MORAES HAS THIRD CONSECTIVE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMACNE FINISHES FIFTH IN BRIDGESTONE INDY JAPAN 300 MILE MOTEGI, JAPAN - - SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 - - Round ...
MORAES HAS THIRD CONSECTIVE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMACNE
FINISHES FIFTH IN BRIDGESTONE INDY JAPAN 300 MILE
MOTEGI, JAPAN - - SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 - - Round #16 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes had his third consecutive impressive performance finishing fifth today in the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.
Both Moraes and KVRT made their debut on the unique1.5-mile TRM oval a success today, but it was not without a lot of hard work and a little luck. Starting a career high second in the #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, Moraes fell in line in third place at the start of the race. The talented and determined Brazilian ran in third until the first round of pit stops when the team experienced a glitch while refueling forcing them to make their next stop out of sequence. The second stop dropped Moraes to 20th and down two laps. However, the team fought back. Working from a well planned race strategy and getting solid pit work from his crew, Moreaes showed veteran skills as he battled his way, in a brilliantly prepared car, back into the top-10 midway through the race. At that point a timely caution flag allowed the team to get back on the lead lap and back in pit stop sequence. Moraes then used his speed to fight his way into the top-five where he briefly got as high as fourth before settling for fifth.
"I am happy for the KV Racing Technology team. They did a great job all weekend," Moraes said. "We started second, but I fell in line in third at the start of the race. Then on the first pit stop we had a problem refueling and had to come in again. That put us two laps down. But, the whole team fought back and we got some luck with a yellow flag to get back on the lead lap, in fuel sequence and finished fifth. It is our third consecutive top-five finish, so I am happy about that."
Today's fifth place performance is Moraes' third straight top-five showing. He earned his IndyCar career first top-five finish a month ago in Sonoma then followed up with the first podium of his career, a third place showing, three weeks ago at Chicagoland. Moreaes earned 30 points today moving him into 15th place in the standings with 278 points. In the last three races Moraes has scored 97 points and picked up four spots in the points race.
Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He made his 31st career IndyCar start and 19th on an oval today. Moraes has earned five top-10 finishes in 15 starts this season (three top-10's last year) including the three top-five showings with the one podium performance. He has earned career high finishes on nine of the 15 tracks this year (missed Mid-Ohio) including career best performances on an oval, the third at Chicagoland, and on a road/street course, the fourth at Sonoma.
Next up for KVRT is the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. The race will be broadcast live on Versus at 4:00 p.m. ET.