The PDVSA HVM Racing team had their second best day of the season Sunday at the Infineon Raceway after finishing sixth in the Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County. The finish is two spots behind the team's best finish of fourth at St.
The PDVSA HVM Racing team had their second best day of the season Sunday at the Infineon Raceway after finishing sixth in the Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County. The finish is two spots behind the team's best finish of fourth at St. Petersburg earlier this year.
Testing last week at the track, HVM Racing had been fast since unloading on Friday. Sunday morning was a very clear indication that the continued hard work and improvements throughout the weekend were paying off. Team driver E.J. Viso led most of the morning practice session and his speed translated to the race.
Starting from the 14th position after an unfortunate qualifying session, Viso was running 11th by lap 10. One lap later the team made their first of three pit stops of the afternoon. They returned to the track 21st after the green-flag stop, but that would be the lowest they ran all afternoon.
A caution on lap 15 helped position the team right where they wanted to be. Leaders hit pit road and Viso restarted 11th on lap 18 and was running fourth by lap 26 when the rest of the field had to pit. He took the point on lap 28 and HVM Racing was leading their third event of 2008. Viso led Sunday's race twice for a total of nine laps- the most behind only race winner Helio Castroneves and runner-up Ryan Briscoe.
Strategist Michael Cannon called Viso down pit road on lap 59 for his final stop of the day. The team gave up the lead, but was back on the track in seventh and had 20 laps to run down the leaders who had already made their final stops. Viso picked up one more spot and nearly caught Danica Patrick for fifth after getting around lap traffic.
The sixth-place result for Viso made him the highest finishing rookie, placed HVM Racing the best of ‘transition teams' and earned them their sixth top-10 finish this season.
Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Owner Keith Wiggins after Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County:
"I've always said that the time of the year we'll be able to catch up is in the winter, but today proved that we have made a lot of progress this season. We know it takes more testing to get more familiar with this car, but this race showed that when we can do those things we can be right up front.
"Everything this season has been new, but we're making steps forward. The road courses have been good for us and we're confident that we can continue to be better. E.J. (Viso) and the team is still learning the car and the tracks, but it was encouraging to see his best laps of the race came at the end of the race. We were as quick as anyone else and that's a good sign moving ahead."
Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Driver E.J. Viso after Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County:
"I think we did a great job today. The car was very competitive and we had good strategy to lead the race and be up front. The team, I have to thank them for giving me great pit stops all day. They helped me maintain my position as I was able to overtake guys and move forward.
"We still have some places for improvement to race with some of the other teams, but we know we can compete with anyone. This gives us positive momentum for Detroit."