Luyendyk and Treadway Racing Finish Eighth at Atlanta Atlanta, GA: After a fairly consistent weekend, the Treadway Racing team had some fun and found some speed this evening at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The ...
Luyendyk and Treadway Racing Finish Eighth at Atlanta
Atlanta, GA: After a fairly consistent weekend, the Treadway Racing team had some fun and found some speed this evening at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #5 Sprint PCS/ RadioShack/QUALCOMM entry recovered quickly from the lack of horsepower experienced just a few weeks ago at the Pike's Peak event, and finished solidly in eighth position in front of a crowd of 61,000 spectators at the Atlanta 500 Classic, Presented by MCI.
Over the weekend, the team had some ghosts to shed as they worked with Luyendyk to "get the feel" of the car and test set-ups. All went well, and with only one motor change for their qualifying effort, the team was satisfied with a starting position from the inside of row five. Luyendyk, a veteran and connoisseur of the larger sweeping ovals, was confident that he could make up field position through orchestrated pit and on-track strategy.
The Treadway Racing G-Force/Aurora/Firestone package operated like the flip sides of coin as the race fell underway. During the first half of the 208-lap event, Luyendyk struggled with a push and had difficulty tracking his way through the turns. The car felt "floaty" and the handling was off, forcing him to give up track position. After their second stop on lap 97, a combination of wing and tire adjustments began to pay off and suddenly, like an alter ego, the #5 car was a racing machine.
It was "catch-up" time and the two-time Indy 500 winner put his foot in it and turned several laps over 222 mph-better than his qualifying run of the previous evening! The Treadway crew began to gain position and worked their way through several yellows flags and on-track excitement into the top ten.
Unfortunately, the team could not make up for time lost in the first half of the race. So, despite blazing speeds and expert handling, the team was only able to reach eighth position before they ran out of time and the checkered flag dropped.
This finish places Luyendyk 11th in the championship points hunt. The team will begin preparations for round ten of the IRL Championship Series at the Texas Motor Speedway next month.
Arie Luyendyk: "In the beginning, the car had a push. It felt like I was just sliding in the turns. We made a few wing adjustments during our pit stops and the car was just transformed. I was suddenly able to run flat out and the car was comfortable. I still had a bit of a push when we ran into traffic, but it was much better. It was a bit disappointing though, I think we had a car that could have won in the end. We just lost too much time at the beginning."