Treadway Racing and Arie Luyendyk Finish 9th in Pep Boys 400K Dover, DE: The Treadway Racing team with Arie Luyendyk at the helm of the ...
Treadway Racing and Arie Luyendyk Finish 9th in Pep Boys 400K
Dover, DE: The Treadway Racing team with Arie Luyendyk at the helm of the #5 Sprint PCS/Radioshack/QUALCOMM entry raced hard through the debris of an attrition laden race, only to succumb to the high-banked walls of the Dover Downs International Speedway with only 44 laps to go. Despite a surprising spin at the end of the Pep Boys 400K, Luyendyk and the Treadway team finished 9th in the battle for survival on Delaware's "Monster Mile."
The daunting one-mile oval became a survival of the fittest for the Indy Racing League cars as they took to the track earlier this afternoon. Safety Crews were given a strong workout as they climbed the steep banks to rescue and assist many of the drivers in this inaugural event. The numerous amounts of yellow flags contradicted the blazing lap times set by the field leaders.
A strong race veteran-Luyendyk held his own throughout the day and avoided collision. However, due to the copious amounts of debris, the Treadway Racing crew ran through several sets of tires, and was forced into quick changes under the yellows. The initial race strategy consisted of conservative thinking on the part of Luyendyk. That, however, was quickly discarded as the #5 G-Force/Aurora/Firestone car moved up three positions within the first 10 laps of the race.
That set the pace for Treadway Racing, and the driver and crew drove a hard, strong and fast race. Early on, Luyendyk determined that it was going to be "a race for survival," so the crew settled in for a long battle.
Approximately half way through the race (after their third pit stop) Luyendyk began to notice a slight vibration which became a slight cause for concern. "I felt something and decided it was best to slow down a bit and check it out," the Dutch native said. "Unfortunately, it allowed (Scott) Sharp to catch up to me and almost put me a lap down." The gremlin proved curable, however, and Luyendyk settled back into the racing groove.
On lap 192, there were only three cars left on the lead lap, Scott Sharp, Buddy Lazier and Arie Luyendyk. Race strategy came into play, and Luyendyk came into the pits for his final pit stop on lap 196 under yellow. With new tires and a full fuel load, the team calculated that it would last until the finish. The field went green and catastrophe hit the Treadway team. On lap 203, between turns three and four, the #5 car suddenly spun and hit the outside wall.
Luyendyk, who exited the car on his own power, suffered only minor bruises and scrapes, but was bewildered by the cause. "The reason why we spun is still a mystery," he said. "The car was really great. I was ready to make a charge for the front, but it just let go. It was a shame." The incident left the team with a 9th place finish.
The next stop on the Indy Racing League circuit will be the VisionAire 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend-July 25th at 9:00 p.m. (EDT)