GOODYEAR DRIVERS CONTINUE TO LEAD IRL POINTS CHASE Davey Hamilton was the top finishing Goodyear car in Sunday's Radisson 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Hamilton brought the Galles Racing Spinal Conquest entry in third behind Greg Ray...
GOODYEAR DRIVERS CONTINUE TO LEAD IRL POINTS CHASE
Davey Hamilton was the top finishing Goodyear car in Sunday's Radisson 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Hamilton brought the Galles Racing Spinal Conquest entry in third behind Greg Ray and Sam Schmidt. Eddie Cheever and Buddy Lazier finished fourth and fifth in today's race, while Kenny Brack, Scott Sharp, Jeff Ward and Jaques Lazier finished in seventh through 10th, respectively.
Hamilton started from ninth and worked his way steadily forward throughout the day. He received a major boost before his first pit stop when a caution came out, allowing the Galles team to pit under yellow. The winners of the Indianapolis pit stop competition put their driver into third place when the stops were over.
"This is our best finish of the year," Hamilton said. "We're climbing up the ladder and we're looking for that first win. The Spinal Conquest guys worked hard all day and we were in good shape all day until the final stop, when we lost our clutch. We stalled it coming out of the pits and under green flag racing, that hurt us.
"I don't know if I had enough to challenge for the win after that, so we took it pretty conservative and we brought it home for a good third-place finish. The Goodyear tires were pretty consistent all day and had good grip throughout the day."
Cheever and Buddy Lazier had two of the fastest cars on the track all day long, but both suffered frustrating pit stops. Cheever had jumped from an 11th-place starting position to third when he was forced to pit early due to a fuel pickup problem. He lost a lap when the yellow came out.
Lazier was in the top five for much of the day as well, but lost time when he ran out of fuel just prior to his final pit stop. Both drivers were able to push their way past leader Greg Ray on the final restart and unlap themselves.
"I think we had a car that was capable of winning, certainly a podium finish, but we pushed it too hard and ran out of fuel, then lost more time trying to get the car refired," Lazier said. "Without that we would have been pretty tough at the end of the race. It's frustrating, but there's not much we can do other than to learn from this and go forward. The Goodyear tires worked very well for us; you can't ask for anything more than the fact we had a car that was capable of winning."
With a 12th-place finish, Scott Goodyear continues to lead the Indy Racing League standings with 164 points, followed by Ward with 149 points. Other Goodyear drivers in the IRL top-five include fourth-placed Cheever with 121, while Brack and Sharp are tied for fifth with 109 points.
Paul Lauritzen, Goodyear IRL Operations Manager, said, “While we are disappointed that Goodyear did not come home first today, we are pleased with the performance of the Goodyear Racing Eagles today and with the runs of Davey Hamilton, Eddie Cheever and Buddy Lazier to top-five finishes and that Goodyear placed seven cars in the top 10."