IPS: Nashville: Series race report

PECORARI CLAIMS SUNBELT RENTALS 100 GLADEVILLE, Tenn., Saturday, July 14, 2007 -- Robbie Pecorari claimed his first Indy Pro Series victory winning the Sunbelt Rentals 100. Pecorari, a rookie driver competing for first-year effort Team KMA, ...

PECORARI CLAIMS SUNBELT RENTALS 100

GLADEVILLE, Tenn., Saturday, July 14, 2007 -- Robbie Pecorari claimed his first Indy Pro Series victory winning the Sunbelt Rentals 100.

Pecorari, a rookie driver competing for first-year effort Team KMA, inherited the lead when leader Alex Lloyd pitted with damage sustained when he hit debris from an accident involving Brad Jaeger and Al Unser III with 12 laps to go. Jaeger was evaluated and released from University Medical Center, but he has not been cleared to drive.

Logan Gomez finished second, followed by Jaime Camara, Wade Cunningham and Jonathan Klein.

SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:

* This is Robbie Pecorari's first win in the Indy Pro Series. His previous best finish was fifth at Iowa and St. Petersburg #2.

* This is Team KMA's first win in the Indy Pro Series. The team is competing in the Indy Pro Series for the first time this season.

* Logan Gomez finished second, his career-best finish in the Indy Pro Series.

* Jaime Camara finished third, matching his season-best finish.

SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:

ROBBIE PECORARI (No. 13 Cabo Wabo Tequila, winner Sunbelt Rentals 100): "It's still a shock. I'm just getting used to being here." (Did you see Lloyd hit the debris?): "As soon as the last yellow came out, I saw the debris coming down the track. I went to avoid, but (Alex Lloyd) hit it pretty hard. We hit a piece of it, but luckily the car stayed together. (About the trophy): "I don't play guitar, but it will definitely look good on a shelf somewhere."

LOGAN GOMEZ (No. 23 Isilon Systems/Flacondos.net/SSM, finished second): "It was unfortunate my teammate (Alex Lloyd) got caught up in some debris and had to make a pit stop to change the nose at the end. The team worked hard all weekend, and I'm glad I was able to show off their hard work and bring home a good finish. I think if there was one more lap we had something for the winner going into Turn 1."

JAIME CAMARA (No. 11Osofresh, finished fourth): "Slow cars in the middle of the race were a problem for me because my car wasn't that good in traffic. I did what I could and I'm happy with third place."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., finished fourth): "There was a problem with the engine with about 20 laps to go. I had to roll out of the throttle because the engine wasn't picking up fuel or losing spark. Still, with that problem, I was able to maintain the gap to Jaime, and with Alex's problem at the end, we had a good shot at Robbie (Pecorari), but the problem came back and got even worse and I was lucky to make it to the finish line."

JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling, finished fifth): "All things considered, we started outside to the top 10 and finished fifth, that's not a bad day. It was a long race, and even with all the accidents and yellows, there was a lot of competition. We're making progress. If we work on qualifying, then we won't have to make up so many positions in the race. That's was the best I could do. I was playing the hand I was dealt and today that was fifth place."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/SSM, finished 11th): (About late-race crash): "I could see that bunch of guys really close together battling pretty hard. I just saw something, someone called 'yellow' as I was going into (Turn) 3, and at that point, there was debris everywhere. You try and slow down and turn at the same time, but you've got to be very careful when you do that so you don't lose the back end. I'm slowing down as much as I can. Entering the corner at 180, I just couldn't get it down, and there was a big piece of sidepod in the middle of the track and just nowhere to go. Bits were covering the low line, the high line. There was just nothing we could do. We basically cleaned the track for everyone else and that was pretty much what we did. We cleared the debris field, and everyone else got through fine. It was disappointing because we were close to having that race in the bag. We made the passes we needed to, and we had the quickest car at the end there. Sometimes, you're just at the wrong place at the wrong time." (About deciding to come in late rather than stay out): "I don't think it would have made a difference either way. We would have gone to the back of the pack. For sure, we did the right thing. To be honest, I think we would have ended up in the wall if we stayed out. Even if we kept going, we could have ended up in the wall and taken someone out with us. At the end of the day, we probably did the smart thing and came in, and the car still wasn't right when we went out. There was still something wrong. I think we lost six points in the championship so it wasn't a disaster. It's just a disappointing day. We should have been in victory lane and we weren't. And I didn't get that guitar."

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Alex Lloyd , Robbie Pecorari , Brad Jaeger , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara , Jonathan Klein , Logan Gomez , Al Unser III