Conquest Racing Scores Second Consecutive Top Ten Finish
Long Beach, CA (April 19, 2009) - Conquest Racing was looking strong today at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The team ran with the front-runners for most of the race but an untimely yellow hampered the team's chances of finishing up front. However, Alex Tagliani still gave the team their second consecutive top-ten finish of the season.
After a hectic start at the season-opening race two weeks ago, the start of the Grand Prix of Long Beach went much more smoothly for the IndyCar Series field and Conquest's Alex Tagliani. Starting ninth, Tag remained in that position up until lap 16 when he gained a position after a pit stop by Dario Franchitti. On the following lap a yellow flag came out and once the pits opened on lap 19, the driver of the #34 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino car followed the leaders for fuel and tires.
With some of the other drivers choosing not to stop under yellow, Tagliani came out in 15th place. By the time the entire field had completed their initial stop the Canadian had moved up to seventh. During the second stint, the team decided to save fuel in order to pit later than their competitors. Unfortunately, a full course caution came out just before Tagliani had to pit, thus erasing the advantage he would have had. He fell from fourth to 14th.
Despite the set back, Tagliani kept on fighting and made his way up into tenth with a last lap pass on Ryan Hunter-Reay, giving the team and himself their second top ten finish of the season.
Conquest Racing will now head back to Indianapolis where they will sit out next weekend's race in Kansas as they prepare for the upcoming Indianapolis 500.
10th - #34 Alex Tagliani Hard Rock Hotel & Casino / The Joint
"We were doing really well and on our way to a good result. Unfortunately, the yellow flag came out at the wrong time and that cost us some positions. It's really too bad because I had a very good car. At the end I had a good fight with (Graham) Rahal and then I was able to make it into the top ten for a second race in a row by passing Vitor (Meira) and then (Ryan) Hunter-Reay on the last lap. Once again, I want to thank the team for their hard work this weekend and apologize to the guys for the misunderstanding in the pits, it was my mistake."
Eric Bachelart, Team Owner
"The race strategy was key today and it did not come our way. Alex did a very good job saving fuel and that allowed us to make an extra lap on our competitors for the second pit stop. Unfortunately, we got a yellow at the time we were going to stop with the consequence of sending us to the back of the field. We had a fast car and we could have definitely finished in the top 5. Everybody on the team has done a fantastic job and we have been competing with the best organizations for two races in a row. We just need a break! Finally I want to thank our partners ODW Logistics, TorcUP and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for their support this weekend."