Andretti Conquers Field in NYSE Car at Infineon Raceway for First Career Victory SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2006) - Marco Andretti conserved fuel in the ...
Andretti Conquers Field in NYSE Car at Infineon Raceway for First Career Victory
SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2006) - Marco Andretti conserved fuel in the #26 NYSE car when he needed and raced when he had to in earning his first IndyCar Series victory Sunday afternoon at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. In doing so, Andretti, at 19 years, five months and 14 days old, also became the youngest winner of a major open-wheel race. To cap off the day, he also clinched the 2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors.
Andretti, starting the event from outside of the front row, hung close behind pole-sitter Scott Dixon in the race's early laps. He remained in second place through the midpoint of the event before pitting for fuel and fresh tires under yellow conditions on lap 45. Four laps later the caution flag again flew and the combination of pit stops cycling through combined with Dixon experiencing troubles in the pits, found Andretti in the lead. When the field went green on lap 52, Andretti was faced with the task of maintaining his lead while nursing 30 gallons of ethanol the remaining distance. He did just that, in taking a .6557 second victory over teammate Dario Franchitti.
Vitor Meira finished third, Dixon fourth and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five. Through 13 events of the 2006 season Andretti stands seventh in the driver point standings with 313 points.
Andretti and the entire IndyCar Series conclude the 2006 campaign at the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 10. The event will be televised live by ABC Sports, beginning at 12:30 p.m. (EDT). It can also be heard live by XM Satellite Radio subscribers by tuning into XM channel 145.
Marco Andretti, #26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We got it. I was trying all year for it. We knew this is one track we could have a shot at but we knew how tough it was going to be. I've got to give it to the team, though. My NYSE boys did an awesome job all weekend, just as they have all year long. Track position was huge. I love a track that you have to qualify well at and have to drive the thing."
Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:
"This is a place that we felt we could do well at. Marco likes this place and just about put it on the pole. Leaving him out as long as we did was kind of a gamble, but we decided it was 'win or bust.' "(Scott) Dixon was better than us and we knew had to do something different to get around him, so that's what we did. Then it turned into a fuel mileage race, and I'll tell you - I don't how he made the mileage he did."