MARIO MORAES FINISHES 16th IN SUNTRUST INDY CHALLANGE RICHMOND, VA - - JUNE 27, 2009 - - Round ...
MARIO MORAES FINISHES 16th IN SUNTRUST INDY CHALLANGE
RICHMOND, VA - - JUNE 27, 2009 - - Round #8 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes finished 16th today in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Speedway in Richmond, Virginia.
Moraes, who made his second appearance on the .75-mile Richmond short oval, qualified 19th. However, during final practice yesterday he had an incident that sent the #5 Azul -- Votorantim - KV Racing Technology crew scurrying to affect repairs. After working late into Friday evening and part of Saturday the crew had the car ready for the 8:45 p.m. start. Moraes went down a couple of laps early in the contest when the yellow flags did not fall his way forcing him to pit under the green, always a problem on a short oval. However, the determined Brazilian showed his mettle and battled for the remainder of the race which featured virtually no passing. An aggressive race strategy, outstanding pit work by his crew and a solid drive by Moraes keep him in the contest and often running the same times as the leaders. Moraes picked up 14 points for his performance and remains 16th in the standings with 122 points, just 22 out of 11th place.
"I am happy we finished the race," Moraes said. "After the crash yesterday that was our priority. The KVRT crew did a great job repairing the car and the engineers did a good job making the changes to give me a solid car for the race. It was important to finish the race and get points."
Moraes, who is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT, made his 24th career IndyCar start, 16th on an oval and eighth with KVRT. Today's 16th place showing is his best at Richmond. Since joining KVRT Moraes has qualified in the top-seven in four of six oval events, and four of seven races (Iowa's qualifying cancelled) including a career high fifth in Milwaukee. He had one top-10 qualifying effort last year. Moraes has earned career high finishes on five of the eight tracks this season and had his career best oval performance placing ninth at Milwaukee.
Next up for KVRT is the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen, July 3-5, at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.