Best Career Finish for David Martinez at Long Beach
Long Beach, California -- April 21st, 2008 -- David Martinez improved more positions than any other driver on his way to a career best eight place finish at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the final Champ Car World Series race. The Mexican driver made daring on track passes throughout the race, which combined with the Forsythe -- Pettit engineer's brilliant pit strategy allowed them to capture ten positions throughout the 83 lap event. The alternate strategy consisted on topping up with fuel on lap seven during an early yellow and then being able to stay on track as the leaders pitted. Martinez played a big role in the strategy as he managed to lap the 1.968 mile street circuit quickly and consistently, at some points being the quickest car in the field. After the pit stop shuffle was over Martinez found himself in eight position and quickly catching up to the leaders. Although the Monterrey native managed to catch the seventh place car with only one lap to go, slower lapped traffic kept him from completing the pass and he had to settle for the eight position.
In only four champ Car starts Martinez has finished inside the top ten three times, reinforcing the speed and consistency that have characterized his open wheel career.
"I'm very happy because we really put on a very strong performance. It's a shame that we had mechanical problems during qualifying because we had a great race car today and I think if we would've started farther up the grid we could've fought easily for a top five spot. Regardless I am very proud, picking up so many positions in such a competitive field was a great achievement. There is no way I could've done it without the help of my #37 Forsythe -- Pettit crew which was great all day in the pits.
The first stint of the race was very tough, I was on the Bridgestone "Reds" and had very little grip, I knew we couldn't push too much so I just held back and saved fuel. After we changed tires things changed completely, I was able to pass a bunch of cars and the team came up with a great strategy that kept pushing us to the front. It was a long race but I just kept pushing every lap and it definitely paid off.
I have to thank Jerry Forsythe and Dan Pettit for giving me this opportunity, and the whole Forsythe -- Pettit engineering group for showing me so much support, there is no question that they are the best in the business. It was an honor to be part of this historic event, I think we put on a great show and gave Champ Car the respect that it deserves in its farewell."