LONG POND, PA - KV Racing Technology driver Simona De Silvestro finished an oval career-high 11th in today's Pocono IndyCar 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Teammate Tony Kanaan placed 13th after damaging his front wing while challenging for the lead.
Simona Pocono Sunday De Silvestro, driver of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, was running in or near the top-10 the entire first stint. However, an untimely yellow flag just prior to her second stop altered the team's pit strategy, dropping her back to 15th.
"The car was awesome! It was a really good race," she said. "This is a tricky place; you had to time your passes just right. I had a lot of fun out there and the team was great. They gave me a fantastic car and we were able to move forward and make a lot of moves toward the end of the race. I'm really happy that we were able to get a good result for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car."
TK Pocono Kanaan, behind the wheel of the No. 11 Sunoco "Turbo" - KV Racing Technology - SH Racing machine, started fifth, but was in second place by lap six. He ran in the top four, taking the lead on several occasions through the first 100 plus laps. Then on lap 107, he got a run on race leader and eventual winner Scott Dixon.
Unfortunately, as he closed on Dixon, the right side of Kanaan's front wing made contact with Dixon's left rear wheel pod. The contact was so incidental that at first neither the team nor Kanaan realized what had happen, but it was significant enough to knock the wing loose forcing him to pit for a new one. The extra early stop and extra time in the pits dropped Kanaan out of contention and dashed his hopes of capturing the second jewel of the "Fruzzy's Triple Crown".
"I apologized to the crew several times. I made a mistake and it cost us big. I had a run on Dixon, but didn't really think that I was closing that fast on him. We had a car that was capable of winning this race and putting us in a position to contend for 'Fuzzy's Triple Crown' and the $1 million prize. We still have a chance to win in Fontana and collect $250,000, but I just feel bad for the crew because they worked so hard to give me a very competitive car."
De Silvestro earned 19 points today and continues to sit in 18th place in the championship. She has three top-10 finishes: sixth in St. Petersburg, ninth in Long Beach, and eighth in Brazil.
Kanaan, 38, earned 18 points today and now sits sixth in the championship race with 271 points, just one point out of fifth. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 Champion has earned five top-10 finishes including three podium performances and the victory at Indy in the first 11 races of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season. This was the third of four races the talented Brazilian has contested with the Sunoco "Turbo" livery. He finished third in his first two events at Texas and Iowa.