PPG-DAYTON INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis. MILWAUKEE RACE NOTES -- Sunday, May 31 TWO MORE TOP-10s FOR MATTCO: The first-year Mattco Raceworks team collected its second set of top-10 finishes in today's 97-lap...
PPG-DAYTON INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
MILWAUKEE RACE NOTES -- Sunday, May 31
TWO MORE TOP-10s FOR MATTCO: The first-year Mattco Raceworks team collected its second set of top-10 finishes in today's 97-lap Indy Lights race at The Milwaukee Mile, the fifth event on the 14-race Indy Lights schedule. Rookie Tony Renna, 21, of DeLand, Fla., driving the No. 77 Alco Capital Group/Nassi Group Lola, earned his best result of the year with a fifth place finish, after starting second on the 24-car grid. Mark Hotchkis, in the No. 78 Alco Capital Group/Nassi Group Lola, started 17th and carved his way into seventh place by the end of the event. Renna ran fourth throughout out most of the race and engaged in a spirited battle with pole-sitter Sergio Paese for third, before being nipped at the finish line by Geoff Boss. The race was won by Derek Higgins. Hotchkis, who struggled with the setup on his Lola all weekend, finally dialed his car in about midway through the race and at the end was consistently turning some of the quickest laps in the field.
TONY RENNA: "I had a ton of fun today. But it is so hard to pass, and what happens is you get into traffic a little bit and you just lose that front end and you just cannot get on the power like you want to. It's tricky on these short ovals. It was my first real experience of how you lose downforce in the corners. I think we were faster than Paese and we had a good fight for third. Then right at the end we got into traffic. Two cars were right next to each other and just blocked up all the air going to my front wing and the front end just washed out. Alone, the car was great. I think the results this weekend are very indicative that the team is coming together and getting better."
MARK HOTCHKIS: "I think we picked up speed for two reasons. One was I altered my line to one that the car liked better. In a tighter line there was great grip and the car liked it. So I consistently tried to hit it, which helped a lot. The other thing was, it was just a matter of time. I was fighting understeer in the beginning of the race and I knew that if I took care of the front tires that eventually it would come around. I had to be so patient and I hate to do that. I love to go out and attack right from the green flag, but this weekend I had to wait for the car. I had several great moments before it settled down."
MATT COHEN, MATTCO RACEWORKS TEAM OWNER: "Tony and Mark did an awesome job. Tony did a great job keeping his nose clean running up front. It's too bad he just got nipped at the finish line, but at least it was clean. I had a little discussion with Mark in the middle of the race when it looked like the car was hooked up a little better, and I told him to just go for it. Apparently he did, because he was turning quickest laps at the end and picked up a bunch of spots. I'm looking forward to doing some road racing for a while. Hopefully, it won't be as hard on equipment. Lola's been loving us lately."