CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Minardi Team USA race report

DOORNBOS SOARS IN CLEVELAND It was a race full of ups and downs for Minardi Team USA today, but amidst it all, they found themselves on the podium once more. Robert Doornbos drove an amazing race to finish second, but unfortunately it wasn't...

DOORNBOS SOARS IN CLEVELAND

It was a race full of ups and downs for Minardi Team USA today, but amidst it all, they found themselves on the podium once more. Robert Doornbos drove an amazing race to finish second, but unfortunately it wasn't 'Speedy' Dan's day, and he finished eleventh after looking strong all day.

Robert started fifth on the grid, and after everyone made it safely through turn one, he found himself in fourth being chased by Graham Rahal. However, Robert was accused of moving off line, and this earned him a drive through penalty which left him in last place. Ever the racer, Robert put his head down, and even after a spin on lap fifty-five, he never gave up, and fell just half-a-second short of first place. Claiming his fourth podium in just five races, he moves into second place in Championship points, just three behind Bourdais.

Robert Doornbos 2nd Place 106.912 mph

"This was the longest race of my career! Who would have thought it would happen like this? I went from the front to the back of the field, and then back to the front again. I was given a penalty for blocking, and in this Championship, blocking is a very big word. I feel that I did nothing wrong, but I got punished, and then pushed really hard to recover. We had amazing pit-stops, and our engineers worked out a brilliant strategy. I have to thank the team more than anybody else, they kept me motivated, and it's due to them that I finished where I did. I never gave up and kept my head down until the very end. It's crazy that you can come from the very back and finish on the podium, but that's part of why I love this Championship!"

Dan Clarke's day started with great promise. He fell from sixth to eighth in the opening laps, but quickly began picking off the cars in front of him, one at a time, and was up to fourth place before the first round of pit-stops. He was turning lap times as quick as the leaders, and made some impressive passes moving through the field. He was looking to have a strong finish, but unfortunately, it wasn't in the cards for Speedy. He got in the middle of a racing incident and spun and stalled the car. The safety crew quickly restarted the car, but by then Dan was one lap down. He fell to eleventh, with nobody on his lap to race against, and settled in for the remainder of the race.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke 11th Place 105.591 mph

"I feel really sorry for the team because we were having a great race. It's a shame to end the race because of a spin. As it turns out, we would have been good for a podium, but I did have a fun time out there today. I got to do quite a bit of overtaking, and we had a really good car. I feel bad for the end result, but I'm trying to think positive and look toward the next race. I'm heading to Mont-Tremblant tomorrow to spend some time at a friend's cottage to do some relaxing so I can prepare myself to put things right next weekend."

Paul Stoddart, Team Co-Owner

"What a mixed day. First a drive through penalty that was debatable to say the least, followed by some fantastic racing, perhaps the best we have seen so far this season. To end up second for our fourth podium out of five races and only be three points behind the Championship leader is about as good as it can get."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner

"Obviously it's good to have another podium; it's good for the Championship and for the entire team. The key is to get on top of the podium, though, and this was possible today. It was disappointing with the call for a drive through penalty, but we bounced back from that. We could have had two cars at the front today, but that didn't happen, and we'll take what we can get and hope for better next time."

-credit: minarditeamusa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Robert Doornbos , Dan Clarke