Homestead: KV Racing preview

KV RACING TECHNOLOGY AND DRIVER MARIO MORAES LOOKING TO FINISH 2009 SEASON WITH STRONG SHOWING INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- OCTOBER 6, 2009 -- Round ...

KV RACING TECHNOLOGY AND DRIVER MARIO MORAES LOOKING TO FINISH 2009 SEASON WITH STRONG SHOWING

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- OCTOBER 6, 2009 -- Round #17, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology and driver Mario Moraes will be looking to finish the 2009 IndyCar Series season with a strong showing this weekend in the Firestone Indy 300, October 9-10 at Homestead Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.

Moraes, who is working on a streak of three consecutive top-five finishes, has demonstrated the skill and determination to consistently contend for podium finishes during the last quarter of this season. Driving the brilliantly engineered and prepared #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, the native of Brazil earned the first top-five finish of his young IndyCar career with a fourth place showing in Round #14 at Infineon Raceway. A week later he followed up with his first podium performance, an outstanding third place finish, at Chicagoland Speedway. In his last race, at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, Moraes earned his first front row starting position after holding the pole until the final car made its attempt, then drove a hard fought race in which he had to overcome adversity to finish fifth.

Moraes, who is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT, has scored 97 points in the last three races and picked up four spots in the standings. He is currently 15th in the championship race with 278 points and has a legitimate shot at finishing in the top 12 (25 points out of 12th place). He finished 21st in the standings last year.

"Homestead was the first oval I ever competed on and I remember thinking to myself 'what am I doing here'," Moraes said. "But now, having raced on ovals for two seasons and having a good car, I am a lot more comfortable. When you have a car that is fast and that you have confidence in, it makes a big difference on an oval. I want to thank everyone at KVRT for their hard work this season. I have learned a lot this year and am looking forward to a good result in Homestead."

Moraes went on to say, "You always want to have a good race, but for me, this race is very important. For the first time my entire family is coming from Brazil to see me race and I live in Miami, so I will have a lot of friends coming. But the main thing is to finish the season with a good result so we can enjoy the off-season and go into next season with momentum."

Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the series, will be making his 32nd career IndyCar start and 20th on an oval this weekend. Moraes has earned five top-10 finishes in 15 starts this season (three top-10's last year) including the three top-five showings with the one podium performance. He has earned career high finishes on nine of the 15 tracks this year (missed Mid-Ohio) including career best performances on an oval, the third at Chicagoland, and on a road/street course, the fourth at Sonoma. Moraes has qualified in the top-eight six times out of seven on ovals (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled) and eight times in 13 total attempts (missed Mid-Ohio) this year. He has earned three top-five starting spots with career best qualifying efforts on an oval, second in Japan, and a road/street course career high fourth at Watkins Glen. Prior to joining KVRT for the 2009 season, Moraes had qualified in the top-10 in just one IndyCar event and never higher than 20th on an oval.

-credit: kvrt

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Moraes
Teams KV Racing Technology