Watkins Glen: Sam Schmidt Motorsports race notes

YOUNGEST DRIVER GUSTAVO YACAMAN LEADS SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS IN CORNING 100 AT THE GLEN WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Gustavo Yacaman, starting towards the tail end of the field, put on a passing clinic during the Corning 100 at the Watkins ...


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Gustavo Yacaman, starting towards the tail end of the field, put on a passing clinic during the Corning 100 at the Watkins Glen International Raceway on Saturday afternoon. He passed 10 cars en route to a seventh-place finish, best among the drivers for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

Ana Beatriz followed Yacaman in ninth, while Wade Cunningham and James Hinchcliffe ended their days against the barrier, finishing 19th and 21st, respectively.

The television broadcast of the Corning 100 airs on Monday, July 6, at 11 p.m. EDT on VERSUS.

Yacaman biggest mover in the field.

Gustavo Yacaman was the hard-charger of the Corning 100, improving 11 spots from his starting position, more than any other driver in the field. Starting from 18th, he had his work cut out for him to get a top-ten finish, but he proved that passing was possible on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen circuit. He made bold and daring passes throughout the event, and at the end of the day, he earned his career-best road course finish of seventh.

Ana Beatriz salvages a tough weekend.

Coming into this weekend's race fresh off a win and knowing she was running amongst the leaders at this circuit one year ago, there was much anticipation from Ana Beatriz for a solid result up front. As the weekend progressed, however, things didn't pan out, and to make things worse, she was handicapped with a five spot penalty on the starting grid for infractions in the previous round. Staring from 16th, she too had her work cut out for her. She kept her nose clean and made daring passes when opportunities presented themselves, and in the end, managed to bring home her fifth top-ten of the season in seven race starts.

Cunningham and Hinchcliffe disappointed in finishes.

As elated as Beatriz and Yacaman were, James Hinchcliffe and Wade Cunningham left the track with the opposite feeling -- disappointment. Both were among the quickest drivers all weekend. Hinchcliffe's day ended in the Turn 6 barrier on Lap 8, when his car spun due to his rear brakes locking up. On Lap 7, he had turned in his fastest lap of the race. Cunningham was running in the top-six late in the race, but less than four laps from the end, he dropped a wheel into the left-hand grass while setting up for the final turn, and upon turn-in, lost control of the rear of the car and ended up in the wall.


#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe

"When we started today, the car was a little bit loose right off the bat. It had had been pushing all weekend long. I made some adjustments in the cockpit, and J.R. (Hildebrand) got by me there. I was trying to make it a little better, and we were able to a little bit. I actually put down some pretty quick lap times and was catching the guys up front. I was heading into Turn 6 there and I don't know what happened. Looking at the data, it looked like the rear brakes locked up going into the corner, and the end result was my rear coming around and me just being a passenger at that point. Really tough break, and I feel really bad for my guys. The car has been really quick all weekend, and we were hoping to make some points up. We were ahead of Wade and Mario on the track, but they ended up having some issues too. Bad luck for them, but it softened the blow for us a little bit. That's the way it goes I guess. We'll get the car fixed and look forward to a great race in my hometown in Toronto."

#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham

"Obviously, a disappointing result for us. When you're starting eighth, it's always going to be tough getting to the front so you take some gambles in the car's setup, particularly in downforce and gearing. It was just hard work. I didn't benefit from the restarts as much as I thought I would because the lack of downforce we had really hurt us because we were always behind a lot of people. That, and there was a bit of over-driving as well. We had a small mistake, and without the downforce to help, I ended up in the fence. Disappointing for the championship, but it is what it is."

#20 HEALTHY CHOICE/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Ana Beatriz

"Well, considering the way that this race, and even the weekend, started, getting up to tenth was pretty good. Of course, I'm disappointed with the weekend because I know we should be better, but after qualifying, and where we had to start because of our penalty, to manage to get a top-ten is pretty good. The guys on the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team have been working really hard these last few weeks, and we all look forward to going to Toronto and getting a better result."

#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman

"We had a very hard weekend. Our qualifying session was very rough, but in the race, we made it up. I had a very good start, passing one or two guys into the first corner, and another three in the chicane. I kept on catching up to and passing people. We had a very strong car. On one of the restarts, I was really loose and lost a position or two. I made it up towards the end, and we ended up in eighth."

-credit: ssm

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Wade Cunningham , James Hinchcliffe , Ana Beatriz , Gustavo Yacaman