WEST ALLIS, WIS. (Sunday, May 31, 2009) - Mario Romancini earned his first career Firestone Indy Lights victory with a flag-to-flag win in the Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100. Romancini beat series points leader J.R. Hildebrand to the checkered...
WEST ALLIS, WIS. (Sunday, May 31, 2009) - Mario Romancini earned his first career Firestone Indy Lights victory with a flag-to-flag win in the Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100. Romancini beat series points leader J.R. Hildebrand to the checkered flag by 1.0907 seconds. Sebastian Saavedra was third, Gustavo Yacaman fourth and James Davison fifth.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is the first career victory for rookie Mario Romancini. His previous best finish was third at Kansas and Indianapolis.
* Romancini led all 100 laps, his first laps led in the series.
* Romancini is only the second polesitter to win at The Milwaukee Mile. Alex Lloyd won from the pole in 2007.
* This is the second Firestone Indy Lights victory for RLR/Andersen Racing. The team won with J.R. Hildebrand at Kansas in 2008.
* J.R. Hildebrand finished second, his fourth podium finish of the season.
* Hildebrand remains the points leader with a 10-point advantage over Sebastian Saavedra.
* Saavedra finished third, his fourth top-five finish of the season.
* Gustavo Yacaman finished a season-best fifth. His previous best was ninth at St. Petersburg 2 and Long Beach.
* James Davison finished fifth, bettering his previous season-best finish of sixth at Indianapolis.
* Pippa Mann finished ninth, her first top-10 finish.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-RACE QUOTES:
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied/RLR Andersen, first): "I'm so happy to be here. I just have to thank RLR/Andersen Racing. They've done a fantastic job since we've been here. This win means a lot to me and a lot to the guys. It's just my third oval race, and I'm so very, very happy to be this competitive. Now we have two weeks to work and think about the next one in Iowa."
(About the late caution): "I was a bit concerned because every time I started to pull away, the yellow came. We knew we had a good car, so with 10 laps to go, all I had to do was manage the gap."
(About jumping to third in points): "Every track I am getting more and more comfortable. Iowa is the last oval before we go back to the road courses, and I think I'll be strong there so we can keep going for this championship at the end of the year."
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, second): "(Romancini) had a really good car, and he was doing a really good job with it. Having to run behind him the whole race, I started picking up understeer and wearing out the front tires, and I just didn't have anything for him at the end. I think I had just worn out the fronts trying to keep up with him. With the lapped car on that restart, I didn't really have a chance to try to jump him then, so there wasn't much I could do there towards the end. But it was a great finish for the team. I have to thank the boys. They've done a great job all weekend. We've had a good car in qualifying and practice. I'm looking forward to the next one."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., third): "It was close racing for sure. We knew at the beginning there were really strong guys coming into here. I wasn't very lucky during one of the restarts where I lost many positions just because someone spun in front of me. From then on, I just needed to save my tires, stay concentrated and go to the front."
GUSTAVO YACAMAN (No. 44 Crepes & Waffles/Tuvaco/SSM, fourth): "It was a good run for us. My car was very strong at the beginning. I made a pass on the outside of my teammate, Wade Cunningham, on the first lap. I think I got by Saavedra as well. Then, on the next restart, Summerton spun in front of me, and I got by him with no incident. It was a long race after that. I think we did 50 laps or so under green. It was a good run for us. The worst position to finish in is second or fourth. I should be happy, but I'm not. The team did a very good job. I think with a little more experience, I could have done better."
JAMES DAVISON (No. 21 People*s Liberation Vision Racing, fifth): "The one thing I'm most happy about today is our race car. We had a good car that didn't go off, that was able to race with the power teams - the AGR's and Schmidt's. So we've got to be very happy with that. As a result, we got a top-five. I drove the right race, made sure I protected the right rear tires to make sure the tires didn't go loose. Unfortunately, we caught a bit of traffic, two cars side-by-side, there was nowhere to go and unfortunately (Sebastian) Saavedra got a run on me. So we could have potentially had a fourth place, but we've got to be happy with a top-five. We're starting to learn our ropes - all the things that a new team has to (learn) in order to compete at the front of a competitive series like this one."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues June 6 with the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 9 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Iowa 100 on June 20 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 22 by VERSUS. The Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 1 by VERSUS.