IRL: Richmond: Billy Boat race report

The CURB Records team finished the final practice today at the SunTrust Indy Challenge with the second fastest time. The team was pumped and ready for the Top 5 finish that has eluded them all season. But a crash in Lap 30 ended the team's high...

The CURB Records team finished the final practice today at the SunTrust Indy Challenge with the second fastest time. The team was pumped and ready for the Top 5 finish that has eluded them all season. But a crash in Lap 30 ended the team's high hopes.

After being examined and released without injury from the infield medical center, a dejected Billy Boat had this to say, "I don't know what happened. Something broke. I tried to make a pass on another car, and the car moved right up into me and hit me on the left front. I think it broke something on the car, because I went down the front straightaway and the car didn't really feel right. Then on the entrance to Turn 2, something broke; the car spun and ended our night. It's really disappointing for the CURB Records team; we had a car that was going up to the front."

Earlier in the day, it was a buoyant and optimistic Boat who was hoping that the CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team would find the success that has been just out of reach so far this year. "The CURB Records team is happy with the performance of our race car right now. We're feeling like we've got a car that runs good throughout a fuel run, on old tires, in traffic. When the sun goes down, the racetrack is going to change some, and I think everyone's going to chase it just a little bit, but right now we're pretty happy and we feel like we'll be able to drive to the front and hopefully have a good chance to win this race."

Barely half of the cars that started the 225 lap, 197.5 mile race finished. The ¾ mile track at the Richmond International Raceway proved to be hazardous for Helio Castroneves, Scott Sharp, George Mack, Jon Herb, Sarah Fisher, Eddie Cheever, Jr., Laurent Redon and Billy Boat who were all eliminated from the race due to accidents, Buddy Lazier who was removed due to a fire in his pit and Greg Ray who had to drop out with only two laps to go because of a loss of oil pressure. Only Castroneves was able to rejoin the race and reach the checkered flag.

In a burst of speed with less than two laps to go, Sam Hornish, Jr. stole the win from Gil de Ferran who led for the most laps in the race. Felipe Giaffone, Tomas Scheckter and Al Unser, Jr. rounded out the Top 5.

The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team travels next to Kansas City for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on Sunday, July 7.

The team will be making some changes to their car between the back-to- back races and hope to make up for the most recent setback. " You know, we keep fighting these little gremlins," says Boat, "We've had good race cars, we just haven't been able to put it all together. So, we'll make some changes and go to Kansas. All you can do is pickup and go on to the next one."

-cab-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Laurent Redon , Al Unser Sr. , George Mack , Sam Hornis