Baguette continues to impress for Conquest Racing - Scheckter victim of early incident - Joliet, IL (August 29, 2010) - Conquest Racing's Bertrand Baguette continued his season-long progression Saturday night placing 12th at Chicagoland Speedway...
Baguette continues to impress for Conquest Racing
- Scheckter victim of early incident -
Joliet, IL (August 29, 2010) - Conquest Racing's Bertrand Baguette continued his season-long progression Saturday night placing 12th at Chicagoland Speedway while Tomas Scheckter had a short-lived debut with his new team at the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.
Baguette was taking part in only his fifth oval race of his career, but you wouldn't have thought that when watching him battle for a place in the top 10 in the final laps of the 200-lap event.
Starting 20th, Baguette set his sights on moving forward, and that's exactly what he did. The rookie would never go any lower than his starting position throughout the race.
While the Belgian maintained his position at the start, it was only a few laps later that he had made it up to 15th by the time the first caution came out on lap five. Sadly, it was a caution for his new teammate.
Tomas Scheckter was taking part in his first race with Conquest Racing and things were off to a solid start. The driver of the #36 machine immediately gained four spots from his 17th place on the grid on the first lap and had made it to 12th on lap two.
Unfortunately for the South African, that was as far up as he would go, falling victim to a hit from behind that sent him spinning and into the wall.
On lap five, Scheckter had to lift off the accelerator to avoid the car of Will Power that was in difficulty ahead of him. The slight deceleration caused Alex Lloyd to hit into the back of Scheckter, consequently abruptly ending his first race with Conquest Racing.
When green flag racing resumed on lap 14, Baguette had moved into 13th place and kept on battling with the cars around him, running as high as 11th before the final caution period came out with 30 laps remaining.
The race resumed with 23 laps to go and Baguette found himself amidst the pack of cars aiming for a spot in the top five and fighting with the likes of Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon.
With the positions changing from one corner to the next, Baguette was able to get as high as eighth with seven laps to go. But then, with a fierce battle on track, the Belgian was forced to slow down a little when he was pushed towards the white line three laps from the end, causing him to lose his momentum.
Without enough time to get back up to speed, what could have been a potential top five finish turned into a 12th place finish for Baguette who was still satisfied with his day. The result was his best oval finish of the season.
Baguette will be able to continue honing his oval skills next weekend as the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the Kentucky Indy 300, September 3 - 4, 2010.
Conquest Racing Quoteboard
12th - Bertrand Baguette #34 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone "I was a little worried heading into the race because of the way the car was handling itself in the final warm up on Friday. But the team did a great job in making some changes and I had a really good car for the race. "I was able to drive on the high line and the low line and I was really comfortable driving in the pack. In the first part of the race I was waiting a bit and staying out of trouble, and then with about 25 laps left they told me to push. I made it up to eighth at one point but then a car pushed me towards the white line with about three laps to go and I had to check up a bit. That cost me all my momentum and I couldn't get it back because there was not enough time left. "Overall, It was a really good, encouraging race. It was great to be fighting with the Ganassi, Penske and Andretti cars."
28th - Tomas Scheckter #36 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone "I really enjoyed working with everyone at Conquest Racing. Everything went very well with the team. We had a good car in the final practice and after making a few tweaks I was very confident heading into the race. "I was able to move up quite a few positions at the start but that was about it. I had just got around (Scott) Dixon when Will Power who was in front of me went a little sideways. I had to lift a bit and then got hit from the back. "I'm upset because it was so early in the race. However, overall, I'm obviously disappointed with the result but I was happy to be working with Conquest and I hope to be working with them again soon."
-source: conquest racing