RICHARD ANTINUCCI IS 2008 FIRESTONE INDY LIGTHS RUNNER-UP AFTER SEASON ENDER AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY The season finale comes to an early, and bitter, end for the San Diegan on Lap 25, when Sean Guthrie hits into his left tyre sending the ...
RICHARD ANTINUCCI IS 2008 FIRESTONE INDY LIGTHS RUNNER-UP AFTER SEASON ENDER AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
The season finale comes to an early, and bitter, end for the San Diegan on Lap 25, when Sean Guthrie hits into his left tyre sending the #7 car into the wall
SUNDAY'S NOTES :
Richard Antinucci started the 16th and final Firestone Indy Lights round from the inside of Row 5. The 27-year old from San Diego entered the deciding race four points behind pole sitter Raphael Matos in the title hunt. He moved up a couple of spots on the opening lap when Dillon Battistini and Wade Cunningham -- who had both started in front of him -- tangled at Turn 12. After dropping from 7th to 10th after the second restart, he carved his way through the bunched up mid-field pack to run as high as seventh, but on lap 25 while pulling an outside overtaking move on Sean Guthrie, the #4 car made contact with the Lucas Oil Lifelock Dallara #7, which speared into the wall.
The duel for the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights title was therefore curtailed and points leader Raphael Matos was crowned new champ after just one third of the race. Arie Luyendyk Jr. went on to clinch his first series round, edging Ana Beatriz and Matos, who led most laps at the Illinois 1.52 mile oval track. The Brazilian final score is 510 points, whilst Antinucci picked up 9 for his 21st place today, moving up to 478.
RICHARD'S TAKE :
"It's a bitter pill to swallow, losing it at the last round. But 'ifs' and 'buts' don't take you anywhere. We managed to finish second. I had a great year overall. I have to thank my Lucas Oil LifeLock Sam Schmidt Motorsports group tremendously because they helped me. We had a chance. We led most of the year, but not when it counted unfortunately. Still, though, I had a great experience and I hope I've created some awareness for my name and myself. Sam (Schmidt) has always helped me out during the year and given maximum effort. So has all my #7 crew. It's been an unforgettable season, nevertheless I'd rather forget my last lap today here at Chicagoland... I expected this season to go down to the wire. I think Sam Schmidt deserved, the team deserved the title chase to go to the wire, but sadly it wasn't meant to be 'cause when I tried to get a run on the outside of Guthrie in Turn 2 he just slid into me. I had a lot of corner speed, I had momentum, you can see easily that watching the video, there are things that you can not afford to do driving single-seaters. That's the way it is, anyway. I also want to congratulate the #27 Andretti Green/AFS group. They made it really tough and exciting this year. Rafa, too. We raced very cleanly most of the year throughout. He's a great competitor and it was an honor for me to go head-to-head with him into this last round."