HVM RACING'S E.J. VISO SUFFERS MECHANICAL AFTER STRONG RUN AT INDY Indianapolis, IN (May 25, 2008) - It was a day of mixed emotions for the HVM Racing squad and E.J. Viso at the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Despite starting 26th out of...
HVM RACING'S E.J. VISO SUFFERS MECHANICAL AFTER STRONG RUN AT INDY
Indianapolis, IN (May 25, 2008) - It was a day of mixed emotions for the HVM Racing squad and E.J. Viso at the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Despite starting 26th out of the 33 cars making up the grid, he drove consistently and progressively made his way closer to the front of the field, running 11th place. Unfortunately for E.J. and the team, there was a mechanical issue within the gearbox, which caused it to stick in 3rd gear. This problem was addressed in the pit lane and determined that it could not be repaired and on lap 139 E.J. was forced to return to the garage, ending his day.
The day started out in a positive manner, as E.J. had a clean start and after settling in and getting comfortable with the car he moved up six positions by lap 20. He executed perfect re-starts after the various caution periods including moving from 23rd to 17th in a single lap. The gearbox started to give E.J. problems around lap 45 under yellow, but under green conditions the temperatures and rpms were high enough that it worked properly. Good pit stops and bold on-track passes saw E.J. move all the way up to the 11th position on lap 84, which was the highest of the day. At the halfway point in the race, he was the 3rd Rookie and the outlook was looking good for a top-ten finish. His car was working very well in traffic and he was able to drive around cars as the race progressed. On lap 135 E.J. made his final pit stop of the day under another caution period and his car became stuck in 3rd gear upon joining the field in the 13th position. He pulled into the pits to assess the problem and it was then determined that it could not be repaired from the pit-lane. His eventual classification was 26th.
Despite not running at the finish of his first Indy 500, E.J. once again showed that he has the speed to run in the top half of the field and as the season progresses, he and the HVM Racing team will only continue to improve. After joining the newly re-unified open-wheel series at such a late date, they are just now getting up to speed and slowly catching up to the veteran IndyCar teams who have experience with the Dallara chassis and the speedway circuits.
After a long month at Indy, E.J. and the entire HVM Racing crew are heading to Milwaukee next weekend so there will be no rest for the weary.
"I am very happy with the improvement of the car. We had a good strategy and we were saving a lot of fuel and it could have paid off in the end. We only had one stop left and we could have been a surprise and ended up at the front. The car was great; it was quick, and I really liked the work the guys did in the pits. About the problem we had with the gearbox: well, this is racing but hopefully it doesn't happen again. I think all in all we had a good month and improved a lot. It's not how we wanted to end it but there is no time to relax in this Series, it's full steam ahead for quite some time to come and we're on to Milwaukee next weekend."
Keith Wiggins, Team Owner:
"I really felt we had a shot at a top 10 result today. The car was consistently fast and E.J. was doing a great job. To end it like this is both frustrating and unsatisfactory for me."