead changes and an average speed of well over 190 mph, the Canadian driver was able to keep pace with the leaders, running in the top ten for the first three-quarters of the competition.
On lap 168, while battling for position with four-time IndyCar champion Sebastian Bourdais, the No. 98 car brushed the wall lightly, but with enough impact to cause damage to the right rear suspension and damage the toe link. Tagliani pitted and the Barracuda Racing crew made the necessary fixes.
After a five lap delay in the pits to repair the suspension, Tagliani emerged from the pit stop in P25 and gained an additional position after another car's on-track incident. It was a disappointing end to a promising month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I felt that it was a pretty late move from Sebastien [Bourdais]. He stuck it in there going into turn one and I was already committed to turn into the corner. We went two wide but I was on the outside so I hit the marbles, the car slid and I tagged the wall with the rear just a bit. It was just enough to bend the suspension. We had to change it and we lost a bunch of laps.
"It's a shame for the Barracuda Racing team. I think the car was really, really good. I don't think we ever had the chance to showcase what the car was capable of doing but we were buying our time. It's just frustrating but I'm still very proud of the Barracuda Racing team. Overall it was a good month of May but we just got involved in something that you try to avoid here at the Indy 500."
The month of May comprised three weeks of a consecutive eight weekends on track for Tagliani and the rest of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Next week, the series heads to Belle Isle, Michigan for the Dual in Detroit, the first of three double-header weekends in the 2013 season.
Teams will get one 45-minute practice session before heading out to qualify for "dual one." Both races in Belle Isle will be broadcast on ABC.