IRL: Michigan: AGR, Herta race report

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 1, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta battled traffic from start to finish, but managed to scratch out a sixth-place finish by the end of the Michigan Indy 400 Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Herta,...

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 1, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta battled traffic from start to finish, but managed to scratch out a sixth-place finish by the end of the Michigan Indy 400 Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Herta, who started ninth in the #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fought an understeer condition from the beginning of Sunday's 400-miler and used every opportunity to sort things out. His handling challenges dropped him from the top 10 early on, but he never lost sight of the lead pack.

He remained just outside the top 10 until after the lap-130 mark when the combination of good pit work and a pit road incident involving three other cars elevated him to the fourth position on the restart. Although he lost ground over the next 20 laps, he still remained in touch with the lead pack, and was running around the 10th position.

As the laps wound down, Herta moved up one position to ninth as the race entered its final 10 laps around the two-mile Michigan oval. He then picked off three more positions over the final 20 miles of the event and drove to his fourth top-10 finish in the last five races.

Buddy Rice outran Herta's teammate, Tony Kanaan, for his third victory of the season. Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon - also one of Herta's AGR teammates - finished third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Vitor Meira.

After a weekend off, the IndyCar Series returns to action Aug. 15 at Kentucky Speedway with Round 11 of the 2004 championship.

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

"It was typical Michigan. We just had a little too much understeer in the XM Satellite Radio car and that made it really tough. I struggled in traffic and traffic was all there was out there. We just missed the setup a little bit. Given that, I'm actually kind of pleased to have gotten a sixth. We probably overachieved on that one a little bit."

Martin Pare, Race Engineer, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"For sure, we went through a lot of emotion today. We bounced around from 11th, all the way up to third or fourth and then back again. We really had a 'rollercoaster kind of a day.' In the end, we'll take a sixth and look forward to Kentucky."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira