IRL: Fontana: AGR/Herta race report

Archipelago/Motorola Driver Bryan Herta's day ends early at California FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2003) -- Contact forced Archipelago/Motorola driver Bryan Herta out of the 400-mile race early at California Speedway. Herta worked his way up to...

Archipelago/Motorola Driver Bryan Herta's day ends early at California

FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2003) -- Contact forced Archipelago/Motorola driver Bryan Herta out of the 400-mile race early at California Speedway.

Herta worked his way up to the seventh position from his starting spot on the outside of the seventh row when contact with Alex Barron bent the right front toe-link on the #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone. The crew replaced the damaged piece in the pits, causing Herta to lose five laps to the leaders. However, the repairs proved futile as the car became ill-handling and Herta was forced to retire on lap 88. Herta was credited with a 22nd place finish in the final rundown.

Sunday's result snaps a string of three-straight podium finishes for Herta and the Archipelago/Motorola team.

Sam Hornish won his third race of the year and second in a row, beating Scott Dixon and Wheldon's teammate Tony Kanaan to the line. The close racing at California tightened the IRL IndyCar Series championship points race. Dixon and Helio Castroneves are tied at the top with Tony Kanaan a mere seven points behind. Dan Wheldon finished fourth on Sunday and moved to within four points of the Rookie-of-the- Year title.

The next and final race on the IndyCar Series calendar is scheduled for October 12 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Bryan Herta, #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I gave Alex (Barron) room on the high side, I had a car inside of me and there was no place to go and he turned down and we touched. The track was really slippery because of the heat. We were working our way to the front in the Archipelago/Motorola car and we were just getting to the lead pack when the incident happened, so it's a shame."

Kyle Moyer, Team Manager, Archipelago/Motorola

"The car was okay; we were a little loose at the start and it was moving around, but all we needed to do was get up with the leaders and we would be okay. We got a yellow to put us up there and then we had contact with (Alex) Barron and that bent our right front toe-link. From then on things weren't right and on a track like this everything has to be perfect, so we thought it was best just to get out of everybody's way."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Sam Hornis