IRL: Texas: Billy Boat race report

The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy racing team had it's best race of the season tonight finishing 7th in the Boomtown 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Although the ...

The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy racing team had it's best race of the season tonight finishing 7th in the Boomtown 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Although the #98 started in 11th position, by the middle of the race, Billy Boat had moved into the Top 5.

"The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy racing team wasn't the fastest car on the race track tonight but we had a good car in the draft and that's always the key here," said Boat. "I could run on the top, I could run on the bottom, I could run right behind another car, that was really the key for us. We couldn't pull out or pass real easy, we couldn't lead, but we could hang with the draft and that's the secret. We just had to play the chess game and work our way up."

The strategy to stay with the pack and use the draft to their advantage kept Boat in the hunt and near the front for most of the race.

The CURB Records team's continued improvements and steady rise up the points chart is encouraging to Boat. "We had a pretty good race car tonight, probably not fast enough to lead, but good enough to draft and to run behind. We needed a little bit more to run really hard on the outside, which hindered us a little bit, but overall, this was certainly our best performance of the year. At least we were in the lead pack and we were competitive. The CURB/Agajanian/Boat team did a great job in the pits. We've had a race car that's finished just about all of the laps this year so I'm really proud of the team for that. They've done a great job in the pits and mechanically with the race car. We keep getting better every week and we'll continue to improve and go on from there. Overall, this was a good night for us."

Boat has stated many times that the Texas Motor Speedway is one of his favorite tracks at which to race. When asked about the level of racing and the excitement at TMS, Boat said, "The draft is the real equalizer here. A lot of guys can get up there and run, that's what makes it so incredible. You don't have to have the fastest car, you can stay with the pack and take advantage of the racing and that's what makes it so exciting."

Jeff Ward captured his first IRL victory tonight, edging Al Unser, Jr. out by only .0111 of a second -- the closest finish in the history of the Indy Racing League. Airton Dare, Helio Castroneves and Felipe Giaffone, to round out the Top 5, followed them.

Boat's finish earned him 26 points and moved him into the Top 10 of the IRL point standings, only five points behind Scott Sharp.

-cabir-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Airton Daré , Helio Castroneves , Al Unser