ANTINUCCI CLAIMS FIRST CAREER WIN LEXINGTON, Ohio, Sunday, July 22, 2007 -- Rookie Richard Antinucci claimed his first win in the Indy Pro Series, holding off Wade Cunningham to win the Mid-Ohio 100. Antinucci, the nephew of 1998 Indianapolis...
ANTINUCCI CLAIMS FIRST CAREER WIN
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Sunday, July 22, 2007 -- Rookie Richard Antinucci claimed his first win in the Indy Pro Series, holding off Wade Cunningham to win the Mid-Ohio 100.
Antinucci, the nephew of 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., started fourth and moved behind race leader Alex Lloyd on Lap 6 of 40. On Lap 15, Antinucci was 0.4064 of a second behind Lloyd's No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. On the next lap, he passed the series points leader in Turn 4 of the 2.558-mile, 13-turn circuit.
On a Lap 23 restart, Lloyd's car was eliminated when he lost drive to the wheels and guided the car off the course. Cunningham inherited second and a battle ensued between series rookie and the 2005 series champion.
MID-OHIO 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Richard Antinucci's first Indy Pro Series victory. His previous best finish was fifth at Watkins Glen #2 earlier this month.
* This is Cheever Racing's first Indy Pro Series victory. It joins Panther Racing, Andretti Green Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing as teams with wins in the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series.
* Wade Cunningham finished second, his fifth consecutive top-five finish.
* Stephen Simpson finished third, the best finish of his Indy Pro Series career. His previous was fourth at St. Petersburg #1 earlier this year.
MID-OHIO 100 POST-RACE QUICK QUOTES:
RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 51 Cheever Racing, winner Mid-Ohio 100): "We were very progressive, getting faster and faster. I was worried after the restart. We struggled a bit compared to (Wade) Cunningham. I think he had higher tire pressures, which allowed him to be set up quicker. But we were there all weekend, and we finally won one."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, finished second): "It was tough. We opted to go for a light downforce setup, and it was great for passing. But the car definitely was difficult to drive over the long run. Richard (Antinucci) was running more downforce than us. We were much quicker down the straight. We had to take that gamble starting sixth, and it got us a second so I'm pleased with that."
STEPHEN SIMPSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished third): "We were probably two- or three-tenths off Wade (Cunningham) and Richard (Antinucci), so there's a little more work to do. But all in all it was a strong weekend for the Kenn Hardley Racing crew."
ANDREW PRENDEVILLE (No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing, finished fourth): "It was a great weekend. Our best yet. I don't think I had any contact with anyone. It was close with [Bobby] Wilson. I'll have to ask him if we touched, but I don't think so. We raced hard, but we've done that so many times before. They were gaining 10 car lengths on the straights, and I could pull nine to 11 car lengths on them in the twisty stuff to keep in front of them. The only way that was possible was because we had a really good-handling car. The start was not the greatest. (Wade) Cunningham blew right by me. That was just a case of better straight-line speed. But I was able to make up a lot of the distance, and I almost got the position back a little later. We finished all 40 laps for the Best Friends Animal Society. We had our best qualifying result yet, and we duplicated our best race result. It was a great weekend."