LLOYD CLINCHES INDY PRO SERIES TITLE WITH CARNEROS 100 WIN Alex Lloyd clinched the Indy Pro Series championship in proper fashion -- with a victory in the Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway. Lloyd, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems car...
LLOYD CLINCHES INDY PRO SERIES TITLE WITH CARNEROS 100 WIN
Alex Lloyd clinched the Indy Pro Series championship in proper fashion -- with a victory in the Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway.
Lloyd, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, passed pole sitter Richard Antinucci at the exit of Turn 1 of Lap 1 and went on to a 0.8927 of a second victory in the 14th of 16 races. Mike Potekhen finished third in the No. 53 Apex Racing car and Stephen Simpson in the No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing car was fourth.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
This is Alex Lloyd's eighth win of the season, a series record, and his 10th Indy Pro Series win, extending his series record.
Alex Lloyd has pulled an eight, which will invert the top eight finishers for today's race.
This is Sam Schmidt Motorsports' 21st win in the Indy Pro Series.
Richard Antinucci finished second, his third top-five finish of the season.
Mike Potekhen finished third, his second top-five finish of the season.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winner Carneros 100 and 2007 Indy Pro Series champion): "It's been an amazing day. We really wanted to win the championship by winning the race. That was the way we wanted to do it. We had a big lead, but we didn't want to fall behind and win it through the fact that we just had a big lead from the beginning of the season. We wanted to show that we were dominant from the beginning and finish that way as well. Today was a tough day. The car changed a lot during the race. We started off really strong and then it kind of fell apart a little bit in the middle of the race. I was struggling a little bit and Richard was catching back up. After the yellow, the car cooled down, the tires cooled down and the car was great again. Big thank you to the team, Lucas Oil, Isilon Systems, everybody has done a great job all year. It's a great testament to how great this team is to the results we've been able to do this year. It's been a dream year for me, it really has. Hopefully I can carry this momentum into next year." (About his cars struggles midway in the race) "We were good through the quick stuff and were pulling away, but when we got to the tighter stuff I was struggling stopping the car, struggling turning the car through the hairpin. It was just understeering wide. I was getting a little bit concerned at that point. I had done all the adjustments on the car that I could, and it just wasn't helping. When the yellow came out, I was really happy. that's just the way racing is. You can start off with a good car, it can change halfway through the race and then come back to you. You just have to be patient and not make any mistakes. In my situation, keep the car in the lead while you're going through that bad patch and then push through and keep the lead."(About driving for Sam Schmidt) "Sam's just a great guy. He runs a great team, but he's an inspirational guy to many, many people, including myself. He was a great driver, and now going through what he's gone throu gh and keeping the positive frame of mind. I can learn a lot from him for sure."
RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 51 Cheever Racing, finished second): "It was a good race. It's always disappointing when you start on the pole and then finish lower than that, but we finished as close to it as we could. We lost a little bit at the beginning and that determined the race. We had a good car and I think we were succeeding quite well mid-race. The yellows gave Alex (Lloyd) a little bit of a breather for the way his car was setup and that really helped him. We'll have to go look at the video - on the start, I got on the power earlier and had the gear where it needed to be but I just got killed. It was pretty obvious. He (Alex) just drove around me. Before we go on an oval, we definitely have to fix whatever that is. Thanks to my team. They've built a really good car. Even with the little deficit, we still managed to be as quick as anyone out there. I'm proud of my guys."
MIKE POTEKHEN (No. 53 AvenueCommunities.com, finished third): "We had a great car but it was kind of lead-follow out there. It was nice to have a chance to test here and it really helped. My team is coming on strong. It's good to build this momentum going into next season. We really need that. It's great for the guys. They've been working so hard all year. We've been behind but our foundation is here. It's been an amazing effort and I have to thank everyone who has supported it."
STEPHEN SIMPSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished fourth): "It was a tough race. The car wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I tried correcting it as much as I could from inside the car to get it to do what I wanted it to do. But at the end of the day, we got some good points out of it. It's not where I wanted to finish so we have some work still to do for tomorrow's race. We just have to put our heads together. We still have to find half a second on the guys in front of us."
JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 Osofresh, finished fifth): "I am really happy with AFS Racing and Andretti Green Racing because they gave me a really good car. It was a really tough race with only one set of tires for the entire 30 laps. The conditions were different today. It was much cooler, so it was difficult to get the cars up to temperature. I gained two positions on the track and maintained my distance from the guy behind me. I didn't have the car to win. I needed to stay in fifth place today to gain some points in the championship. Now we'll go and set up the car for tomorrow's race. I hope we gain positions for the start of the race when they do the draw for starting positions so we can finish up front in the Osofresh car tomorrow."
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 15 RLR/Andersen Racing Formotion): "I was hit by Bobby Wilson in Turn 11. It broke the front suspension. We were three laps down. Hardly worth going out again."