Watkins Glen: Series race notes

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Saturday, July 4, 2009) -- In the Corning 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Saturday, J.R. Hildebrand passed polesitter James Davison on Lap 14 and held on through a final-lap restart to win. Davison, driving the No. 21 People*s...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Saturday, July 4, 2009) -- In the Corning 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Saturday, J.R. Hildebrand passed polesitter James Davison on Lap 14 and held on through a final-lap restart to win.

Davison, driving the No. 21 People*s Liberation entry for Vision Racing, finished .5499 of a second behind. Felipe Guimaraes -- making his series debut -- was third in the No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport car.

Sebastian Saavedra was credited with 18th place after Firestone Indy Lights officials penalized him 30 seconds for blocking on the last lap.

***

CORNING 100 POST-RACE NOTES:

•This is J.R. Hildebrand's second Firestone Indy Lights victory of the season in the No. 26 ARPRO entry of ARPRO Andretti Green/AFS Racing. He won from the pole at Long Beach.

•This is J.R. Hildebrand's third career Firestone Indy Lights victory. This is his second full season in Firestone Indy Lights.

•James Davison finished a season-best second in the No. 21 People*s Liberation/Vision Racing entry. His previous best finish was fifth on the oval at Milwaukee. His previous-best road course finish this season was seventh at Long Beach.

•Felipe Guimaraes finished third in his first career Firestone Indy Lights start in the No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport entry owned by IndyCar Series veteran Bryan Herta. Guimaraes' best finish in the 2008-09 season for Team Brazil in A1GP was second in September 2008 in Kyalami, South Africa. 1970 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen winner and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi is team principal for the A1 GP Brazil entry.

•Charlie Kimball finished a career-best fourth. His previous best was seventh on the street circuit at St. Petersburg and the oval at Iowa. Kimball is in his first Firestone Indy Lights season with Team PBIR.

•Pablo Donoso finished ninth, equaling his season best at Indianapolis.

•Mike Potekhen finished 12th, his best outing in three starts this season. He finished 14th at Indianapolis and Iowa, both ovals.

•Stefan Wilson tied his season-best finish of 13th, set at St. Petersburg. This was his fourth start of the season.

•This is just the second time in eight starts this season that James Hinchcliffe, Wade Cunningham and Mario Romancini were not running at the finish. Hinchcliffe had a mechanical problem at Indianapolis. Cunningham and Romancini each had a mechanical problem at Long Beach.

•Sebastian Saavedra was credited with 18th place after Firestone Indy Lights officials penalized him 30 seconds for blocking on the last lap.

*** CORNING 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, winner): "It doesn't get any better (than an American winning on the Fourth of July). This race could have really not been at a better time for us. I knew we had a strong car going into this race. We were sitting there thinking, 'We cannot accept defeat today.' It's America's birthday. I can't be more happy with it."

JAMES DAVISON (No. 21 People*s Liberation/Vision Racing, second): "Congratulations to J.R. He was just too quick. They must have been trimmed out just a little more than us because I was just a sitting duck there. I didn't get a bad run or anything out of the first turn. That's just the way it goes. I had a good last restart and was right behind him out of Turn 1, but still he pulled away when I was a couple of meters behind. He just had good straight-line speed."

FELIPE GUIMARAES (No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport, third): "It was very good. I was able to overtake him (Saavedra) on the last lap. We had a good car. Our morning practice set us up very well for the race. I'm just happy, especially since it my first race with this car."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 35 Palm Beach International Raceway, fourth): "It was a really strong race. We had a good car all weekend. We had some electrical problems in practice yesterday, so we sort of lacked on the development we were hoping to do. In qualifying, we had the best of the year so far with fifth position. It was the best result we could have asked for. You never know what's going to happen. Today was proof of that because it wasn't until the toe of the Boot on the last lap that we picked up fourth position. We ran 29½ laps in sixth and fifth and then picked it up right at the end. It's nice to give the guys a nice reward for the hard work they put in."

***

Ali Jackson received $2,500, Andrew Prendeville $1,500 and Mario Romancini $1,000 as part of the Firestone Lucky Three program, in which a blind, post-race draw by the top three finishers determines three drivers outside of the top 10 in the race results to earn bonuses from Firestone.

***

Gustavo Yacaman earned the Force For Earth Hard Charger Award and a $1,000 bonus in the Corning 100.

***

-credit: irl

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Bryan Herta , Charlie Kimball , Andrew Prendeville , Pablo Donoso , Wade Cunningham , James Davison , Sebastian Saavedra , Mike Potekhen , J.R. Hildebrand , Felipe Guimaraes , Stefan Wilson , Mario Romancini , Gustavo Yacaman
Teams Bryan Herta Autosport