Race Report: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg ST. PETERSBURG, FL March 29, 2010--"We looked really good for a while, until the last stop!" Vitor Meira said after the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was postponed until Monday due ...
Race Report: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, FL March 29, 2010--"We looked really good for a while, until the last stop!" Vitor Meira said after the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was postponed until Monday due to torrential rain on Sunday afternoon.
Starting 17th, Meira's ABC Supply team used a different tire and pit strategy to try to gain track position and it seemed to be working as he moved into the top ten after 20 laps. However, the yellows needed to fall differently for the team to capitalize on its two-stop pit strategy.
"The strategy? Yeah, now it was wrong, I admit it and I'm part of it but in order to win, you've got to risk it starting that far back," said Meira. "Yeah, we didn't finish good but we raced good all day long and we put ourselves into position to win. We needed to be a little lucky, so it didn't happen. We have to put ourselves in position, so you roll the dice. It wasn't our turn, but one day it will be."
The team decided to run the softer compound alternate tires at the end of the race when the track was rubbered in and hopefully make it the shortest stint since the alternate tires didn't last as long as the primary black tires.
Being on the different fuel strategy vaulted Meira's No. 14 ABC Supply car into the lead on two different occasions when others pitted; he led for a total of 12 laps. In the final stint, however, the alternate tires faded faster than anticipated and ten laps into the run, Meira was radioing in that he had no front grip at all. He slowed down about three seconds a lap trying to make it to the end. When he pulled into his pitbox after the checkered fell, the team saw that the left front tire was completely worn out.
"We asked too much of the left front tire, either myself or the car," Meira admitted afterwards. Meira finished 15th and is now eighth in the point standings, one point behind Ryan Briscoe.
Pole winner Will Power won his second straight race in a row despite heavy pressure from runner-up Justin Wilson. Power's teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves were third and fourth with Dario Franchitti recovering from an early race incident to finish fifth.
-source: aj foyt racing