Erwin Finishes 17th in Sunday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla., April 8 Â Brandon Erwin's primary goal at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend was to finish the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami. The rookie from Denton, Texas did just...
Erwin Finishes 17th in Sunday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla., April 8 Brandon Erwin's primary goal at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend was to finish the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami. The rookie from Denton, Texas did just that Sunday afternoon, placing 17th in McCormack Motorsports' WorldBestBuy.com G-Force Olds Aurora #30.
The event was Erwin's second Indy Racing Northern Light Series race ever and the series' first one at this facility. Finding a great set-up between the first practice session on Friday and the race on Sunday afternoon proved to be a challenge for all the teams, including Erwin's.
For most the result was a car that was not easy to drive, but Erwin and all the other members of the McCormack Motorsports team persevered and the WorldBestBuy.com #30 was one of the 19 cars that did finish the grueling event.
"It was a long day and mentally very tiring," Erwin said after the race. "Today I learned what a big push in the car feels like. The car was a real handful to drive. It was pushing really bad. By the half-way point of the race we had run out of adjustments we could make, so I just had to tough it out. That is all due to a lack of testing and a lack of track time.
"We did finish and the car is in one piece, so that's good," he added. "It was just a really long day. This is a tough race track."
Erwin started 25th and he stayed out of trouble all day.
"I didn't have any real trouble in traffic, but I had to get out of the gas way too much," he said. "I was just slower than the others were, and with the push there wasn't much I could do but try to hang on and finish. The track conditions didn't change much that I could see and the Firestone tires were great. The push just made everything hard."
Like everyone on the McCormack Motorsports team, engineer Jeff Braun did his best.
"We'll add more wing on the next pit stop and do some tire-pressure adjustments, but that's about all we can do now," he told Erwin at one point over the radio. "You're just going to have to tough it out and do your best. Most of the other drivers are having the same problem."
Erwin's main competition turned out to be John Hollansworth, whom he passed with less than 20 laps to go for 17th spot.
"Brandon did a good job," team owner Dennis McCormack summarized after the race. "We needed a different aero package today; we didn't have enough front grip. We all learn things on our first visit to a new track. Our pit stops were very good and Brandon brought the car home in good shape, so overall we're pleased."
Erwin is currently third in the Rookie of the Year standings behind leader Felipe Giaffone and Casey Mears. He is in a three-way tie with Mears and Davey Hamilton for 15th overall in the national championship point standings for the Northern Light Cup.
The Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami was the second of 13 races in the series this year. The next one is the Atlanta 500 Classic on April 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's the first of three night races in the series this year.
Before that Erwin will get to do what most race car drivers only dream of drive an Indy car at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As a rookie he must pass the track's Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) this coming Friday and Saturday before he can compete in the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indy 500, over the Memorial Day weekend.