Two in the Top Ten for Red Bull Cheever at Miami Miami, Fla. (March 6, 2005) -- It was a good start to the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series season for Red Bull Cheever Racing at Miami, with Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron both finishing in the top...
Two in the Top Ten for Red Bull Cheever at Miami
Miami, Fla. (March 6, 2005) -- It was a good start to the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series season for Red Bull Cheever Racing at Miami, with Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron both finishing in the top ten with their Toyota-powered Red Bull Dallara-Firestone cars.
Carpentier took the checkered flag in seventh place just a fraction of a second behind Darren Manning, and 11.6 seconds behind race winner Dan Wheldon.
"I really had to stick on Manning's gearbox there at the end," said Carpentier, who drafted the No. 10 car for the last 25 laps of the race. "We did the best we could with what we have."
It was a hard fought IndyCar debut for Carpentier who managed, with the help of spotter Davey Hamilton, to avoid an eight-car pileup on lap 159. Hamilton directed Carpentier to "Stay low, stay low," during the accident, and Patrick went as low on the track as he could with debris and car pieces flying overhead.
"I managed to avoid all the big pieces," Carpentier said. "There was a pack of cars and they all touched and started coming towards me. I have to thank Davey for talking me through that one.
"Today's goal was to finish, and to finish in the top ten," Carpentier continued. "We did that. An accident would have been hard on the team and put us back even further, so we are in a good place to work hard for Phoenix."
Carpentier also led four laps, during a yellow flag period from lap 35 to 38, in his first IndyCar Series race.
Red Bull Cheever Racing owner Eddie Cheever Jr., who worked from Carpentier's pit said: "We did not give Patrick a fast car, but he hung in there, avoided accidents and did a good job on his first race. If we can give him faster cars he will win."
Finishing just seconds behind Carpentier, Alex Barron was pleased with an eighth-place finish.
"Eighth place is not a bad way to start the season," Barron said. "We had really good balance after the first pit stop and the car stayed pretty neutral from then on out. We didn't have the speed we needed and playing defense the whole race is not the way to go racing."
Max Jones, managing director, handled strategy from the No. 51 pit.
"Alex did great but he didn't have the raw speed that he needed to be in front," Jones said. "We are able to bring the car home and Alex will be able to give us a lot of feedback that will help us for Phoenix."
Round two of the 17-race 2005 IRL IndyCar Series is March 19 with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 Presented by Argent Mortgage at Phoenix International Raceway.