(Brooklyn, Mi) â€“ PacWest Lights driver Tony Renna shot himself back into championship contention with an impressive second place finish in a controversial Detroit News 100 Indy Lights race at the Michigan Speedway today. Renna, driver of...
(Brooklyn, Mi) – PacWest Lights driver Tony Renna shot himself back into championship contention with an impressive second place finish in a controversial Detroit News 100 Indy Lights race at the Michigan Speedway today. Renna, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Lights entry, passed Felipe Giaffone and Casey Mears with just two laps remaining, but just as a yellow flag caution period was being issued by race officials. The PacWest team believed Renna had at least passed Mears before the yellow was shown, if not Giaffone for the lead, but officials made the young Florida native slot back into third place for the final two laps of the race which ended under yellow (non-passing conditions). PacWest lodged an official protest directly after the race and it was upheld after almost three hours of interviews, video replays and rule interpretation. Renna’s teammate Scott Dixon was forced into the pits only four laps from home with a cut front right tire and punctured left rear after being hit by Townsend Bell. He rejoined the race to finish 14th and out of the points. The winner of the opening two races of the season, Dixon is now second in the championship by just one point to Australian Jason Bright who officially finished ninth today. Bright gained one place (and one point) when officials ruled that Andy Boss had also passed him during the last yellow flag period. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship continues in Chicago next weekend.
TONY RENNA – # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST LIGHTS – 2nd
“We have been on a role with a fourth in the last race at Portland and now a second today,” said Renna.
“It took a long time for the protest to be decided, but obviously I believe the right ruling was made. I made my move when I was running third – I thought I passed Casey (Mears) and was right beside Felipe (Giaffone) when I saw the yellow.
“I really felt comfortable racing out there with Felipe (Giaffone) and Casey (Mears), they are two of the most professional guys out there and it was terrific racing.
“I have to thank Motorola and Invensys/Powerware for helping us put together such a strong program at PacWest. I also have to thank my crew who have worked tremendously hard all year and it is nice to now have a trophy to put on the shelf.”
SCOTT DIXON – #17 INVENSYS/POWERWARE PACWEST LIGHTS – 14th
“I was running strong, and holding my line ready to make my move,” said Dixon.
“I got caught with (Townsend) Bell while I was in line at the exit to turn two. He basically was off line and left out to dry when he cut down on me and made contact.
“I blew the right front tire and somehow my left rear.
“It’s unfortunate because this race plays such an important roll in the championship.
“We’ll just have to re-group and get ready for the better results in Chicago.”
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1: Jason Bright 57; 2: Scott Dixon 56; 3: Casey Mears 54; 4: Felipe Giaffone 53; 5: Townsend Bell 43; 6: Mario Dominguez; 7: Chris Simmons 36; 8: Tony Renna 32; 9: Jonny Kane 32; 10: Chris Menninga 32.