Bad Sunday race for Andretti Autosport team at Sonoma

Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing Chevrolet, No. 17 finished Sunday race in the 15th position, after starting 23rd. This marked his second IZOD IndyCar Series start of the 2012 season.

"I am very happy to bring the No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport car home. It was a great experience throughout the whole weekend. We were pretty quick all around and I felt very comfortable competing with the big guys. I really want to thank Gary (Peterson) and Michael (Andretti) for this great opportunity.

It was great working with Ryan, Marco and Hinch (teammates Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Hinchcliffe) throughout the weekend. I am looking forward to the next time that we will all be on the track together. It was a learning experience not only for me, but for my engineers also. We have been learning a lot and want to keep that process very steep."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28, fought forward from his seventh-place starting spot into third place on a late restart when Alex Tagliani hit Hunter-Reay from behind, spinning the No. 28 car and causing him to drop a lap down.

An extremely frustrated Hunter-Reay finished 18th. Unofficially, he remains second in the point standings with two races to go, 36 points behind leader Will Power. Hunter-Reay did record the quickest lap of the race.

"I drove SO hard all day, pushed SO hard to get from seventh to third, I can't even tell you how hard I drove just to hold-off cars that were quicker at times, just to put us in the position to challenge for a win. We had a great car at the end, and... then it was the usual Tag (Tagliani). He just got in there, locked up the brakes and got into the back of me. I can't tell you how frustrated I am after the engine problems last (race, at Mid-Ohio), and then this. We had a podium (finish). I can't get over it right now. It's unreal."

Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26, fought his way into the top-10 after starting 12th in today's race. He was forced to retire when the car suffered engine difficulties, and finished 25th.

"We had been fighting hard to get by (Graham) Rahal, and I lost part of the (right) front wing, but it seemed like we were still able to turn some decent lap times. We had an extra set of (Firestone) Red (tires), so we were able to catch the pack of cars in front us but it was tough to get around guys.

We made a pit stop (on lap 42), and then the temperatures started to go all over the place and the guys told me to come in immediately. Because it happened in the race, we won't have a penalty in Baltimore (next weekend)."

James Hinchcliffe, Team Chevrolet, No. 27, started today's race from the 10th position and will score a 26th-place finish after on-track contact with Oriol Servia (No. 22) resulted in a broken oil line, retiring the No. 27 Go Daddy Chevy on Lap 35.

"We've been slow since day one - since the first session. On the start I got into Simon (Pagenaud), he got held up - or I guess caught up - in Turn 7 there; hit him. We kind of were just settling into it; put a new wing on that first stop and then the car just went wicked lose. The low speed grip was just non-existent. So I had a train of cars behind me and Oriol (Servia) got in to the back of me.

It wasn't intentional - I was hanging on for dear life and I just literally had to slow the car down that much to make the corner. When he hit me I think it knocked an oil line off and that just did the engine in. It's just bad to worse, there's nothing else that could have worked against us this weekend, but we'll but it behind us and try to move on to Baltimore and come back stronger."

Source: Andretti Autosport

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Marco Andretti , Will Power , James Hinchcliffe , Sebastian Saavedra
Teams Andretti Autosport
Article type Race report
Tags andretti, chevrolet, hunter-reay, indycar, izod, marco andretti, saavedra, sonoma