Prendeville Finishes All 77 Laps At Nashville Saturday For Racing Laps for Best Friends LEBANON, Tenn., July 12 - Neither a thunderstorm, a green race track nor a loose race car could keep Andrew Prendeville from finishing ninth in the ...
Prendeville Finishes All 77 Laps At Nashville Saturday For Racing Laps for Best Friends
LEBANON, Tenn., July 12 - Neither a thunderstorm, a green race track nor a loose race car could keep Andrew Prendeville from finishing ninth in the Sunbelt Rentals 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway in the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5.
With the solid showing he completed all 77 laps of the race, guaranteeing the most donations possible to Best Friends from the fans that made per-lap donations based on his performance at racinglapsforbestfriends.com.
The race was delayed an hour and 45 minutes due to a thunderstorm. With the IndyCar race following on the schedule, compete with live TV, Prendeville's race became a timed event of 45 minutes or 77 laps, whichever came first.
Luckily for the not-for-profit animal welfare group there were only two caution periods in the race, and all 77 laps were completed.
The storm erased all the Firestone Firehawk rubber that had been laid down on the 1.33-mile concrete oval in practice and qualifying, making for a green track. Although it was easy to spin without that rubber, Prendeville stayed out of trouble throughout the race.
Prendeville, a native of Chatham Township, N.J., started 12th, but he zoomed into the top 10 by the end of lap one. Franck Perera passed him with six laps down to push him to 11th place, but he got tenth back on lap 14 when Dillon Battistini pitted with a flat tire. That put Prendeville right behind Brent Sherman, whom he passed on lap 17 for ninth place.
He got eighth when Jeff Simmons pitted for a new nose cone, and then stayed in that spot for the next 21 circuits. He moved up to seventh on lap 45 when James Davison dropped out after contact with Jonny Reid.
The restart on lap 53 didn't go well for Prendeville. He dropped one spot initially, but then got caught by a train of cars and slipped back to 11th. He regrouped at the end though, passing Sherman for tenth with five laps to go and getting by Pablo Donoso on the last lap for ninth place.
"The Best Friends Animal Society car was real loose at the beginning of the race," Prendeville said afterwards. "I made adjustments, and just tried to balance the car for the second half of the race.
"I lost some positions there once when I was hung out to dry on a restart," he noted. "I was on the outside, and I just got passed. But then we were able to regroup, and we finished ninth.
"Will [Paul] and Seb [Jubelin, his mechanics] did a great job, as always," he said. "I'd also like to thank everyone who made donations to Best Friends on racinglapsforbestfriends.com. We were able to finish all 77 laps, which is good."
-credit: ap/restart communications