BOSS GRABS FOURTH PLACE IN DRAMATIC FINISH Geoff Boss scored a hard-earned fourth place finish at Milwaukee while his teammate Brian Cunningham's strong run was spoiled by handling problems. Boss's fourth place is his career best Indy Lights...
BOSS GRABS FOURTH PLACE IN DRAMATIC FINISH
Geoff Boss scored a hard-earned fourth place finish at Milwaukee while his teammate Brian Cunningham's strong run was spoiled by handling problems. Boss's fourth place is his career best Indy Lights oval finish to date. Practice time was again limited as it had been at Gateway due to an accident in Champ Car practice that punched a hole in the Turn 2 wall and closed the track while repairs were made.
Cunningham, who was using the team's spare Lola chassis due to his accident a week earlier at Gateway was fourth fastest in the practice session prior to qualifying, while Boss slotted in ninth. Hopes were high for Boss and Cunningham as they entered the sole qualifying session of the weekend, but their setups didn't translate well to the changing track conditions and they qualified 12th and 14th respectively.
When the 97-lap race got under way in windy conditions, Cunningham and Boss cautiously worked their way through traffic until a four-car accident slowed the field on lap 36. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 51 with Boss running sixth and Cunningham in eighth. Soon after the restart, Cunningham's car got extremely loose and he pitted to replace a right rear tire that was suspected of losing air. The tire proved to be okay, but the handling did not improve and he eventually retired from the race on lap 70. In the meantime, Boss was engaged in an intense three-way battle for fourth with the momentum shifting lap-to-lap as they encountered traffic. On the final lap of the race, Boss nipped Tony Renna at the line for fourth place, which also pushed him into a tie for fifth in the points. During Boss's inspired charge at the finish he turned the third fastest lap of the race on lap 93. "That was a pretty exciting race and it was nice to end up in fourth," said Boss. "I had a good battle for fourth throughout the race and Renna got wide in the last corner and I was able to get by him. It is true what they say about oval racing, when the car is right, it is a lot of fun. Today I had a lot of fun because the car was so consistent. We are going to test on Tuesday at Blackhawk to get prepared for the road courses and get used to turning right again. We were very good at Long Beach and I think that we could be as good at Detroit. Detroit is a tough track to pass on and it is important to qualify well, last year I qualified and finished third there so I am hopeful that I can improve on that."
After battling through the field, Cunningham was disappointed not to finish the race. "We aren't sure what happened to the car," said Cunningham. "We changed the right rear tire and that didn't help, so I don't know if a shock broke or what happened."
Team co-owner Eric Place was satisfied with the results. "We were pretty optimistic after practice, but the qualifying positions were a little disappointing," said Place. "But the team kept their heads up and both drivers did a phenomenal job in the race to get where they did. We pulled Brian in because we didn't know what the problem was and there was no sense keeping him out there and risking trouble when there was no chance for points."
The next round of the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship will take place in the streets of Belle Isle as a part of the CART Detroit Grand Prix. Previous history has shown that it is difficult to pass on this tight and narrow temporary street circuit, but a straightaway has been added to give drivers a better chance to overtake. Same day coverage of the event can be seen on June 7 at 5:30 PM Eastern time.