Kansas: Andrew Prendeville race notes

Prendeville Finishes Ninth Sunday at Kansas Speedway KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 26 - In a Firestone Indy Lights race that left several cars badly damaged after four multi-car accidents, Andrew Prendeville brought Team Moore Racing's Xtreme Coil ...

Prendeville Finishes Ninth Sunday at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 26 - In a Firestone Indy Lights race that left several cars badly damaged after four multi-car accidents, Andrew Prendeville brought Team Moore Racing's Xtreme Coil Drilling No. 2 home not only in one piece, but also in ninth place Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway.

The solid top-10 finish came in a race when the 24 drivers entered not only battled each other but also Mother Nature. A stiff 20-miles-per-hour wind that increased even more in Turns 3 and 4 of the 1.52-mile trioval, plus a green race track due to a thunderstorm Saturday night, added to the usual challenges of close competition that are intrinsic to oval-track racing.

Although no rain fell during the race, the series officials pushed the starting time up two hours due to a weather forecast that predicted heavy rain.

Prendeville, of Henderson, Nev., took it all in stride and stayed patient even though there were five cautions for 33 laps of the 67-lap/100-mile race.

The New Jersey native started tenth in the event, called the Kansas Lottery 100, but dropped back two spots on a restart on lap 10. Pablo Donoso passed him on lap 11 to push him to 13th, but he got Donoso back on lap 13 to regain 12th right before Ali Jackson, Rodrigo Barbosa and Sergey Mokshantsev crashed in Turn 4 on lap 14.

Donoso repassed him on the restart on lap 24 to push him back to 13th, and then Dillon Battistini got by too on the following lap during the fierce competition. Gustavo Yacaman spun in Turn 4 on lap 29 to advance Prendeville back to 13th. He was quickly back to 12th though after Charlie Kimball ran into problems after setting the fastest lap of the race.

During that portion of the race Prendeville had a nice battle with the driver who now leads the point standings, Jonathan Summerton.

Donoso crashed on lap 33 to advance Prendeville to 11th. Prendeville and Summerton both passed Pippa Mann on the restart following Donoso's crash, which moved Prendeville back into the top 10. Summerton got around Prendeville on lap 43 to push him back to 11th. J.R. Hildebrand then dropped back due to a cut tire and Prendeville passed Battistini on lap 45 to move up to ninth. Battistini and Mann crashed in Turn 4 13 laps later to bring out the fifth and final caution, and the event ended under that yellow.

"The Xtreme Coil Drilling car was very good and the track was fine," Prendeville said afterwards. "We were getting 30-plus mile per hour crosswinds in Turns 3 and 4, which pushed the cars up the track. It was just like Homestead in '07. I anticipated that would be the case, so I refused to go on the outside of anybody in 3 and 4. My car was good enough to handle it, but some other people's cars weren't. I was very selective about where to pass people because of the wind.

"Our car was very good in long runs, but unfortunately we didn't have many long runs today," he added.

"We had some small gremlins in qualifying, but it's a good finish," he summarized. "We picked up some positions in the points. We have a good oval car and a good road-course car. Like [team owner] Mark Moore said, we need to have an issue-free weekend, and then we'll be right there."

VERSUS's coverage of the race is slated for 4 p.m. Eastern on Monday.

Prendeville will now prepare for the series' biggest race of the year, the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 22, by testing at IMS on Tuesday, May 5.

More information on the series is available on the Internet at indycar.com/pro. Addition information is offered at andrewprendeville.com and teammooreracing.com.

-credit: restart communications

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Series INDYLIGHTS