Prendeville Finishes All 100 Laps at Milwaukee, Placing Fourth Sunday With Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 MILWAUKEE, June 1 - Andrew Prendeville, the Las Vegas-based driver of the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5, not only finished all 100...
Prendeville Finishes All 100 Laps at Milwaukee, Placing Fourth Sunday With Best Friends Animal Society No. 5
MILWAUKEE, June 1 - Andrew Prendeville, the Las Vegas-based driver of the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5, not only finished all 100 laps of Sunday's Firestone Indy Lights race at the Milwaukee Mile, he also recorded his best finish of the year when he placed fourth in the 21-car field.
The great showing was a marked contrast to Prendeville's fate here one year ago, when he got caught up in an unavoidable crash on the first lap and didn't finish a single lap.
Finishing laps is important both for Prendeville's hopes in the championship and for his Racing Laps for Best Friends program. Through a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans make donations to the not-for-profit Best Friends Animal Society based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in each of his races. By finishing all the laps of Sunday's race, Prendeville ensured the largest donations possible for Best Friends.
The great finish also vaulted Prendeville to tenth in the championship point standings with 10 of 16 races remaining.
Prendeville started his weekend by qualifying sixth on Saturday. Passing is difficult on the Milwaukee Mile, and patience is as important here as it is when working with the homeless animals that Prendeville's racing program aids.
Raphael Matos got around Prendeville on the first lap right before a full-course yellow waved for an incident in Turn 4 involving the two women in the race, Ana Beatriz and Cyndie Allemann.
The race restarted on lap eight but was immediately slowed again when Marc Williams brushed the Turn 2 wall with his car's right rear. He continued on to pit lane, so that yellow only lasted one lap.
Prendeville was still in seventh when the third and final yellow waved from laps 20 to 29 when Mark Olson hit the inside wall in Turn 4 and slid to a stop on the frontstretch.
The race went green the rest of the way. Prendeville got sixth on the restart by passing Arie Luyendyk Jr. He got fifth when polesitter Pablo Donoso dropped from fourth to sixth on lap 52. He passed James Davison for fourth with 97 laps complete, and then took the checkered behind only race winner Bobby Wilson, runner-up Jeff Simmons and Matos, who placed third.
"The Best Friends Animal Society car was real good today; I have to thank everyone at RLR/Andersen Racing for that," Prendeville said after the race. "I was much faster than a lot of the cars in front of me. I was quicker than one particular driver in front of me most of the race, but he was extremely difficult to pass.
"There at the end, traffic helped me and it hurt everybody else. You learn a lot about how to get through traffic when you're raised in New Jersey," he added with a smile.
"We had a good race car all weekend," he noted. "The car was perfect the whole race. And we finished all 100 laps for the people who made donations to Best Friends on racinglapsforbestfriends.com, so that's good. I definitely want to thank my team and everyone who made donations to Best Friends."
Sunday's race will be broadcast on ESPN2 on June 5 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
The next race is June 21 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. At 115 laps that race has the largest lap count of any race on the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights schedule. Donations for the Iowa race and the nine subsequent races remaining in the 16-race season can be made at any time on racinglapsforbestfriends.com. Per-lap donations can be made in any amount starting at 25 cents.
Tickets for a raffle featuring prizes of sessions at the Bertil Roos Racing School may also be obtained through the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site. Additional information is available at andrewprendeville.com, bestfriends.org, indycar.com/indylights and andersenracingteam.com.
-credit: ap/restart communications