IRL: Pikes Peak: Blair Racing race notes

Rayovac Blair Racing finishes 10th at Colorado. FOUNTAIN, COLO. (June 16, 2002) - Rayovac Blair Racing driver Alex Barron of Menifee, Calif. finished tenth today. Seventh place in the drivers' standings, Blair Racing and its driver Barron ...

Rayovac Blair Racing finishes 10th at Colorado.

FOUNTAIN, COLO. (June 16, 2002) - Rayovac Blair Racing driver Alex Barron of Menifee, Calif. finished tenth today.

Seventh place in the drivers' standings, Blair Racing and its driver Barron attacked the one-mile track at Pikes Peak International vying for a top finishing position in today's Radisson Indy 225. Barron qualified 15th for the 225-lap event out of the 23 drivers in the seventh race of the Indy Racing League (IRL) 15-race schedule. Today's race was a two-day event for the IRL field, the first of five two-day events of the season. This format compacts the normal three days of practice, qualifying and racing into two, making it more intensive for everyone. Furthermore, the fact that Rayovac Blair Racing had not tested here and Barron had not raced here tapped into everyone's experience and concentration for the 225 mile event. Barron, a skilled driver with excellent feedback, worked hard with the team and the engineer to setup a good race car in the only IRL event at the mile-high altitude.

The race started with sunny skies with very dark and stormy skies hanging in the distance. Barron and the field battled close together for the opening laps. The beginning of the race was uneventful but that would change quickly on lap 31 after the first pit stop for the Rayovac Blair team which came under yellow. Stopping on lap 31, Barron left the pits after fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment was made. On lap 33 the dark skies opened with hard rain and hail. The race was red flagged on lap 34 and all of the IRL entries were brought down pit lane and stopped. The teams were allowed to work on the cars while the track dried. The race resumed and Barron was on the move; by lap 74 he was tenth. The blue and white Rayovac entry raced hard with very light rain passing through the Colorado countryside. While Barron was in seventh, the rain increased and another yellow was thrown for rain; running under yellow and slow conditions the IRL waited for the rain to pass. The race continued in full force on lap 115 with Barron moving into sixth place and staying there until lap 140. Slowly the handling of the car went away and he slipped to 12th. The Blair team pitted for the last time on lap 160. Rain and wind continued to toy with the field, coming and going from heavy to light. Barron and the other entries went onto finish all 225 laps, with Barron in tenth for the final 13 laps.

"I had an acceleration problem with the engine and it would not respond when I lifted off of the throttle at the start of the race," said Barron. "Other than that the race went fairly well for us. The car had good balance and then went loose. We stopped and put new tires on it and it came back. We had a lot of gremlins before the race today but overcame them to finish tenth. But another top-ten again;I was hoping for better then this. Tenth is not very good and not good enough for our team."

Just last week at Texas Motor Speedway, Barron and the Blair crew brought home a top-ten finish. For the season, they now have one top-five finish and five top-ten finishes. Barron remains in seventh position in the drivers' point standings going into the next race.

The summer stretch continues in Virginia on June 29 and on July 7 at Kansas Speedway. The SunTrust Indy Challenge will be held on the 0.75-mile "bullring" asphalt oval located in Richmond, VA . It will air live on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). The eighth race of the season will also air live on the IMS Radio Network; the IRL's official website can help you locate a radio station near you and also has live timing and scoring at www.indyracing.com.

-www.BlairRacing.com

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Barron