IRL: Richmond: Billy Boat preview

Boat looking forward to getting back to short track night race. As a successful sprint car driver, Billy Boat spent a lot of time racing at night on short tracks. Thus, his feelings for this Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge are ...

Boat looking forward to getting back to short track night race.

As a successful sprint car driver, Billy Boat spent a lot of time racing at night on short tracks. Thus, his feelings for this Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge are understandable. "I'm excited about going back to the Richmond Speedway, the short track racing is what I did for so many years, Saturday night 1/2 miles. Coming back to the shorter tracks may be a little bit of an advantage for our team."

After the wild ride that the CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team experienced in Pikes Peak, they are justifiably cautious, but primed for retribution. Qualifying 6th, Boat started the race under sunny skies at the back of the pack due to a rules misunderstanding. He quickly climb to the front, soon leading the race for seven laps, just before a freak hail storm, only to finish a disappointing 14th under intermittent rain showers.

"Coming off the races we had in Colorado and Texas, we felt like we were very competitive. We ran with the front pack but the win has eluded us. Now we're looking forward to trying to get a Top 5 finish for the team."

The Richmond International SunTrust Indy Challenge race will be only the second time that the Indy Racing League has visited a track shorter than 1 mile -- last year's race at the track was the first time. Says Boat, "This 3/4 mile track provides not only exciting racing but a lot of challenges for the drivers. We had a quick racecar there last year - we were one of the fastest cars in practice until a qualifying crash put us off track for the weekend, so we'll be heading back there with compensation in mind. We feel the Richmond International Raceway is a good setup, a track I like to run and I'm looking forward to the challenges that it will present."

The CURB Records team will be on the track Friday afternoon for practice, followed by qualifying at 6:30pm EDT. Final practice is at 2:30pm EDT on Saturday, followed by the race on Saturday evening. The SunTrust Indy Challenge airs live on ESPN at 7:30pm EDT on Saturday, June 29.

-c/br-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Billy Boat