Indy 500: CGR/Sam Schmidt Motorsports race report

AFTER FALLING A LAP DOWN EARLY, PINK LLOYD FIGHTS BACK AND BRINGS HER CAR HOME 13TH AT INDY 500 INDIANAPOLIS - After several weeks of anticipation, Alex "Pink" Lloyd and the ...


INDIANAPOLIS - After several weeks of anticipation, Alex "Pink" Lloyd and the #99 HER Energy CGR/SSM Racing team took part in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, and after battling back from falling a lap down early, Lloyd finished the day in 13th position.

The race was won by Helio Castroneves.

The day started off as a struggle when on Lap 7, Lloyd was forced by series officials to pit to remove the rear rain light which was no longer fully secured to the car. He fell a lap down due to the ill-timed stop.

>From there, he had to spend the first half of the race trying to get back onto the lead lap. Just after halfway, he was able to get back onto the lead lap in 22nd position with pit strategy and timely yellows.

With attrition and patience, Lloyd was able to move into his eventual finishing position of 13th. As closely matched as all the cars were, passing proved to be very difficult, unless the driver ahead had made a mistake. Lloyd soldiered on and maximized every situation presented to him.

The other drama of the day was Lloyd's pregnant wife Samantha, who during the race was experiencing mild contractions. Her contractions were about ten minutes apart, and as word spread, emergency personnel was camped near the HER Energy pit to service Lloyd should the need have arisen.

Doctors had warned her that race day could be the birth day for the Lloyd's second child, but as of this writing, the baby was still in Mrs. Lloyd's womb.

From here, the team returns to its race shop to prepare four Firestone Indy Lights machines for this upcoming weekend's race in Milwaukee.

For the Lloyds, it's a potential trip to the doctor, and maybe, the delivery room.

#99 HER Energy CGR/SSM RACING Honda Dallara Driver Alex Lloyd

Finished 13th in 2009 Indianapolis 500.
Qualified in the 11th spot on Pole Day with an average speed of 222.622 mph.
Indianapolis 500 marked first IndyCar race of 2009, second overall in career.
Firestone Indy Lights Champion (2007).
First driver to win on both the road course and oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

On race: "I think we were a little bit disappointed just because we had a car capable of running at the front. We had our rear rain light fall off at the beginning of the race, literally right at the beginning, and we were forced to pit under green flag conditions, which just really hurt us because we fell a lap down right at the beginning. We came back out of that a lap down, but right with the lead group and we were able to hang with the quick guys all day long. When we had to go to the back of the pack when we got our lap back, suddenly you're running two to three miles per hour slower. The ride heights, the downforce, everything is different than what we anticipated running. You just get stuck there. It wasn't just me. It wasn't just me. There were a number of cars with similar issues. So, you know, we kind of fought our way back. Everyone at the team did a great job. We had a car that was capable of running right at the front. The circumstances just didn't work out for us today, which is a shame because we were strong, but we brought it home okay. We salvaged something out of the day considering we went to 33rd or something as soon as the race basically started. So, we should have been a solid top 10, but 13th was the best we could do today.

On baby worries: "I had no idea (Samantha was having contractions). I hadn't even thought about it during the race because there's so much going on. As soon as I saw her I was like, 'Okay, that's good.' But it's still, I mean, when she told me she was having contractions at 1:40pm every ten minutes apart, I'm thinking 'uh oh.' Ya know, traffic is notoriously bad at getting out of this track. So, we might not be too far away. But it's great. I'm glad that I'm done now and I can be there 100% because it's been tough the past week knowing a baby could come at any point because you've got your commitments somewhere else. So, it's nice that I can 100% commit to that now. Like I said, we salvaged a decent day and, you never know, we may have a baby again tonight. So, yeah, it should be a good day."

Team Owner, Sam Schmidt
"I think to bring us in with what went wrong on the car under green was just completely bogus. We clearly had a top six or seven car all day long and the league single-handedly put us in 13th and actually could have put us in the wall a few times because it was nasty back there. It is what it is and Alex did a great job especially in that amount of traffic to keep it under him and progress as we could. We had to just be patient and wait for an opportunity to get our lap back and we never got lucky with that either. But the guys were always consistent; spot on on the pit stops. I thought we called as good a race as we could have because, even when we were second guessing ourselves, we looked at what would have happened, and it wouldn't have helped us. We just battled back as much as we could and we'll have to take it. At least it's one piece."

Samantha Lloyd, Alex's Wife
"There was no way I was leaving. You were not getting me out of there unless they (the contractions) got closer. So, I had to see the end of the race. They're getting stronger. So, I'd say this is probably it because normally, if they're like false contractions, you can move about and they'll go. But these ones have just been constant and getting stronger as I've been going. So, we'll see."

-credit: cgr/ssm

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Sam Schmidt , Alex Lloyd