Hunter-Reay Earns Top-Five, Dominguez Sets Fast Lap at Laguna Seca Ryan Hunter-Reay was unsatisfied with his qualifying position for today's Bridgestone Monterey Grand Prix, and he proved his point when he passed two drivers for the fifth...
Hunter-Reay Earns Top-Five, Dominguez Sets Fast Lap at Laguna Seca
Ryan Hunter-Reay was unsatisfied with his qualifying position for today's Bridgestone Monterey Grand Prix, and he proved his point when he passed two drivers for the fifth position on the first lap. Hunter-Reay ran has high as fourth and was headed for a potential podium finish. A late race yellow flag cost him a position on his mandatory stop. Hunter-Reay came in for his planned race strategy stop when he entered the pits on lap 54 during the mandatory pit window. Robert Gonzalez ran out of fuel on track, causing a yellow flag. Hunter-Reay was already committed to the pit lane and was forced to chase the pace car with cold tires, while the rest of the competitors remained on track and were able to do an extra lap at race pace.
Mario Dominguez was off to a good start; he gained two positions on the start due to first lap contact between three other cars. Running eighth, Dominguez spun on the eighth lap. It took several minutes to retrieve Dominguez from the gravel trap and get him going, but when he did he returned to the pits for a lightening quick pitstop. Dominguez returned to the track one lap down but charged the remainder of the race setting quick times throughout. With just a few laps to go the Herdez Competition engineers called Dominguez in for a fresh set of rubber, the faster, softer "Alternate Tires." Dominguez returned to the track and set the fastest lap of the day, earning an extra championship point. The Herdez Competition duo will head to Las Vegas next week, sitting sixth (Dominguez) and seventh (Hunter-Reay) in the championship.
MarioDominguez, #55 Herdez/Lola/ Ford-Cosworth
Mario on Race:"It is really too bad that I spun out. I owe an apology to my team they have worked really hard this weekend and my mistake potentially cost them a good finish. When you have a mistake like that it costs you everything, even though we ran strong all day it is extremely difficult to get the lap back. My engineers gave me a very good strategy and called me into the pits at the end of the race to put on my favorite Bridgestone "Alternate" tires so I could set the fast lap and get the point. We did a great job of maximizing the situation, between the tires and a good car, we were able to set the fastest lap of the race."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, #4 Herdez/Lola/Ford-Cosworth
Ryan on the Race:"I am happy to get the points for fifth. Unfortunately we were hurt by the yellow flag, but we pitted, as we were already committed to the pitlane when it came out. If it weren't for the bad timing with the yellow, I think we could have finished third. We put a decent finish to the end of an up and down weekend and I am certainly looking forward to Las Vegas."
Keith Wiggins, Owner/Managing Director: "We had two fast cars and the potential for a good result, but a number of factors didn't go our way. The results are not what we wanted, but, on to the next race."