Iowa: Scott Speed race report

Another Top-10 for Speed; Leaves Iowa Top-10 in Points SALEM, Ind. (April 20, 2008) -- Scott Speed once again showed that consistency and patience does indeed pay off in the end. With practice and qualifying cancelled due to rain, the field...

Another Top-10 for Speed; Leaves Iowa Top-10 in Points

SALEM, Ind. (April 20, 2008) -- Scott Speed once again showed that consistency and patience does indeed pay off in the end. With practice and qualifying cancelled due to rain, the field lined up according to the 2007 Owner's Points for the Prairie Meadows 250 at Iowa Speedway. Under dreary skies, the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota started on the outside pole for the Saturday afternoon event. Running a solid race and leading 28 laps, Scott Speed took the checkered flag in the 6th position and left Iowa 'unofficially' in the top-10 in ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points.

"It was a good race all around," said Speed. "Our car's handling by itself was definitely good enough to get us into Top-5. By the end of the race, we were the one of the fastest cars out there."

Speed started the race at the front of the pack and remained there, never falling lower than the tenth position, for 250 laps. Typically found hovering in the top-5, Speed was often clocking the fastest lap times on the track.

On lap 73, the caution flag flew and the Red Bull Toyota came down pit road. The over-the-wall crew put on four tires, added fuel, and made adjustments to correct the car's tight condition. Working with precision and expertise, the crew ripped off an excellent stop and put Speed back on track on the first position. Speed retained the lead for 28 laps.

During the caution at lap 134, Speed reported to his team "For most of the run my car is really quite balanced. But when I get to the end of the run, the car is pretty tight, especially in traffic."

On lap 162, another caution was brought out. When pit road opened, the No. 2 came down for service. An issue with the gas can required the Red Bull Toyota to make a second trip down pit road to have the fuel topped off. When the field restarted on lap 167, Speed was in the tenth position but on the lead lap.

With 45 laps remaining, the caution came out again. Speed came down pit road one final time for four tires, fuel, and no adjustments. Speed completed the race in the sixth position.

"We struggled with brakes today," commented Speed. "When we got in traffic and we started racing around, we needed to get the car pinned down. It was a little tight at those times. We struggled with that a lot. That was the only car problem we had other than that, everything was good. The engine ran well. We were good to go. It was a really fast car."

Speed added, "my pit crew had some really great stops throughout the race that helped us gain significant track positions. Unfortunately, there was one pit stop where we had an issue with the fuel can and lost a few track positions. But, overall the guys did a great job and I'm really proud of them."

When asked what lesson he was taking away with him from Iowa Speedway, Speed replied "For us open-wheel guys, the concept of running on the outside or in a middle groove, instead of always on the bottom is a little weird. That's been one of the most difficult things for me to get comfortable with in these cars."

Crew Chief Patrick Donahue was also satisfied with the day. "We should have finished third, instead we finished sixth," Donahue commented. "But the car is in one piece, we led again, legitimately, for 28 laps, so I'm happy about that. We are the only car to lead all three races. We didn't get a top-5, but he [Speed] learned a lot. The result isn't what we wanted, we should have finished higher, but I think we climbed into the top-10 in points, so we're positioning ourselves where we want to be early here in the season."

Speed and his No. 2 Red Bull Toyota team leave Iowa having 'unofficially' climbed four positions to eighth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings.

-credit: esr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Scott Speed