DREYER & REINBOLD RACING HAD A DAY OF UPS AND DOWNS DURING THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDIANPOLIS 500
Indianapolis, IN - It was a day full of ups and downs for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers, Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs), Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga), Paul Tracy (No. 23 WIX Filters), and Davey Hamilton (No. 11 HP), during the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Wilson had an eventful race for his 4th Indianapolis 500. As the green flagged dropped, the Brit was able to get a good start and stay out of trouble. In the beginning, Wilson, who started in 19th position, picked off some people, but he got caught behind traffic and lost a few positions. As the race progressed, there were a few bumps along the way with some activity in the pits and he diligently worked to get the car better as the event continued. Although he went a lap down on Lap 99 after some action in the pits, Wilson still managed to finish strong. He brought the car home safely in 16th position.
It was a long day for Paul Tracy. After a clean start, the Canadian, who started 24th, ran into some trouble about 20 laps into the race. His car started to get a little loose and on Lap 19 he brushed the wall, which bent the suspension. As a result, Tracy had to come in on Lap 20 and the WIX Filters crew pulled the car off pit lane and diligently worked repairing the car. Despite going down 25 laps, he hung in there. As the race progressed, he struggled with some vibrations in the tires, but he hung on, got the car better and managed to finish in 25th position.
Similar to his teammate Tracy, veteran driver Davey Hamilton, who started 15th, had some trouble in the beginning of the race as well. On the second lap, he tried to make a pass on the outside but got a little loose and had to lift and, as a result, he fell back a number of positions. It didn't get better for the Idaho native, when Hamilton came into the pits for the first stop to fix the problem Viso ran right into the side of the No. 11 HP machine and broke the left tow-link. The HP crew had to work to fix the problem and, as a result, Hamilton went down 7 laps. From that point on, it was a matter of trying to play catch up but the task was tough. Fortunately, he hung on and brought the car home in one piece and finished 24th.
Ana Beatriz really proved her talent as she drove a good, consistent race. The Brazilian kept her nose clean. Unfortunately, a fuel miscalculation was made and the Brazilian had to pit on the green a couple of laps too early, which caused her to go a lap down. Luck wasn't on Beatriz's side because the yellows came out at the wrong time, which hurt her strategy even more. From that point on, it was an uphill battle and she was unable to recover. Fortunately, she stuck it out and, although she was three laps down, Beatriz finished the race in 21st position.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will now head to Milwaukee this week to test before heading to Texas for the next event on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.
What they have to say about the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500...
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "It was a long day. It was nice to pass a couple of people and then I got checked up and lost a lot of places. We were working our way through it, but from about half-tire life onwards it was a bit of a handful and we were just trying not to end our day early. We just tried to keep working on the car and kept making it a little bit better and better, and by the end of the race it was quite good. It's not the result that we would have liked but I think under the circumstances I'm quite pleased and we'll keep working on it and try to improve for next time. It's been a good day for Dan Wheldon. I'm really happy for him getting the win. He's a good guy and I've known him for years. I'm really pleased for him and Bryan Herta."
Paul Tracy, No. 23 WIX Filters: "It was a bit of a frustrating day really. In the first stint, I was just running along and the car was really loose. Then about 20 laps in, the tires started going out of balance on me and then I was just hanging on to it. Then I slid and touched the wall and bent the suspension. We made the decision that we weren't going to get out of the car and quit. We wanted to finish the race and we fixed the car. I don't know how many laps we lost, but the WIX Filters crew did a good job finishing fixing it in the pit lane. We went out and just ran and ran and tried to understand what was going on. We had two or three more sets of tires that got vibrations in them and we don't know why that is. At times we were fast and I could run with the leaders and then all of a sudden I would pick up a vibration in the tires and that would be it. It's a frustrating day, but we finished the race. We would have ended up 33rd if we had quit but we ended up 25th and that was better than finishing last."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga: "Well we had a good car at the start and we were pretty fast passing people, but I hit traffic and lost some spots, but the car was good and I could attack people and pass them. Unfortunately, we had a miscalculation on fuel and we had to pit earlier, actually three laps earlier than usual. That cost us the race and a lap because right after that we had a yellow flag. Everyone pitted on the yellow when we had to pit on the green and we lost a lap and were unable to get our lap back. It's just a shame and was aggravating because we pitted earlier, then I had to pit early again and three laps after we pitted on the green there was another yellow. The thing just didn't work in our favor and we lost a bunch of laps because of that. We had some ups and downs with the car. It was good sometimes and it was bad sometimes, but at the end it was pretty good and I was able to pass some people."
Davey Hamilton, No. 11 HP: "All I can say is that I'm happy that we brought it home in one piece. At the start of the race, it was the second lap and I tried to go out on the outside of someone and I thought that maybe my car was going to be good. Unfortunately, I got up high and the thing just picked up huge under-steer and not only did I have to lift, but I was on the brakes hard not to hit the wall. When I did that, it almost allowed the whole field to go by me so I thought I've got to get my cool head because this is just the first part of the race. We were just going to make adjustments on the car because I had huge under-steer. At that point, we came in on our first pit-stop. We came in for the stop, and Viso ran right into the side of us. It bent our left front tow-links and from that point on it was just tough. When you are out there in pit lane trying to get the tows right is almost impossible. The HP crew did a great job and they did good on getting it replaced and getting us back out there, but unfortunately we went three or four laps down trying to get it right. We just kept fighting it until the end and then the car was actually pretty fast, but it's five stops too late. I'm disappointed really. As a team we thought that we were going to be a lot better, but unfortunately all four of us missed it and I wish that we knew why. Congratulations to Wheldon, that's pretty impressive of him to come off of not racing this year and show up for the 500 and win the thing, that's pretty cool."