Moraes Puts the Sonny's Bar-B-Q Car in the Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, Indiana (May 18, 2008) - Dale Coyne Racing driver Mario Moraes had to wait until Sunday to know if he was in the race for sure, but the wait was worth it as...
Moraes Puts the Sonny's Bar-B-Q Car in the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis, Indiana (May 18, 2008) - Dale Coyne Racing driver Mario Moraes had to wait until Sunday to know if he was in the race for sure, but the wait was worth it as the rookie qualified 28th for his first Indianapolis 500 race.
On Saturday, Moraes put together a four-lap average qualifying speed of 219.716 mph, which put the 19-year old Brazilian on the inside of row 10.
"I'm very excited to qualify for the Indianapolis 500," said Mario Moraes. "This is the most watched race in the entire world. The #19 Sonny's Bar-B- Q team has done an outstanding job giving me a great car to qualify."
Moraes more than likely would have qualified higher if not for a 20 knot breeze that started blowing in turn three when he began his qualifying run. The rookie showed veteran capability, as he had to adjust the set-up of the car to be more effective against the wind from inside the car during his second qualifying lap.
"I think that I could have run a 220 mph average if it wasn't for the wind," said Moraes. "When I took the green flag and came into turn three the car was very difficult to steer. I made a quick adjustment to the car and it handled much better for the remainder of my run. That one correction lap cost me."
Of the 37 cars that ran on Saturday, Moraes was the tenth fastest car on the day (40.4299-second lap (222.608 mph)) in the morning practice session.
"I'm very proud of what Mario accomplished today," said owner Dale Coyne. "It is a historic moment in every race car driver's career when they qualify for their first Indianapolis 500 race. Mario has shown his maturity level is far above his 19-year age."