IRL: Indy 500: Bryan Herta race report

HERTA FINISHES THIRD AT INDIANAPOLIS 500 SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2005) - Bryan Herta, driver of the ...


SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2005) - Bryan Herta, driver of the #7 XM Satellite Radio car, used late pit stop strategy to secure a third-place finish at Sunday's running of the 89th Indianapolis 500. The finish was Herta's best finish at the famed track, his best result in the 2005 season and moved him to within seven points of third place in the current Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series championship standings.

Starting from the 18th position, Herta picked his moments and gradually moved through the field, eventually landing in the top 10 a little more than 50 laps into the race. He spent much of the next 100 laps battling for position just out of the top 10 until he made a pit stop with 50 laps remaining in the race.

Entering the pits in eighth place, Herta was cited for a pit lane speed violation that sent him to the back of the line and dropped him to 12th place. On the lap 155 restart, an accident knocked out several cars and Herta quickly found the XM Satellite Radio car back in eighth position. When other cars began to pit late in the race, Herta used fuel strategy to move to as high as second will less than 30 laps remaining in the race. However, because he was conserving fuel and his teammate Dan Wheldon was driving on fresh tires, Herta dropped back to third, where he would stay to the finish.

Wheldon picked up the first Indianapolis 500 victory of his career and the first win at the track for Andretti Green Racing. With the win, AGR became the winningest team in IndyCar Series history with 14 victories. Vitor Meira finished second followed by Herta, Danica Patrick and Buddy Lazier.

The IndyCar Series season resumes Saturday, June 11, at Texas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the Bombardier Learjet 500 will begin at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) with coverage being provided by ESPN.

Bryan Herta, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"This was a very, very wild race. I didn't want to see that last yellow because I had a couple of good runs at (Vitor) Meira and it would have been nice to get a '1-2' finish. But the XM Satellite Radio crew did a great job making some great calls and really got me up toward the front where I could be pretty racey. It's fun to be up front and get a top-three finish for the XM Satellite Radio team at the Indianapolis 500. It was also a great job by (Dan) Wheldon, and congratulations to Michael Andretti who finally wins the Indy 500."

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"First, this is a great day for Andretti Green Racing to have Dan Wheldon win the Indianapolis 500. And it was a great day for the XM Satellite Radio team, as well. Bryan just kept hanging in there, working his way through the field and the crew kept making the car better and better with each pit stop. We had our shares of struggles this month, but to finish third is a testament to Bryan and the XM Satellite Radio crew."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Michael Andretti , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira