SONOMA, Calif. (August 28, 2005) -- The sun was shining on Red Bull Cheever Racing today during the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway. The team endured the difficult, 12-turn, 2.26-mile road course and turned in third and fourth...
SONOMA, Calif. (August 28, 2005) -- The sun was shining on Red Bull Cheever Racing today during the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway. The team endured the difficult, 12-turn, 2.26-mile road course and turned in third and fourth place finishes.
The race started with Alex Barron in the #51 car in 10th position and Patrick Carpentier in the #83 car in 12th. The two held these positions for 17 laps until a caution brought the pair into the pits to begin the fuel strategy game that the team knew would be very important coming into the race. Barron's crew guessed right and only had to make two stops during the race, which enabled him to bring his car home in third. This is his best finish of the season and his sixth top 10.
"It was excellent. We had a great car all weekend. The crew made a change to the Red Bull Toyota on the second stop. We went back out and the car was solid. We were able to hang on to third. We didn't have quite enough to make a run on the leaders. I could catch Buddy (Rice) and sustain it, but I wasn't able to be offensive. We are really happy with the podium. This is positive for the team and we can build on it for our next race at Chicago," Barron said.
Carpentier's crew employed a different fuel strategy, which had them return to the pit on lap 23 to top off fuel on the last lap during the caution period. Despite making one more stop than Barron, he was on his teammates tail from lap 53 through the end of the race. He accomplished this despite having his in-car water bottle stop working early in the race. At one point, he came on the radio and commented, "I have a headache. I'm so dehydrated."
Despite the obstacle, he pulled off a solid fourth-place finish. This is ninth top 10 on the season, and his third top five in the last eight races. By running the entire race, Carpentier once again retains his IndyCar Series lead in laps completed.
"I am happy to see that both Red Bull Cheever Racing cars had a good day today. Alex drove a great race, and I think the #83 crew did a good job as well. The car was pushing there at the end, and it wasn't as strong as it was early in the race. It's amazing. For me the weekend started really bad, we couldn't find any speed at all. By the end of the weekend we were around fourth quickest overall. The crew did a fantastic job and Toyota helped us a lot. You can really see the improvement we have made lately. It was a hot day and I didn't have any water. For some reason my water bottle broke during the race. It was getting a little bit long, but that's alright. When the car goes well it is so much fun out there," Carpentier said.
Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. was extremely pleased with the race results, which is the team's all around best of the season.
"The drivers did a great job. The team had a good strategy. We have been working hard with Cisco and the network we have developed with them was key today in monitoring the fuel down to the pint. We are happy to be racing here in California where our partners Red Bull, Toyota and Cisco are all located. And tomorrow we visit with the folks from Izod, so I am glad to be leaving here with both cars in the top four. It was a fun weekend for all of us. The second half of the season has been very good to us and we have three more races to continue to show what we have this season," Cheever said.
The solid finishes enabled both drivers to make moves in the series standings with Carpentier moving to ninth and Barron to 11th. Red Bull Cheever Racing is just one of three teams with two drivers in the top 11 in points.
The team will now get a much-needed break after three consecutive weekends of racing. Red Bull Cheever Racing will return to action for the Chicagoland Indy 300 on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race in Joliet, Ill. will be broadcast live on ABC at 1:30 p.m. ET.