IPS: Watkins Glen I: Andrew Prendeville race report

Prendeville Finishes All 29 Laps Saturday at Watkins Glen for Racing Laps for Best Friends WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 7 - On what some people think is the luckiest day of their lifetime since it's 7/7/07, Andrew Prendeville finished all 29 laps ...

Prendeville Finishes All 29 Laps Saturday at Watkins Glen for Racing Laps for Best Friends

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 7 - On what some people think is the luckiest day of their lifetime since it's 7/7/07, Andrew Prendeville finished all 29 laps of Saturday's Indy Pro Series race at Watkins Glen International for the Racing Laps for Best Friends program.

No matter what, homeless animals were lucky today and other days because of the work of the Morristown, N.J.-based driver. He raises awareness and donations for the Best Friends Animal Society with his Racing Laps for Best Friends program. Centered around a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans make donations to the largest no-kill animal shelter in the United States based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in each race. Donations can also be made at the Racing Laps for Best Friends blue tent in the infield of the track Saturday and Sunday. All of the money raised from the two Indy Pro Series races at Watkins Glen this weekend is being allocated to the Best Friends-affiliated Pets Alive shelter in Middletown, N.Y.

The RLR/Andersen Racing crew had to change the engine in Prendeville's Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 between qualifying Saturday morning and the race Saturday afternoon, but Prendeville made it to the grid on time and started 11th.

He dropped back three spots initially while he felt his new engine out. He was in 13th when the first full-course yellow waved on lap two when Ryan Justice spun into a tire barrier off Turn 5.

The green came out again on lap four. Prendeville passed Stephen Simpson for 12th on lap six and then set his sights on Jonathan Klein. He got 11th on lap eight when Robbie Pecorari spun in Turn 9, shortly before Chris Festa hit the wall in Turn 2 to bring out the second full-course yellow on lap nine.

The race resumed on lap 12 and one lap later Prendeville got around Klein for tenth place. He chased Mike Potekhen the rest of the way. Potekhen, Prendeville, Klein and Simpson were running nose-to-tail on lap 27 but the order didn't change, with Prendeville tenth at the checkered on lap 29.

"It was a lot of fun," Prendeville said afterwards. "The race was great. I had a good battle with Jono [Jonathan Klein] and with Mike Potekhen. Both of them raced clean, so it was fun.

"Potekhen was having a fuel-pressure problem on all the right-handers, but I didn't have enough oomph to get around him," he added. "He was just strong enough in the places where I thought I had the advantage. Jono's car was losing oil in places, so I'd have to back off sometimes when I was trying to pass him. I passed both Jono and Simpson on the backstretch.

"We had to do a motor change before the race, and I have to thank the RLR/Andersen crew for all their hard work," Prendeville continued. "We made it to the grid on time, we had a good race, we had a solid top-10 finish, and we finished all 29 laps for the Racing Laps for Best Friends program."

Prendeville will start tenth in tomorrow's race.

Fans unable to attend the races in person can watch the live timing and scoring carried on indycar.com/pro, or watch ESPN2's coverage at 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 12. Other information is available at racinglapsforbestfriends.com and andersenracingteam.com.

-credit: restart communications

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Ryan Justice , Chris Festa , Robbie Pecorari , Stephen Simpson , Jonathan Klein , Mike Potekhen