Both DRR drivers finish event; Buddy Rice in 11th, Townsend Bell in 19th SONOMA, Calif. - Coming into Sunday afternoon's race at the Infineon Raceway, both of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing teams knew that strategy in the pits was going to be...
Both DRR drivers finish event; Buddy Rice in 11th, Townsend Bell in 19th
SONOMA, Calif. - Coming into Sunday afternoon's race at the Infineon Raceway, both of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing teams knew that strategy in the pits was going to be the main course of action to gain positions on the track during the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County.
Starting in 22nd, Rice made his first pit stop on Lap 9 with the TranSystems car. When the race had its first full-course caution on Lap 16, the majority of the leaders came in the pits, allowing Rice to cycle up to 12th-position. From Lap 18 until the end, the race stayed under green. Because of this, the track position gained, along with the ensuing pit sequences, allowed Rice to stay in the eighth-place to 12-place area, depending on when others pitted. In the end, Rice brought the car home in 11th-place, the same position he finished the event in 2007, albeit with a smaller field then.
Townsend Bell started in 19th, and that would be where he would end up finishing. He and the William Rast team tried utilizing a different pit strategy, making their first stop after Rice did but making the second a lap before. With the way the race played out, the strategy wasn't able to pan out as hoped for. To compound things, Bell was having difficulty getting his car to brake properly in the heavy braking zones. He found himself having to exert more physical effort than normal to get the brakes to grab, and even then, the braking ability was not where he was accustomed to. Still, this was the first road course of the three he's raced this year that Bell finished. He'll look to take this result and build on it during the exhibition race in Australia.
#15 DREYER & REINBOLD RACING Honda Dallara Driver Buddy Rice
"It was a decent day for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and the TranSystems Honda. We knew coming into the race that we'd have to be smart with strategy since it's difficult to pass here. We made our first stop early, and with the way the strategy played out, we were able to gain a lot of positions. We struggled with the brakes a bit in the second half of the race, but we still almost came away with another top-ten. We'll take this and move on to Detroit. We had a great run there last year running up front, and hopefully we can repeat the performance and get a solid finish this year."
#23 WILLIAM RAST/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING Honda Dallara Driver Townsend Bell
"We settled into a pace there. We made some changes throughout the race. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out for us. We picked up some under-steer, and then, after about Lap 30, we were just fighting the brakes. The pedal was getting longer and longer as the brakes wore out. The brake pedal was going over-center, and I just couldn't get it to bite on the brakes like I wanted which resulted in having super early braking points in both the hairpin corners. With that, our lap times were just getting hammered. Guys were crawling all over me. So, at that point, I just had to drive as smart and smooth as possible and kind of take care of the brakes as much as I could. I was just hanging on basically for the second half of the race which is frustrating. You come here wanting to race, put your head down, and charge. That's sometimes the way it goes. I'm happy to bring the William Rast car home in one piece, and we'll focus on trying to improve for Australia."