KVRT'S MARIO MORAES HAS MOMENTUM GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND'S PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND MOTOR OIL INDY 300 INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 26, 2009 -- Round ...
KVRT'S MARIO MORAES HAS MOMENTUM GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND'S PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND MOTOR OIL INDY 300
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 26, 2009 -- Round #15, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes will be looking to carry the momentum he gained from last weekend's IndyCar career high fourth place finish at Sonoma into this weekend's Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300, August 28-29, at Chicagoland Speedway in Joilet, Illinois.
Moraes has consistently been among the fastest drivers for much of the season, particularly in qualifying, but a series of incidents, the majority a result of just plain bad luck, have prevented him from taking full advantage of that speed. However, last weekend in Sonoma, everything came together and as a result Moraes heads to Illinois with not only a fast car, but momentum. This weekend's race also provides Moraes with the opportunity to finish something he started four weeks ago at Kentucky Speedway, like Chicagoland a 1.5-mile oval. After starting 16th, Moraes rocketed through the field and was running in fourth place after just 18 laps. With an incredibly quick car Moraes seemed a shoe-in for at minimum a top-five finish, but bad luck intervened and while entering his pit box he was hit from behind by one competitor then T-boned by another damaging his car and forcing an extended stop for repairs essentially ending his race.
"KV Racing Technology has worked very hard all season and we have shown that we have a very fast car," Moraes said. "Unfortunately, we have not always had the results we have wanted. Last weekend, everything went the way it should in the race and we showed what we are capable of doing. We had a very fast car on the last oval in Kentucky and I am confident we will be fast at Chicagoland, so I am looking forward to another good result."
Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He will be making his 30th career IndyCar start and 18th on an oval this weekend. The talented and determined Brazilian, behind the wheel of the to #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, will be making his second appearance at Chicagoland, Last year, in his Chicagoland debut, Moraes qualified 27th and finished 21st.
Prior to this season Moraes had never qualified higher than 10th on any circuit and never higher than 20th on an oval. Since joining KVRT for the 2009 season, he has qualified in the top-seven in six of 11 events (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled, did not compete in Mid-Ohio), with two top-five starting spots, including a career high fourth in Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee. Moraes has also earned career high finishes on seven of the 13 tracks this season and with career best performances on a road/street course, the fourth at Sonoma, and on an oval, ninth at Milwaukee. The fourth place finish in Sonoma was his first top-five finish, his sixth career top-10 showing and his third top-10 performance this season. Moraes is currently 18th in the championship standings with 213 points.
KVRT will be contesting its second race, and making its third start, at Chicagoland. Last year Will Power qualified 10th and finished fifth while Oriol Servia started 12 and finished 17th.