Mutoh Drives Through Field for Fifth in Freedom 100 Cut Tire on First Lap Eliminates Chance at Victory INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 25, 2007) -- Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Hideki Mutoh didn't win the Freedom 100 Friday at the Indianapolis...
Mutoh Drives Through Field for Fifth in Freedom 100
Cut Tire on First Lap Eliminates Chance at Victory
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 25, 2007) -- Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Hideki Mutoh didn't win the Freedom 100 Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the team's young Indy Pro Series driver passed more cars than any other driver in the field, and overcame a cut tire on the first lap of the race to finish fifth place.
Mutoh has now finished inside the Top Five in each of his four career starts. He is currently second in the Indy Pro Series championship points battle, 70 points behind Alex Lloyd -- winner of each of the season's first four races.
Hideki started fourth, but made contact with Wade Cunningham before the first turn of the 40-lap event. The contact cut the left-front tire on Mutoh's Honda Formula Dream No. 55 car, and he was forced to pull into pit lane to get a new tire, which pushed him to the rear of the 24-car field.
While the tire puncture put the race win out of reach, Mutoh was able to drive through the field for his fourth Top Five of the season. During the race's first restart, Mutoh was in 24th place, and he had moved up to 10th by Lap 24. After jumping up two spots from seventh to fifth during a late restart, Mutoh was looking to move even higher before rain forced the Freedom 100 to end under yellow.
Hideki Mutoh: "I am disappointed in what happened in the start but I was able to enjoy the rest of the race. I just concentrated on moving up to the front and when I saw the leader I was ready to catch up to him. However, it started to rain so I ran out of time. There were so many people at the track and it made me realize how big Freedom 100 and Indy500 is. I am looking forward to the next race and do better. I want to thank my team and all the people who has supported me today. I had a great car and I am confident that we will be able to win the race someday soon.