IRL: Scott Harrington Pikes Peak Race Notes

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 29 - Scott Harrington posted another strong top-10 finish with a sixth-place showing Sunday in the Colorado Indy 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway with the Firestone-shod CertainTeed Dallara Aurora ...

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 29 - Scott Harrington posted another strong top-10 finish with a sixth-place showing Sunday in the Colorado Indy 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway with the Firestone-shod CertainTeed Dallara Aurora #66. He ran in the top five for almost half of the 200-lap race (95 laps), and at one point he was as high as third. By finishing sixth he was the top-finishing rookie, and he increased his lead in the point standings for the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year award. He now has an 11-point advantage over Robby McGehee with two races remaining: Las Vegas Sept. 26 and Texas Motor Speedway Oct. 17. Harrington is now 15th in the standings for the overall series championship. Harrington was fastest of all the drivers in practice and he posted his best qualifying run ever to earn the fourth starting spot. Right away he had to dodge two bullets, however. At the drop of the green his fingers inadvertently brushed against the car's kill switch and he had trouble getting the car to refire, which dropped him from fourth to ninth. Seconds later it was echoes of the spring race here when he just missed getting involved in Jeff Ward's crash. Ward, who started tenth, had moved up one spot at the start and was right in front of Harrington when his car got loose and he hit the wall hard in turn four. "We almost got collected up in that, but somehow we missed it," Harrington said after the race. Harrington methodically worked his way up the scoring pylon from that point on, but his car wasn't as good as it was here in June or on Friday and Saturday. "The conditions on the track changed too, and we chased the set-up all day," Harrington said. "At first we had a big understeer and then it was loose. We played with things all day but we couldn't get it as good as it was before. The car went through a wide range of handling problems. At first the front end would go away, and then after the tires got worn down and the fuel load burned off some it was pushing. It wasn't that it was really bad, but it just wasn't as good as it was before. "Our pit stops were fine; the CertainTeed crew did a great job," he summarized. "I think we would have been fourth or maybe even third if we hadn't pitted under green for our last pit stop and some of the other top runners pitted under yellow. But there was no way we could have caught Greg Ray [the eventual winner] today; he was flying." Harrington was eighth by lap 20, five seconds behind the leader. He moved up to seventh on lap 41 and sixth on lap 50. Two laps later he was fifth, 10 seconds behind leader Ray, who had an 8-second lead over the second-place car of Davey Hamilton. Harrington stayed in fifth until lap 84 when he made his first of two scheduled pit stops. The CertainTeed crew gave him four fresh Firestone tires and fuel and made a half-turn adjustment to both front wings, and he returned to the fray in eighth place. Ten laps later he was sixth and at the half-way point he was in fifth place, 8.225 seconds off the leader. On lap 104 he passed Mark Dismore to take over fourth place, but four laps later the second yellow waved for debris. The car was handling better at that point but Harrington was still busy playing with his swaybars and weight jacker to try to find the right set-up. Harrington stayed in fourth place from lap 104 until lap 159, when he took over third when the second-place car of Buddy Lazier pitted. Harrington made his second and final pit stop on lap 163 himself, which dropped him back to eighth. The eventual third-place finisher, Dismore, hadn't pitted yet when Scott Sharp brushed the wall on lap 181 to bring out the last caution, giving his teammate the opportunity to pit under yellow. When the race restarted on lap 183 Harrington was back in sixth, and that's where he finished on lap 200. Ray won the event with a 0.445 second advantage over Hamilton with Dismore third, Buddy Lazier fourth and Sam Schmidt fifth. Following Harrington in sixth were McGehee, Jimmy Kite, Robby Unser and Kenny Brack. The CertainTeed crew had a new pit crew member this weekend: Steve "Mitch" Metz of Denver, who had won that honor in a contest on KYGO, 98.5 FM in Denver. "We thank Mitch for his help here this weekend, and we hope he had fun," Harrington summarized. "We did, because the Pep Boys Indy Racing League is so competitive that anytime you run in the top 10 it's a good day. We'll take sixth and go home happy."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore , Jimmy Kite , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Scott Harrington , Robby Unser