KVRT'S MARIO MORAES FINISHES INDYCAR CAREER HIGH FOURTH IN SONOMA SONOMA, CA - - AUGUST 23, 2009 - - Round ...
KVRT'S MARIO MORAES FINISHES INDYCAR CAREER HIGH FOURTH IN SONOMA
SONOMA, CA - - AUGUST 23, 2009 - - Round #14 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes finished an IndyCar career high fourth today in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Moraes started 14th, but took advantage of a first lap melee to move into eighth place. Driving a smart, focused and smooth race the talented Brazilian battled his way into fifth place by lap 13 where the #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car remained until the final stint. Following his last pit stop, Moraes who was nursing his brakes, took advantage of a wounded Helio Castroneves to take over fourth place on lap 62 of the 75 lap contest. In the closing laps he briefly dropped to fifth, but quickly responded by passing Hideki Mutoh to move back into fourth where he finished.
"The last two weeks have been really tough for me, but it felt good to get back into the car and have a good race," Moraes said. "The KV Racing Technology team did a great job today, in fact for the whole weekend. In qualifying we had a little problem, but we went back to our original plan. In morning warm we thought the #5 Azul -- Votorantim car was fast and I think moving up 10 places in the race today proved it. I would like to thank again the whole KVRT crew for everything and also the fans for all the support over the last two weeks."
Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He made his 29th career start, 12th on a road/street course and second on the 2.303-mile, 12-turn Infineon Raceway permanent road course today. Today's fourth place showing surpasses his previous high of seventh at Watkins Glen last year. It is the first top-five finish of his IndyCar career, sixth career top-10 finish, third top-10 finish of the season and his second consecutive top-10 performance at Infineon Raceway (placed 10th last year). Since joining KVRT, Moraes has earned career high finishes on seven of the 13 tracks this season (did not race at Mid-Ohio), and has now earned his career best road/street course finish and career best oval finish, ninth at Milwaukee. Moraes earned 32 points today and picked up one place in the standings. He is now 18th with 213 points.
Today's fourth place showing is KVRT's best in two races, three starts, in Sonoma.