IRL: Homestead: Bryan Herta race report

XM Satellite Radio Driver Bryan Herta Finishes 13th at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2004) -.XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta ran into some bad luck in today's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series season opener at Homestead-Miami ...

XM Satellite Radio Driver Bryan Herta Finishes 13th at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2004) -.XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta ran into some bad luck in today's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing 13th.

Herta started the race from the fifth position and ran near the lead for most of the first half of the race. After making a green-flag pit stop on Lap 85, the caution flag flew, dropping Herta to the 14th position. As a result, the XM Satellite Radio team changed its strategy, pitting twice under the next yellow. That move allowed Herta to take the lead on Lap 132 and he held it until a cut tire on Lap 151 forced him back on to pit lane. That stroke of bad luck put Herta a lap down to the leaders and relegated him to a 13th place finish.

Sam Hornish Jr. passed teammate Helio Castroneves on the last lap for the win. Herta's Andretti Green Racing teammate, Dan Wheldon, tied his career- best finish with a third. Tony Kanaan finished eighth and an accident on Lap 105 put Dario Franchitti out of the race in the 17th position.

The IndyCar Series moves to Phoenix International Raceway on March 21 for Round Two of the 16 event schedule. The 200-mile event will be broadcast live on ABC Sports.

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

"It was good to get a finish for the XM Satellite Radio team in its first start. But we were looking at a much better finish before we had the cut tire late in the race. These guys worked so hard in the last couple of months to put this program in place and we were hoping for a better result."

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

"We are happy we finished today but I feel we could have done a lot better. Things just weren't going our way today. It's a shame for everybody who worked so hard to put this team together. The guys back at the shop; everyone in the pit today -- they all worked so hard and things just wouldn't fall right for us. We'll continue to work hard and look to improve at Phoenix."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornish Jr.