IPS: Watkins Glen I: RLR/Andersen Racing race report

RLR/Andersen Racing's Prendeville and Scarallo Finish Tenth and 16th, Respectively At Watkins Glen Saturday WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 7 - The RLR/Andersen Racing crew had to change the engine in Andrew Prendeville's Best Friends Animal Society No.

RLR/Andersen Racing's Prendeville and Scarallo Finish Tenth and 16th, Respectively At Watkins Glen Saturday

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 7 - The RLR/Andersen Racing crew had to change the engine in Andrew Prendeville's Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 right before the start of Saturday's Indy Pro Series race at Watkins Glen International, but they made it to the grid on time and the Morristown, N.J. driver recorded a solid top-10 finish in the first half of the Corning 100 doubleheader. The Fairfield, N.J.-based team's other Indy Pro Series driver, Joey Scarallo of Smithtown, N.Y., improved his 19th-place starting spot by three positions in the 29-lapper on the Glen's 3.4-mile long course to place 16th with his GroupAWheels.com No. 15.

All but the top six drivers will start Sunday's race in the position they finished Saturday's race, so Prendeville will start tenth and Scarallo will start 16th tomorrow in the second half of the doubleheader here.

Prendeville started 11th Saturday. He was unable to improve his time in the second round of qualifying on Saturday morning because his car's oil pump failed, causing the engine change between qualifying and the race.

The RLR/Andersen crew worked hard to make it to the grid on time so Prendeville could start 11th and not scratch. The start was one of the best ever in Indy Pro Series competition, but Prendeville 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 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 line. He finished all 29 laps for the fans who made donations to Best Friends Animal Society through the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site and at the donation center in the Glen's infield.

Scarallo moved up to 18th on lap two due to Justice's crash. He stayed in that spot until lap eight, when he moved into 17th when Pecorari fell back. He got one more position on the next circuit when Festa hit the wall. Arie Luyendyk Jr. drew up to his rear wing on lap 26, but Scarallo fought him off to take the checkered in 16th.

Prendeville's fastest lap of the race was lap 22 when he was timed in 1:39.2550 for an average speed of 122.231 miles per hour. Scarallo's fastest lap during the race was a 1:40.3119 (120.943 miles per hour) on lap 27 while he was battling Luyendyk.

Saturday and tomorrow's races from Watkins Glen will be shown on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time this coming Thursday, July 12. The next event is coming right up next Saturday, July 14, at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn. The Nashville race will air on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, July 18.

Post-race quotes follow:

Andrew Prendeville: "It was a lot of fun. 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 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. 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."

Joey Scarallo: "We're still working with the car. It was pushing and I messed with the front bar, and it got better. I dipped the front off on the grass once, and after that I softened the bar and that helped. Luyendyk and I had a battle at the end more because he was able to catch me when I dipped the wheel off than anything else. I need to get through the last two corners before the frontstretch better. But the car is in one piece for tomorrow's race, so that's good."

-credit: rlr/ar

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