This morning, Billy Boat was heralded as the "fastest man in Tennessee" for his record-breaking practice and qualifying runs yesterday at Nashville Superspeedway. This evening, he looked on in despair as his wrecked race car was towed into the ...
This morning, Billy Boat was heralded as the "fastest man in Tennessee" for his record-breaking practice and qualifying runs yesterday at Nashville Superspeedway. This evening, he looked on in despair as his wrecked race car was towed into the garage.
"I don't know what happened," said a stunned Billy Boat upon being released from the infield medical center. "It was like I hit a patch of ice. I think there may have been oil or something on the racetrack -- I haven't seen the tape yet, but we weren't that high and Tomas got outside Eddie and his car just took off. I hit the same space he did, I had just seen him take off and I was ready to drive underneath him and about that time my car just went straight, I never had a chance. There was definitely something going on there."
After starting the Firestone Indy 200 from the Pole, the CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team spent the first 13 laps of the race holding onto first place. They spent the next 157 in the Top 10, many of those laps in the Top 5. And then, once again, the tide turned against the team and the #98 slammed into the wall in Turn 2, ending the team's high hopes.
"It's just really disappointing for the CURB Records team," stated Boat. "We had a good run going, there's no doubt that we had a Top 5 finish going there."
After ten cars were altogether eliminated and others were sidelined for extended periods, due to accidents or engine problems, (including some of the cars that had been running in the Top 10 spots during the race such as Boat, Tomas Scheckter and Helio Castroneves) the ultimate victor of the Firestone Indy 200 was Indy Racing League rookie Alex Baron, who captures his first Indy Racing League victory.
Baron was followed .4234 of a second later by Gil de Ferran. Although Scott Sharp finished third, he was preliminarily penalized one lap by Indy Racing League officials for blocking on the final restart. He was replaced on the victory stand by fourth place finisher Sam Hornish.
An obviously dismayed Billy Boat soldiered on, "We had a good run and we showed that we can run up front. We'll just go get ready for Michigan."
The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team will now travel to the Michigan International Speedway for the Michigan Indy 400. The race takes place on Sunday, July 28 and will air live on ABC at 3:00pm EDT.