VISO RUNS VERY COMPETITIVE IN TEXAS SATURDAY; SATO, MORAES MISS THE CHECKERED FLAG Venezuelan Star Competes In Top Five Before Placing 11th FT. WORTH, Texas (June 5, 2010) -- The Firestone 550K results sheet won't say how competitive E.J....
VISO RUNS VERY COMPETITIVE IN TEXAS SATURDAY; SATO, MORAES MISS THE CHECKERED FLAG
Venezuelan Star Competes In Top Five Before Placing 11th
FT. WORTH, Texas (June 5, 2010) -- The Firestone 550K results sheet won't say how competitive E.J. Viso was on Saturday night at the Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine drove his way from his 14th starting position to race in the Top Five in the 95-degree heat on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. The popular 25-year-old racer was impressive as he battled wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon with just 40 laps remaining of the 228-lap contest.
On the final stint, Viso's machine didn't handle as well as previously and he finished in the 11th position at the checkered flag. Overall, Viso's performance was the strongest of his 2010 season which now moves to the tight oval in Newton, Iowa, on June 20 at Iowa Speedway.
Viso showed strongly in Friday's night practice session. He and his lead engineer Bill Pappas, found a "sweet" spot with the car's chassis that proved valuable in the brutal track conditions on the high-banked oval north of Ft. Worth. Viso looked in position for his first Top Five of the year when the car created an oversteer problem.
Mario Moraes put together a charge midway through the race when a left rear tire issue caused him to pit on lap 64. Moraes then wheeled his No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car from 20th to 11th by lap 120. However, a tangle with Castroneves on the frontstraight ended Moraes' race on lap 130.
Rookie Takuma Sato, who qualified a strong 11th in his Texas debut, suffered a rough ride in the No. 5 Lotus--KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry on lap 57 when a rear suspension piece failed and he was sent to the turn two wall. Sato walked away uninjured and watched the later portion of the race from his Lotus team's pit area.
Viso, Moraes and Sato will now prepare for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on Sunday, June 20, at Iowa Speedway beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
E.J. VISO, #5 PDVSA - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 11th: "I want to thank the team for giving me a very good car today. I think had a top five car. Unfortunately, in the last stint, we had a problem with the handling as the car was just very loose. I almost lost it a couple of times in turn two at the end. That is why we lost some positions at the end. It was very strange and we are going do some research on the problem. Our car was fast for most of the race. We had a consistent package for the majority of the race. I'm looking forward to the Iowa race now."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACINGTECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 21th: "I couldn't hear my spotter say anyone was on the outside. Then I got hit and started spinning. I thought I was by myself. It is a tough one for the KV Racing team. We have to get ready for Iowa now."
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 25th: "It was a tough weekend. After qualifying Saturday, we made a number of changes to the car for this morning's warm-up and it was a positive move. The race started solidly. We saved our tires and fuel to stretch our first stint. It was all setting up nicely, but in the second stint, Alex Lloyd came out of the pits on cold tires. He couldn't stop and struck my car under braking, causing me to spin. That really ended my race because there was no full-course caution until the end. In all, it was a very disappointing and tough race, but it was another good learning experience for me. Next, we race in Kansas and my first oval test will be there this coming Friday. I am very excited to start my oval adventure."