Eventful Race at Homestead-Miami for Guthrie Racing The season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Firestone Indy Lights Series ended up being a great start for the Guthrie Racing Team. Sean Guthrie finished 11th, Logan Gomez 12th, and...
Eventful Race at Homestead-Miami for Guthrie Racing
The season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Firestone Indy Lights Series ended up being a great start for the Guthrie Racing Team. Sean Guthrie finished 11th, Logan Gomez 12th, and Tom Wieringa 18th. The results were not exactly what the team was hoping for, but all three cars finished the race and each driver, engineer and crew member took away some valuable experience for the rest of the season.
After a strong 3rd place qualifying by Sean Guthrie, his efforts were wiped out when he lost control of his vehicle on the warm up lap and bumped the inside wall on the front straightaway damaging his front wing.
"The Guthrie Racing Car was phenomenal today, but unfortunately the car stepped out from me when I was trying to heat up the tires. It's something that everyone fears and everyone does, even the best drivers like (Michael) Schumacher and many others," Sean said. After restarting the car and entering the pits to make a front wing change, Sean came back on the track in the middle of the field already one lap down. "I told myself no matter what we do we're not gonna crash, and we're gonna pass as many cars as we can, as fast as we can." Guthrie showcased his impressive driving abilities and his well tuned Racecar as he came charging through the field.
In 20 laps he had passed the top ten drivers and gained what would have been the lead. He posted the fastest lap of the race, beating the race winner's fastest lap by .3 seconds, which Guthrie set while driving through traffic with a full tank of gas on the 4th lap. He then pulled away from the leader by over an entire straightaway. The Guthrie Racing Team was praying for a yellow flag, but they did not see one until the last quarter of the race.
When the race restarted, Sean was at the tail end of the bunched-up field in 17th position. When the course went green, Sean made some very impressive moves and worked his way through heavy traffic to take 12th spot. He ran there until the 2nd yellow came out with only 10 laps to go. When the field went back to green, there were only 7 laps remaining. He was able to pick up one more spot to move into eleventh and then was inches away from tenth car as they crossed the line.
Logan Gomez made steady progress through the race after he started 14th and finished in 12th. His Menards Guthrie Racing Car was well equipped for the race as well, and he was slicing through the field with ease. He had worked his way up to 5th before the first yellow flag came out. During the restart, a few other drivers made some mistakes which caused Gomez to have to take evasive action and just brushed the outside wall exiting Turn 2.
"The car was great all race," Gomez explained. "It got a little dicey on the restart though. Some of the guys got over anxious and tried to fit too many cars into the corner and pushed me off the race line into the marbles. I did my best to keep it off of the wall, but by doing so I lost valuable track position and was pushed back to 14th." Logan made a miraculous recovery by only scraping the paint off of his Firestone Firehawk tires and a few metal shavings from the front wheel, but there wasn't enough laps left in the race to recover from his near incident.
Gomez regained a few of his lost positions and eventually slotted in behind Guthrie where they readied themselves to make some moves on the top ten; however, they both ran out of laps as the checkered flag dropped.
Tom Wieringa finally had luck on his side after having electrical and engine troubles during the weekend, only getting thirty practice laps and no qualifying time, and flew across the finish line in 18th position.
"The car was strong through the entire race, especially at the end," Tom stated. "The Guthrie Team did a great job providing me with a highly competitive Racecar. It got a little crazy on the restarts with cars trying some very 'bold' moves, but I did my best to stay clear of danger and brought it all the way home to the checkered flag."
Wieringa also made some terrific passes on the course during the race. He felt very confident with the car that Guthrie Racing provided him and is ready to jump back in the seat in May. His conditioning in the off season showed as he wanted to stay in the car and run more laps.
"I can't wait to get back into the car at Indy!" Wieringa cried out. Tom was scheduled to only run the first race, but he recently reached a deal to run with the team at the Firestone Freedom 100 during the Indy 500 weekend.
The race will air on ESPN 2 in HD on Thursday April 3rd at 4:00PM EST.
With the first race over, Guthrie Racing prepares to head to Sebring on Monday for the first road course test session of the year. The team will progress through this week and ready themselves for the Streets of St. Petersburg next weekend where they run a double header race. Guaranteed more excitement is in store!