Moraes Impressive in Indianapolis 500 Debut Indianapolis, Indiana (May 25, 2008) - Dale Coyne Racing driver Mario Moraes may have started the race as a rookie, but he finished it like a veteran. The 19-year old Brazilian drove his ...
Moraes Impressive in Indianapolis 500 Debut
Indianapolis, Indiana (May 25, 2008) - Dale Coyne Racing driver Mario Moraes may have started the race as a rookie, but he finished it like a veteran. The 19-year old Brazilian drove his #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q to an 18th place finish Sunday afternoon in the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Moraes started the day in the 28th position, but was able to work his way up to first place on lap 136 and led three laps in his first Indianapolis 500 race. He was the sixth highest finisher of the 11 rookies that started the race and completed 194 of the 200 laps.
"It was an incredible day for me," said Mario Moraes. "Not many drivers can say they led a lap during the Indianapolis 500 in their very first race. The Sonny's Bar-B-Q team did an outstanding job today giving me a great car and very fast pit stops. I think that I gained a lot of experience today and look forward to going to Milwaukee next weekend."
Bruno Junqueira was able to drive his #18 Z-Line Designs car to a 20th place finish after his right mirror de-laminated and broke off the car on lap eight. That brought out the first of eight caution flags on the day. Junqueira stayed out while most of the teams pitted and led the race on laps 10 & 11. However, he was forced to pit on lap 12 and the team had to mount a new mirror to the side pod.
"I have never had anything like that happen to me before," said Bruno Junqueira. "I don't think I have ever seen anything like this happen either. Teams normally do not have a spare mirror handy since they never come off. Therefore, that slowed the repair process. Other than that, I think that the #19 Z-Line Designs car was great today."
"I am very proud of the performances of both Bruno and Mario today," said team owner Dale Coyne. "Both drivers were each able to lead the race which just shows incredible job the team has done all month long,"