INDIANAPOLIS May 30, 2010--Vitor Meira was headed to the front in the ABC Supply No. 14 car but it was not to be in this year's Indianapolis 500. Meira made a great start going from 30th to 24th on the first lap and by lap 28 he had worked his...
INDIANAPOLIS May 30, 2010--Vitor Meira was headed to the front in the ABC Supply No. 14 car but it was not to be in this year's Indianapolis 500.
Meira made a great start going from 30th to 24th on the first lap and by lap 28 he had worked his way into 17th with some brilliant passes--vintage Vitor. However, when he pitted on lap 36, the left rear tire changer was struck by the left rear tire. Thomas Semik was knocked into the airjack man Randy Baden. Semik rebounded quickly and got the tire on but the gun, hit in the melee, wouldn't work. Going to the spare gun cost more time as the stop was under green. Meira went a lap down.
He explained it saying, "Part of the mishap we had on the first pit stop was that--I had plenty of room to come in because I had a clear pit to come in [before his pit]. But Wheldon [whose pitbox was in front of Meira's] was pitting at the same time, so I wanted to come in and put the car on an angle with the nose pointing out. So instead of having to swerve around Wheldon, I had a straighter shot because this is an advantage coming out. Maybe I was too tight and we will have to look at it and try to improve."
But he didn't give up hope nor did his crew. Meira continued to pass cars and when the opportunity came to get a lap back, Meira stayed out while everyone else pitted on lap 67. The gamble worked for the ABC Supply team as the yellow came out moments after Meira pitted. Quick pit work enabled Meira to be back on track before the pace car came around and he was back on the lead lap!
Once again Meira was passing cars--lapped cars and for position and had moved into 22nd. On lap 106, he was attempting to pass Simona De Silvestro going through turn one when his car got in the marbles on the inside of the short chute and the car wouldn't turn in turn two.
"I went to the inside of Simona and she saw me and she even got into the marbles on the outside a little bit because she knew I was coming to pass her," Meira explained. "She didn't do anything wrong. She got loose, she lifted, I went low to the inside to avoid her but there were a lot of marbles there and as soon as I went to turn in at turn two, I had no grip and slid up to the wall and pancaked the right side. I should have known better. The car was good, I was passing cars. It was a shame for the ABC guys, everybody was here. It was not the ending we were hoping for."
The impact broke the right side suspension. Meira ended up 27th.
Dario Franchitti won the race after dominating it for most of the day. He conserved fuel in the closing laps and a spectacular accident on the final lap involving Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay saw the race finish under yellow. Conway's car got airborne, hit the catchfence and landed upside down between turns three and four. Conway was taken to Methodist Hospital with a possible leg injury. Ryan Hunter-Reay was cleared at the infield medical center.
Dan Wheldon finished second for the second straight year. Third through fifth across the line were Alex Lloyd, Scott Dixon and Danica Patrick.
The team will make a quick turnaround and head to their home state of Texas to compete in the Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.