GLADEVILLE, Tenn., Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Ana Beatriz became the first female driver to win in the Firestone Indy Lights, winning the Sunbelt Rentals 100. Beatriz, who started second, passed Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate and polesitter James...
GLADEVILLE, Tenn., Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Ana Beatriz became the first female driver to win in the Firestone Indy Lights, winning the Sunbelt Rentals 100. Beatriz, who started second, passed Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate and polesitter James Davison on Lap 33 and led the rest of the way. Bobby Wilson finished second with Arie Luyendyk Jr., third.
SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is the first career victory for Ana Beatriz. She is the first woman to win a Firestone Indy Lights race. Four other women have competed in Firestone Indy Lights events (Mishael Abbott, Sarah McCune, Veronica McCann and Cyndie Allemann). Beatriz' previous best finish was third three times this season.
* This is the 25th win for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, including its third this season. Richard Antinucci won at St. Petersburg 2 and Watkins Glen 2.
* This is the fourth victory for Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Nashville. The team won with Thiago Medeiros in 2004, Jaime Camara in 2005 and Alex Lloyd in 2006.
* Bobby Wilson finished second, his second top-five finish of the season. He won at Milwaukee in June.
* Arie Luyendyk Jr. finished third, his third podium finish of the season. He finished second at Iowa and third at Kansas.
* J.R. Hildebrand finished fourth, his fifth top-five finish of the season.
* Raphael Matos finished fifth, his fifth top-five finish of the season.
SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished first): "I just can't be more thankful for Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports for bringing me to the U.S. I thought I would win at St. Pete, we were almost there. It's hard work. I'm with the best team and they have so much information on oval. I won my first race on an oval. It's amazing."
BOBBY WILSON (No. 17 Team E Patriot Bank, second): "We've gone into a drought of just finishing for three races in a row, so I'll take a second place. You can't taste the sweet without tasting the sour. I'm happy for Team E. Neil Enerson has given us all of the tools to put together a good program and put a good car on the track."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., third): "It was a tough race. It was really hot out. I don't think I took a breath in the last 20 laps trying to catch Bobby (Wilson) and Ana (Beatriz). The car was awesome in clean air. We had the quickest car, but once we got close to anybody else, it was pretty tough out there."
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 25 Allied Building Products, fourth): (About rain delay) "You're going into that kind of race with no idea of what to expect. We ended up with a pretty stable car, which is what you need. We were really fighting the tires at the end, and that's why I really couldn't make a run at it. It's a great result for a team. We sort of lost the plot the last few weekends and dropped back in the points. While we didn't make much up with the guys immediately around us, back up with the points leaders we made up a ton here."
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance July 20 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Mid-Ohio 100 doubleheader on July 19-20 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The races will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 24 on ESPN2. The Sunbelt Rentals 100 will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 17 on ESPN2 and live on www.indycar.com.