CUNNINGHAM WINS CARNEROS 100
SONOMA, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006 -- Pole sitter Wade Cunningham held off Alex Lloyd by 0.6018 of a second in the Indy Pro Series' Carneros 100, posting his second victory of the season. Nick Bussell finished third in the No. 52 Cheever Racing car, and Jonathan Klein was fourth in the No. 27 Klein Tools car.
Series point leader Jay Howard spun after contact with title rival Bobby Wilson on lap 11. Howard's point lead was cut to 13 points over Klein. Cunningham and Wilson are tied for fourth, 29 points back.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Wade Cunningham's second win of the season and the third victory of his Indy Pro Series career. His last victory came at the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. It is Cunningham's first win on a road/street course.
* Cunningham is the second consecutive pole sitter to win at Infineon Raceway joining Marco Andretti (2005).
* This is the third win for Brian Stewart Racing in the Indy Pro Series. It previously won with Cunningham at California Speedway last October and Indianapolis in May.
* Alex Lloyd finished second, his third consecutive top-three finish on a road/street course.
* Nick Bussell finished third, his best finish since he finished second in the season-opener at Homestead-Miami.
* Rookie Mike Potekhen finished a career-best sixth place, and will start on pole for the Valley of the Moon 100.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Cunningham-Stewart Racing, winner Carneros 100): (Starting first and finishing first) is a lot tougher than it sounds. Three full-course yellows, three opportunities for Alex Lloyd to attack. I think I did a pretty good job keeping the lead. I was about preparing myself before the braking zones. I wasn't very strong on the brakes today, and I could tell Alex as very, very strong there. I had to make sure I got the power down well, and I straightened the car out early so he was never close enough to attack. The last couple of laps, I was pretty nervous. I could see it was close. Starting on the pole was the most important thing and that's why we got the win.
ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, finished second): "It was a good day really. Starting second on the grid, I tried to put as much pressure as I could all the way through. We were really, really quick all day. I made a mistake at the beginning. We just can't overtake here. I stayed as close to him as I could all the way through the race. We did everything we could."
NICK BUSSELL (No. 52 Cheever Racing, finished third): "I was pretty happy, but we obviously wanted a little more to get the win. We've come a long way this weekend with some development. We haven't been very fortunate to get some testing in. We tried some stuff here and it worked, and it showed. We're back on the podium. We've been struggling a little bit, so this feels good."
JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, finished fourth): "The car seemed a little slower today than it was the rest of the weekend. I hoped we get sorted out before tomorrow's race. Otherwise, the track and the car seem to be really good."
BOBBY WILSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished fifth): "I think we're improving every time we get on track. We have a few small issues, but we'll be strong for tomorrow's race."
MIKE POTEKHEN (No. 76 Part Sourcing International, finished sixth): "We need to find a little speed tonight. We're a little off, but the car is really well balanced. Again, it's only my fourth day in these cars on a road course, so I'm still learning by the day. Most of my experience is in the Pro Mazda. It's a lot different. The cars are so much heavier. I'm looking forward to it. The pole definitely increases our chances of finishing on the podium tomorrow. There's not many places to pass here, so I'm looking forward to a good day."