JUNQUEIRA IMPROVES 17 SPOTS FOR A SEVENTH PLACE FINISH BELLE ISLE, Mich. (August 31, 2008) - The Dale Coyne Racing team showed how hard work could pay off Sunday afternoon. The crew spent 250 man-hours repairing the No. 18 Z-Line Designs car to...
JUNQUEIRA IMPROVES 17 SPOTS FOR A SEVENTH PLACE FINISH
BELLE ISLE, Mich. (August 31, 2008) - The Dale Coyne Racing team showed how hard work could pay off Sunday afternoon. The crew spent 250 man-hours repairing the No. 18 Z-Line Designs car to get Bruno Junqueira into the race after he made heavy contact with the wall coming out of turn seven during qualifying Saturday afternoon. That accident in qualifying caused Junqueira to lose his fastest time and relegated the talented Brazilian to the 24th starting spot after running strong enough to qualify fourth.
The team members stayed until 4 a.m. getting the car ready and a couple of the crew stayed the entire night without getting a minute of sleep.
All that hard work paid off Sunday as Junqueira drove all the way from 24th on the starting grid to a seventh place finish in the Detroit Indy Grand Prix on the 2.906-mile street course at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
"I have to give a big "Thank You" to all my team for rebuilding the car and allowing me to race today," said Junqueira. "They worked late into the morning and I am happy that I could reward them with a seventh place finish today. We gained 17 positions, which ended up being the most in the race."
He posted the ninth-fastest speed in the 30-minute Sunday morning practice session and reached as high as fourth position during the race.
"It was a great day for the No. 18 Z-Line Designs car," Junqueira commented. "If the last yellow flag did not come out we more than likely would have been able to gain two more positions because two cars ahead of me would have had to pit for fuel to make it to the end of the race. The car was really good today and the teams pit strategy was excellent placing me in good positions on the track."
Mario Moraes had a great run going and seemed headed for another top 10 finish until lap 66 when Moraes' brakes locked and sent the No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q/Sun-Rich Gourmet car into the run off area in turn seven, which put him a lap down. The 19-year-old rookie settled for a 15th place finish after starting the race in the 19th position.
"The brakes locked on me and I had nowhere to go," said Moraes. "It is too bad that happened because we had a top 10 car for sure today."
Moraes ran as high as fifth place today before the lap 66 incident.