IRL: Chicagoland: AGR, Herta race report

Herta Drives to Second-Place Result at Chicagoland in XM Satellite Radio Machine JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 12, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta was all over the map Sunday, but worked his way to the front and grabbed a second-place finish...

Herta Drives to Second-Place Result at Chicagoland in XM Satellite Radio Machine

JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 12, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta was all over the map Sunday, but worked his way to the front and grabbed a second-place finish at the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The second-place result was Herta's first podium finish of the season.

Herta, who pilots the #7 XM Satellite Radio car, started the race from the ninth spot and quickly found himself near the back of the field. By lap 15, Herta was running in the 21st position and trying his best to manage a car that was having trouble with turbulence and traffic. As the leaders began to make pit stops under the green flag, Herta gained valuable position and had moved all the way up to second.

On lap 54, Herta made his first pit stop, entering the pits in second place and coming out in ninth. Shortly after the stop, Herta began to fall back, falling to 17th. He stayed on the track during a caution on lap 112 and again moved up, this time to the third spot. The XM Satellite Radio crew led their first lap of the race on lap 143 when Herta stayed on the track during another caution. When the race went green again, Herta -- whose XM car sported the logo of Turn-Key Forging & Design, Inc. -- allowed Adrian Fernandez to pass him, trying to conserve enough fuel to finish the race without another pit stop.

Thanks to two more cautions, the race went another 31 laps under the yellow flag before going green on lap 194. With his teammates Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon drafting behind him, Herta made an attempt to pass Fernandez, but came up .0716 seconds short at the finish line.

Herta's finish was his tenth top-10 result of the 2004 season and his sixth consecutive top- 10. Aided by the finish, Herta jumped two spots in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series points championship, moving into eighth place, only seven points out of seventh place.

Herta's finish climaxed a successful day for Andretti Green Racing, as the team finished with drivers in the second, third and fourth positions. Fernandez won his second race of the season, followed by Herta, Kanaan, Wheldon and Vitor Meira finished fifth.

The next race for the IndyCar Series will be at California Speedway - the 15th race of the 2004 IndyCar Series schedule - Sunday, Oct. 3. ESPN will provide live coverage from Fontana, Calif., beginning at 3 p.m. (EDT).

Bryan Herta, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"The long caution really helped us, but the last one probably hurt us. It's just tough to make a pass here. I let Adrian (Fernandez) go earlier when I was leading because I didn't know there was going to be a caution and we needed to conserve some fuel. I knew the move I had to make on the last lap and got the move on the back straight and tried to get side by side but we just didn't have enough to get him."

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We were all over the place today, and at the end of it, we're weren't quite where we wanted to be, but we'll take it. It's a lot better than we've been doing and it lifts the whole XM Satellite Radio crew up. It's a good day. I'm going to walk away from this track happy. I congratulate the whole AGR team for a great day today."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Vitor Meira