Birmingham, AL - Expectations were high with both drivers having a great warm up session this morning. De Silvestro, driver of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car started 14th on the grid, while Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 11 Mouser - KV Racing Technology - SH Chevrolet/Firestone car, started 19th. At the end of the day, their fortunes were reversed with Kanaan finishing 13th and De Silvestro bringing it home in 18th.
"Although Tony did make up some spots it obviously wasn't the end result we were looking for. With Simona, again the strategy didn't work the way we anticipated. We have a lot of work to do including the crew and our stops.
We'll regroup when we get back to the shop and look forward to Long Beach."
Kanaan echoed the sentiment. "It was just a long day," he said. "I started the race on the primary tires in order to get them out of the way and was hoping to get more speed out of the red alternates to pick up some track position, but once I got stuck in traffic in the middle of the pack there was nothing I could do.
Lost a handful of spots during our pits and managed to get some of them back at the end of the race, but it was still not our day. Let's move on to Long Beach in a couple of weeks and focus on getting a better result there."
Traffic played a big role for De Silvestro as well. "It was a tough race for us," she said. "We were always in traffic and there was always something going on. At the start I kind of got pushed out and lost a few positions and had to work my way back up.
You know we were always fighting with different people and different tires and it was really hard to get by, so we kind of got stuck there and it wasn't great. But, we'll go on to the next one and hopefully we'll be alright there."
The team heads back to Indianapolis tonight to regroup and start preparations for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 19 - 21.
KV Racing Technology