IRL: Fontana: Fernandez Racing race report

Yasukawa takes seventh at California Speedway Roger Yasukawa parlayed a consistent run aboard the ...

Yasukawa takes seventh at California Speedway

Roger Yasukawa parlayed a consistent run aboard the #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone into a seventh-place finish in the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway this afternoon. Yasukawa, who was the last finisher on the lead lap, lost touch with the frontrunners on his third pit stop due to a refueling equipment problem.

Yasukawa's result today equals his career-best finish in IRL IndyCar Series competition [Kansas City] and is his seventh top-10 finish of the season. He has now closed to within 10 points of the top 10 in the championship standings. Yasukawa maintains his lead in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year challenge with a four-point advantage over fellow Honda driver Dan Wheldon.

The IndyCar Series Championship as well as the Bombardier Rookie of the Year will be decided in three weeks with the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on October 12.

Roger Yasukawa, Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"My car, in general, was okay when I was running by myself but we struggled a little bit in traffic. I think overall we had a seventh-place finishing car and we accomplished what we could have today. From the Rookie of the Year standpoint, Dan [Wheldon] is catching up to me and it is going to go down to the last race. I am going into Texas ahead so I am not so much under pressure but I just need to do my own job and try to finish ahead of him. Whoever finishes higher will probably win it, which should be the way. Overall, I'm happy with our weekend in Fontana and it was great to have the hometown crowd here."

FAST FACTS:

This was his 15th IRL IndyCar Series start-- leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings-- sits 11th in the championship with 281 points-- best IRL career start to date was ninth at Gateway International Raceway-- best IRL career finish to date was seventh at Fontana today and also Kansas Speedway-- twenty-five years old from Los Angeles-- began his career at the age of 12 in karts, competing in both the U.S. and Italy before moving up the racing ladder through Formula Vauxhall Junior and Formula Palmer Audi in England, and Formula Dodge competition in the United States-- entered the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the age of 21, earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors-- competed in the Atlantic series last year, claiming a win at Milwaukee and two additional podium finishes in a partial season of competition-- resides in West Hollywood, California.

Tom Anderson, Managing Director:

"The Panasonic ARTA car had a good run today. We were slow on our third [pit] stop with the fueling and it wasn't a result of the plug in because David [Janquart, fueler] hit it quick but it just wouldn't close. I don't really like these IRL-supplied fuel tanks that we are required to use at long distance races, and I think we need to go back to look at our flow system to see if we can't help that a little bit because somehow we are at a disadvantage on that with these bigger tanks. We have to revisit our technical system on our refueling, but the guys all did a good job and I was happy with the tire changes. Roger did a great job. It was plenty hot at 103 degrees (F) -- very hot out there for the boys. We ran the oil temperature pretty hot on that Honda and it lived all day long so we are pleased with that. We also never had any problems with the Firestone tires. They stayed consistent and they were better today than I thought they would be, so hats off to them."

-fr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa , Tom Anderson