IRL: Homestead Tough luck for Shigeaki Hattori

Shigeaki Hattori and Vertex/Cunningham Racing came to Homestead-Miami Speedway to win. And while that hope fell short of becoming reality, Hattori still brought to today's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami the same determination and fervor for track...

Shigeaki Hattori and Vertex/Cunningham Racing came to Homestead-Miami Speedway to win. And while that hope fell short of becoming reality, Hattori still brought to today's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami the same determination and fervor for track performance that gave him a strong finish in March's Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix.

The #55 EPSON was on its way to finishing in the Top 10, but just two laps before making a finish the engine overheated and Hattori was forced to head into the pits and call it a day

Shigeaki Hattori: "It was a very good race car all day long and I know we could have made a strong Top 10 finish, but we just didn't have luck on our side today. It was very unfortunate that the engine failed, because the Vertex/Cunningham team did a good job preparing the #55 EPSON for today's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami. The synergy among the guys is getting better every day and I was very proud of our pit stops. They worked better this race, which allowed me to have faster pit stops and pass other drivers in pit lane."

Ted Bitting, Vertex/Cunningham team manager: "Overall, it was a good race. We are very pleased with Hattori's effort. He had wonderful restarts and did a great job passing other cars in pit lane and that combination allowed him to move up from 21st to 10th position. We know he could have passed others on those final laps, but the oil pressure sensors were not reading right, so out of our control the engine lost oil pressure and overheated. Had this not happened, Hattori was on his way to perhaps finishing his best ever in his Indy car career."

Hattori and the #55 EPSON crew will charge onward and spend next weekend testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The next Indy Racing Northern Light Series race event is Saturday, April 28th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It will be aired on ESPN2 at 7pm (eastern).

-Jennifer Smith

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Shigeaki Hattori