Untimely caution flags and fuel conservation played significant roles in HVM Racing's first finish of the season -- a 12th-place finish in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. E.J. Viso had a fast car in the No. 13...
Untimely caution flags and fuel conservation played significant roles in HVM Racing's first finish of the season -- a 12th-place finish in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.
E.J. Viso had a fast car in the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara, starting in the seventh position for the Saturday night race on the D-shaped short oval. Viso kept pace with the leaders for much of the race, but fell two laps down on Lap 138 when the caution flag flew while the 13 car was on pit road for a scheduled stop for fuel and tires.
Once Viso was back on the track, HVM had to play the fuel-conservation game, hoping a timelier yellow flag would allow them to get a lap back. Another caution came out on Lap 248 when Helio Castroneves hit the wall, but Viso was already on pit road for service and was not able to regain any ground.
Viso spent the entire race in the Top 15, and managed a late-race pass of Ed Carpenter to take the checkers in 12th place for the HVM team.
The team looks to build on the finish at Richmond as it prepares next for the Grand Prix at the Glen on July 5 at Watkins Glen International.
Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the SunTrust Indy Challenge:
"We are obviously happy to have that finish under our belts. We had various disappointments over the first seven races of the season, and we knew we had to turn things around. Even though we had our setbacks, we kept working to make the necessary changes to improve, and I think we reached a turning point.
"The important thing is that we had a competitive car. It's just a shame the cautions worked against us."
Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after the SunTrust Indy Challenge:
"Even if it's not the result we were looking for -- especially after the strong pace we had through all the practices and qualifying -- it's something that's going to pump our emotions a bit higher. We were all a little bit low because we hadn't finished a race so far. Finishing the race means a lot for the team and for me.
"We had a very fast car. I was running at the same pace as the leaders, I was saving fuel all through the race. It's just that yellow came out at the wrong time for us and that put us a couple laps down.
"I just need to thank the team and everyone that has supported me going through these difficult races. I want to thank them and tell them that I've been working harder than ever to achieve podiums. We've got the potential and we've improved the car a lot."