SONOMA, Calif. - (Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009) J.R. Hildebrand took a decisive step to clinching the Firestone Indy Lights driver championship with a commanding victory in the Carneros 100 at his 'home track" of Infineon Raceway. Hildebrand can win...
SONOMA, Calif. - (Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009) J.R. Hildebrand took a decisive step to clinching the Firestone Indy Lights driver championship with a commanding victory in the Carneros 100 at his 'home track" of Infineon Raceway.
Hildebrand can win the Firestone Firehawk Cup with a finish of 13th or better at Chicagoland Speedway on Aug. 29.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is J.R. Hildebrand's fourth win of the season and the fifth of his Firestone Indy Lights career. He won the races at Long Beach, Watkins Glen, Edmonton this season.
* This is Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing's sixth win of the season. It has won four times with Hildebrand and twice with Sebastian Saavedra.
* Only three drivers, J.R. Hildebrand, Sebastian Saavedra and James Davison are mathematically eligible to win the Firestone Indy Lights championship. Hildebrand will clinch the title with a finish of 13th or better at next weekend's race at Chicagoland Speedway.
* Felipe Guimaraes finished second, his career-best finish in Firestone Indy Lights. Guimaraes finished fourth in better in his three Firestone Indy Lights starts,
* James Davison finished third, his second-straight podium finish. It was Davison's 19th consecutive race finish, breaking the record he shared with Nick Bussell for consecutive races running at the finish.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, Carneros 100 race winner): "I think our strongest competition was going to be my teammate Sebastian (Saavedra). He showed that by picking up as many spots as he at the end, after starting at the back with the engine change. It was a nice, clean race. I was able to just tick off the laps. We ran most of our laps within a couple of tenths within the fastest lap I ran during the race. That's really what we were trying to do. That's been our strong point all year and it proved to be strong again here.
FELIPE GUIMARES (No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport, finished second): "It's been good. We've run three races and have had two podium results, so that's great. My team did a very good job this weekend. I'm very proud of them."
JAMES DAVISON (No. 21 People*s Liberation/Vision Racing, finished third): "I made the most of the passing opportunities today, which were done on the restarts. I got into fourth and then I got into third. Knowing my teammate (Felipe Guimares) had underneath him what I had, I think it was a day to drive a safe race and bring it home. We have to continue to bring home these top ten finishes. It would be great to get a win on an oval as well as a road course this year, so we'll go to Chicago and try to better it."
RICHARD PHILIPPE (No. 37 Palm Beach International Raceway, finished fourth): "The race was pretty uneventful actually until I guess ten laps from the end. I was able to make some moves and some of my peers made some mistakes, so I was able to capitalize on them. It's been a very emotional weekend for me as you know. My brother is still in the hospital so this race is for him. All of his sponsors are on my car. It's been a tough weekend, but I have a job to do. Hopefully he'll be back soon and running with me."
ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished fifth): "It was a difficult race for the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team. I couldn't be as aggressive as I wanted to in driving the car. Throughout the race, I kept experience the rear brakes locking up, and it made it difficult to be in close battles. On the one hand, I'm happy for the team to get another top-five, but I know we could have been fighting for the podium so it's a bit frustrating. We'll get the car ready for Chicago and hope to have a good race there."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 29 with the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 9 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. A one-hour qualifying show will be telecast by VERSUS at 6 p.m. on Aug. 28. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Chicagoland 100 on Aug. 29 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be telecast by VERSUS at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 31. VERSUS's coverage of the Carneros 100 will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 24.