Crashes End Promising Weekend for Junqueira and Moraes Richmond, VA (June 28, 2008) - The SunTrust IndyCar Challenge race at Richmond International Raceway was a crashed filled event as only 12 of the 26-car field were running at race end.
Crashes End Promising Weekend for Junqueira and Moraes
Richmond, VA (June 28, 2008) - The SunTrust IndyCar Challenge race at Richmond International Raceway was a crashed filled event as only 12 of the 26-car field were running at race end. Unfortunately, both Dale Coyne Racing cars were not in that 12.
Mario Moraes (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q) was a victim of one of the seven accidents during the race. The 19-year-old rookie was on pace to have his best finish of the season when on lap 145 the #17 car of Ryan Hunter-Reay initiated contact with Moraes' car coming out of turn four sending both drivers into the wall. Moraes had to settle for a 17th place finish.
"It is very disappointing to have your day ended early because of someone else's mistake," said Moraes. "Ryan Hunter-Reay came down on me coming out of turn four and made contact with my right front tire making us both lose control of our cars."
At the time of the accident, Moraes was running tenth after starting the race in the 20th spot.
"We were running in the top-10 and we were on track to have our best finish so far this season," Moraes said. "All we can do is put this behind us and get ready for Watkins Glen next weekend. I'm very excited that five of the next seven IndyCar Series races will be on road courses."
Bruno Junqueira, who qualified a season best ninth, was running in the top-10 until lap 79. On the restart the #14 of Darren Manning slowed causing #6 Ryan Briscoe to hit the back of Junqueira's car coming out of turn three sending him into the turn four wall.
"I had nowhere to go," said Junqueira. "Manning slammed on the brakes and Briscoe hit me from behind. It is very disappointing because the #18 Z-Line Designs car was fast all weekend. We were running in the top-10 until a stupid mistake by another driver ended our day way too early. I think we could have had a podium finish tonight."
The 31-year-old Junqueira had a very promising day ended early and finished 23rd.