Carpenter takes first win in Kentucky 300
Ed Carpenter was thankful he had one Honda push to pass available on the final lap of the Kentucky Indy 300.The extra horsepower boost was crucial in the Sarah Fisher Racing driver's 22-lap duel with Dario Franchitti, and most important as he exiting Turn 4 of the 1.5-mile oval side-by-side with the IZOD IndyCar Series championship front-runner.He pushed the button and pushed the No. 67 Dollar General car to the start/finish line to edge Franchitti by 0.0098 of a second -- the sixth-closest race in IZOD IndyCar Series and the closest ever at Kentucky Speedway.Scott Dixon finish third to wrap up the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy and rooklie James Hinchcliffe was fourth. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner at the last oval race (New Hampshire Motor Speedway in mid-August) finished fifth.Will Power, who entered the penultimate race of the season with an 11-point lead over Franchitti, started from the pole. But contact with the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car driven by Ana Beatriz on pit lane on Lap 49 put a gash in the left sidepod of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.Power had to pit twice more and fell back to 23rd -- the last car on the lead lap. He soldiered on and finished 19th, but is 18 points behind Franchitti entering the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.Also on Oct. 2, Josef Newgarden clinched the Firestone Indy Lights championship by taking the green flag in the Kentucky Indy 100 at Kentucky Speedway.Stefan Wilson still has something to shoot for -- the championship runner-up -- and he took a big step in attaining that goal with a 3.1136-second victory over Newgarden in the 67-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval.Wilson, who earned his first Sunoco Pole Award a day earlier in the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car, overtook Esteban Guerrieri in the standings with one race remaining in the season.Jorge Goncalvez finished third in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special and Brandon Wagner was fourth in the No. 22 TMR-Davey Hamilton Racing entry. Bryan Clauson, who started 11th in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/SSM car, finished fifth.Guerrieri, along with the cars of Gustavo Yacaman, Anders Krohn, David Ostella and Jacob Wilson, was eliminated in a Lap 1 incident in Turn 2.DAY 2 NOTEBOOK: At each Firestone Indy Lights event, the tire manufacturer rewards the teams which best represents its brand through the Firestone Image Award. Up to three teams can share $2,500 based on a vote of Firestone Racing personnel. However this weekend, Firestone has chosen to honor Chris Griffis, the team manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports who died unexpectedly on Sept. 12. The entire $2,500 for the Kentucky 100 will be given to the Chris Griffis Family Fund, which was created by Sam Schmidt Motorsports to assist Griffis' wife and daughters with future expenses.***Firestone Indy Lights starting grid update: #9 Krohn will move to the back of the field for today's Kentucky 100 after Belardi Auto Racing opted to change engines following qualifying on Saturday. Krohn will start 13th. He had originally qualified 12th.***Bryan Clauson finished 10th in Saturday night's USAC National Sprint Car race at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Clauson will start 11th in today's Kentucky 100.***KENTUCKY 100 RACE SPECIFICS•The race is 67 laps/100 miles on the 1.5-mile oval.•The pit road speed limit is 45 mph.•The green flag to start the race will be show the third time by the start-finish line. There will be no passing on the initial start until all cars have reached the start-finish line.•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Honda Civic SI Safety Car.•The race leader will accelerate between Turns 3and 4 on restarts at the Z-Max sign.KENTUCKY 100 RACE RUNNING At 12:15 p.m., the ambient temperature was 57 degrees, with a relative humidity of 46 percent. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 82 degrees. 12:26 p.m. - Iraq Army War Veteran Troy Yocum, grand marshal of the race gave the command, "Firestone Indy Lights drivers, start your engines." All 13 cars have started and are rolling on the grid.Lap 1: GREEN. #5 S. Wilson leads the field into Turn 1. #11 Newgarden has clinched the Firestone Firehawk Cup as 2011 Firestone Indy Lights standings. YELLOW in Turn 2 for a multi-car accident in Turn 2. Cars involved are #19 J. Wilson, #7 Guerrieri, #2 Yacaman, #16 Ostella and #9 Krohn. #19 J. Wilson spun in Turn 2 and collected the cars of #7 Guerrieri, #2 Yacaman, #16 Ostella and #9 Krohn. Leader under caution is #5 S. Wilson.Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Jacob Wilson, Esteban Guerrieri, Gustavo Yacaman, David Ostella and Anders Krohn have been checked and released from the infield medical center. All have been cleared to drive.*** Lap 15: GREEN. #5 Wilson leads the field into Turn 1.Lap 16:#11 Newgarden makes pass for the lead on the outside of Turn 1. Lap 20: #11 Newgarden leads #5 Wilson by .4179 of a second. Lap 26: #11 Newgarden leads #5 Wilson by .0659 of a second. Lap 30: #11 Newgarden leads #5 Wilson by .0083 of a second. Lap 35: Running side-by-side for the lead, #11 Newgarden leads #5 Wilson by .0053 of a second. Lap 39: #5 Wilson completes pass for the lead in Turn 3. Lap 40: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by .2930 of a second. Lap 46: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by .4462 of a second.*** #5 Wilson has clinched the two bonus points for most laps led.*** Lap 47: #3 Carbone is off the pace with a flat right-front tire. Lap 50: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by .7992 of a second.*** Firestone Indy Lights officials have penalized #28 Ferreira for blocking. He will have to do a drive-through penalty.*** Lap 55: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by 1.5397 seconds. #28 Ferreira has been parked after failing to serve his penalty. Lap 60: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by 2.2322 seconds. Lap 65: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by 2.8744 seconds. Lap 66: WHITE: #5 Wilson leads #11 Newgarden by 3.0551 seconds. Lap 67: CHECKERED: #5 Wilson wins the Kentucky 100 by 3.1136 seconds.KENTUCKY 100 POST-RACE NOTES· This is Stefan Wilson's second win of the season and his second win of his Firestone Indy Lights career. He also won this season at Toronto.· Josef Newgarden finished second and clinched the Firestone Firehawk Cup as Firestone Indy Lights champion. Newgarden also clinched the Perkin Elmer Rookie of the Year Award.· Jorge Goncalvez finished third, his third podium finish in 2011.· Brandon Wagner finished a season-best fourth. His previous best finish was ninth at New Hampshire.· Bryan Clauson finished fifth, his fourth top-five finish in five starts.KENTUCKY 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:STEFAN WILSON (No. 5 Andretti Autosport): "That was just so amazing. The team did a really good job this weekend and gave me a fantastic car and that was the groundwork to me getting this victory. It was an awesome weekend. We got pole yesterday, the first pole of my Firestone Indy Lights career, along with the outright lap record along with the two-lap record around Kentucky and then got the victory today. So it's been an absolute dream. (About the Lap 37 pass of Josef Newgarden for the lead for good) It was just so fun racing with Josef; we're very respectful of each other and gave each other enough room. It was just a fantastic race."JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM, finished second; 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion and 2011 Perkin Elmer Rookie of the Year): "It's a big day for the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team. It's very bittersweet for us given everything that has happened over the last few weeks. It's going to be difficult to celebrate this without Chris (Griffis). It certainly gave us a lot of motivation to come here and finish it off right for him. I'm elated for all of the guys. The entire team has worked so hard and they really put a lot into this year. It's a big day for all of them and certainly for the whole team."JORGE GONCALVEZ (No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special): I'm pretty happy, the team did a good job working towards this oval and Vegas, to make third place…I'm pretty happy. This is my first podium in Firestone Indy Lights, and I'm just really happy. I feel really good about my leg, and thanks to the team and thanks to everybody and we'll see you in Vegas.BRANDON WAGNER (No. 22 TMR/Davey Hamilton Racing): "Things went really well. I thought we had a little more than we showed on track, finishing fourth. The car just kinda had trouble catching up to traffic, when everything gets spread out like that, it's really tough to get everyone grouped up and go faster. Fortunately the car was fast, the restart we kinda of got passed up and fell back to where we shouldn't have been to begin with. The car was good. I wish it was a little better. We'll take fourth place today."BRYAN CLAUSON (No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM, finished fifth): "It was a long one. We struggled a little bit. I don't know if was just running after the trucks or what, but we missed it. We had a really good car all day in practice yesterday, and was fastest in both. The car was handling really good in the draft, but today it wasn't good at all. The last five or 10 laps it kind of came back to us and we got going again. We even picked up quite a bit on lap time, which is hard to do when you're running wide open. We're going to have to go back and look at the data and see where we missed it."ESTEBAN GUERRIERI (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "He was quite shaky in the rear and then lost it coming into Turn Two, so I had no way to avoid him because he was in the middle of the track, so I hit him and we went close to the top of the racetrack and collected the other cars. It's a shame because there were only 13 cars to start with and to lose five in the first lap is not good. But at least we are in good shape, good physical shape, no big problems so, let's get ready for the next one."DAVID OSTELLA (No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen): "I think I ran into them and just lost it, you know, cold tires and all I saw was smoke. Gustavo was slowing down on me and so it was all chaos. I think I might have run into Gustavo and I feel bad for doing that then that happened and I went into the wall. I saw on replay that I almost flipped a car, and it's not what you want in a race, especially not on the first corner. But there's still one more race go, it's a big one in Vegas. So we'll just look forward to that and be positive about it, and we'll get the car together again."JACOB WILSON (No. 19 Belardi Auto Racing):" It just came around on me. I didn't expect it. It felt good coming around Turn 1 and then snapped around coming off of Turn 2. We caught quite a few other guys. I'm really not sure. It just stepped out on me. I didn't expect it to come around there. I just hate to ruin anyone else's run. I'm fine but the car is not. It's just a bad deal."GUSTAVO YACAMAN (No. 2 TMR/Tuvacol/Xtreme Coil Drilling): "We saw the Belardi car just lose it on the bottom taking with him Esteban, I checked off and I was going to avoid him until someone hit me from behind, and I don't know what happened after that. "ANDERS KROHN (No. 9 Liberty Engineering Racing Special): "I think initially we had a great start in the race with the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Belardi Auto Racing car, we ewre going around the outside and just gaining spots, and suddenly I see alot of smoke and then there's only so much you can do. I saw a gap on the outside and then unfortunately I think the No. 2 car just came around so fast and collected me into the wall, so...2011 so far has been all about being unfortunate and today is a continuation of that. It's just a shame because Belardi Auto Racing had been so strong this weekend, all three of us, had a chance to be on the podium and it's a shame when we get taken out in Turn One and don't even get to show our potential. I'm just really sad for the guys and there's alot of repair stuff to do."KENTUCKY INDY 300 RACE SPECIFICS•The race is 200 laps/300 miles on the 1.5-mile oval.•The pit road speed limit is 60 mph.•The green flag to start the race will be show the third time by the start-finish line.•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Honda Civic SI Safety Car.•The race leader will accelerate between Turns 3and 4 on restarts at the Z-Max sign.•The fuel window is between 55 and 65 laps under green flag conditions.•Drivers have 20 uses of the Honda Overtake Assist for 12 seconds with a 10-second recharge.KENTUCKY INDY 300 RACE RUNNING At 2:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 62 degrees, with a relative humidity of 37 percent. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 97 degrees. 2:47 p.m. - Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, the grand marshal of the race gave the command, "Drivers start your engines." All cars have started and are rolling on the grid. Lap 1: GREEN. #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1. Lap 5: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by .6833 of a second. Lap 10: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by .4727 of a second.Lap 15: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by .6195 of a second.Lap 20: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by .7383 of a second.Lap 25: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by .9039 of a second.Lap 32: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by 1.3594 seconds.Lap 33: #3 Castroneves off the pace with a sour engine. Crew reports a water leak.Lap 35: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by 1.6137 seconds.Lap 40: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by 2.0696 seconds.***#3 Castroneves has retired from the event with a mechanical failure.***Lap 45: #12 Power leads #38 Rahal by 2.7924 seconds.Lap 48: #26 Andretti, #77 Wheldon on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 49: Leader on #12 Power on pit road. Car makes contact with #24 Beatriz. New leader is #4 Hildebrand.Lap 50: Leader #4 Hildebrand on pit lane for four tires and fuel. New leader is #10 Franchitti.Lap 51: Leader #10 Franchitti on pit lane for four tires and fuel. He maintains the lead after his stop.Lap 60: Green flag pit stops complete, #10 Franchitti leads #4 Hildebrand by .0617 of a second. Top-five separated by .4389 of a second.Lap 65: #10 Franchitti leads #4 Hildebrand by .1030 of a second.Lap 70: #10 Franchitti leads #4 Hildebrand by .2351 of a second.Lap 75: #10 Franchitti leads #4 Hildebrand by .3314 of a second.Lap 79: YELLOW for Debris on the backstretch. Leader is #10 Franchitti followed by #4 Hildebrand, #9 Dixon, #26 Andretti and #28 Hunter-Reay.Lap 82: Leaders are on pit road for four tires and fuel. #10 Franchitti wins race off pit road followed by #9 Dixon, #26 Andretti, #4 Hildebrand and #38 Rahal. #12 Power is getting repairs to the sidepod following damage on first pit stop.Lap 92: GREEN. #10 Franchitti leads the field into Turn 1. Lap 95: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0946 of a second. Lap 100: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0744 of a second. Lap 105: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0781 of a second. Lap 110: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0775 of a second. Lap 115: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0646 of a second. Lap 120: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0754 of a second. Lap 125: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .1104 of a second. Lap 130: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0893 of a second. Lap 135: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .0993 of a second. Lap 137: #77 Wheldon and #78 De Silvestro on pit lane. YELLOW. Debris on the frontstretch after #78 De Silvestro makes contact with pit equipment and a crew member from #59 Viso.Lap 140: Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel. #4 Hildebrand makes contact with a crew member entering his pit. #26 Andretti and #19 Lloyd make contact in the pits. #10 Franchitti wins race off of pit road. #9 Dixon, #38 Rahal, #2 Servia and #28 Hunter-Reay. Lap 144: #77 Wheldon on pit road for fuel only. Lap 145: GREEN. #10 Franchitti leads the field into Turn 1. Lap 151: #10 Franchitti leads #38 Rahal by .1876 of a second. #10 Franchitti has clinced the two bonus points for most laps led. Lap 160: #10 Franchitti leads #38 Rahal by .0675 of a second. Lap 165: #10 Franchitti leads #38 Rahal by .0695 of a second. Lap 167: YELLOW: #24 Beatriz spins and makes contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. #10 Franchitti is the leader under caution. Beatriz is assisted from her car by the Holmatro Safety Team. Lap 169: #38 Rahal, running second, pits for four tires and fuel. Lap 178: GREEN: #10 Franchitti leads the field into Turn 1. Lap 180: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by .1537 of a second. Lap 185: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by .0022 of a second. Lap 190: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by .0094 of a second. Lap 191: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0100 of a second. Lap 192: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0135 of a second. Lap 193: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by .0071 of a second. Lap 194: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by. 0117 of a second. Lap 195: #10 Franchitti leads #67 Carpenter by. 0000 of a second. Lap 196: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0021 of a second. Lap 197: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0085 of a second. Lap 198: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0040 of a second. Lap 199: WHITE: #67 Carpenter leads #10 Franchitti by .0012 of a second. Lap 200: CHECKERED: #67 Carpenter wins the Kentucky Indy 300 by .0098 of a second over Dario Franchitti.KENTUCKY INDY 300 POST-RACE NOTES:· This Ed Carpenter's first Indy car win. He had finished second here at Kentucky in 2009 and 2010. He won the race in his 113th IZOD IndyCar Series start.· This is Sarah Fisher Racing's first win in Indy car racing. It's previous best finish was ninth with Graham Rahal at St. Petersburg in 2010.· The margin of victory, .0098 of a second, is the sixth-closest finish in IZOD IndyCar Series history and the closest finish at Kentucky Speedway.· Dario Franchitti finished second, his best finish at Kentucky Speedway· Franchitti regains the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points lead by 17 points heading into the final race of the season· Scott Dixon finished third. He has finished in the top five in the past five races· Dixon won the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy by 10 points over Dario, who was the inaugural winner of the award in 2010KENTUCKY INDY 300 POST-RACE QUOTES:ED CARPENTER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing, winner Kentucky Indy 300): "It felt way better than I ever thought it was going to feel. Dario raced me hard and clean. I knew we had the better car but in the second or third step. It was weird race because my visor was falling off in one of the steps and we had all sorts of stuff going on, the team made changes all day to the car…just an awesome day for the Dollar General, Angie's List, Fuzzy's Vodka and everyone involved." (About visor issues): "I wasn't going to let a visor coming off stop me from winning the race. I drove 15 or 20 laps with one hand holding on to my helmet til a pit stop, so just so proud to be a part of this team and this organization. Andy, Sarah, and I can't thank my wife enough for supporting me all these years to get to this point, it's taken a long time to get our first win, but that's fine with me."SARAH FISHER (Owner, Sarah Fisher Racing): "Just to see Ed drive his tail off is just so amazing. We figured out that next year, Dollar General is not coming back, so maybe they'll change their mind now. But, you k now certainly it was just a great weekend. They guys all worked their tail off, I haven't been to the shop in three weeks. My baby girl is obviously good luck…I'm just so happy to be here. (Is Kentucky you second home?): Ed's too. He's just done an amazing job for us leading laps at Indy. We've just put all our effort, 100 percent of our focus on ovals and it's paid off."DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Downy, finished second): We had a tough day yesterday, really were slow in qualifying and we did what we do—do our best. We made some good places on the first stint, had a good in lap, good pit stop, really good pit stop, really good out lap, and we came up from like fifth or sixth to the lead. And from then on, just tried to stay low there and keep going, and just ran out of overtakes one lap shy there and Ed got me. He drove a great race. The guys told me use an overtake every lap, and I miscounted by one.SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "It was a frustrating day, really, we were just going slow for some reason. Obviously we finished pretty well in third, but it took three of four laps to get going. I kept trying to jump the restarts to get a bit of an advantage, but as soon as Dario and other guys on the restart just blew on by. Actually we messed p some of the restarts, but great day for the team, huge points swing in the championship for Dario which is much need and is going to make it exciting going into Vegas. All in all, going to take the positives, and obviously winning the A.J. Foyt Oval Championship was definitely a nice end to the season.ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing): "The Telemundo car was actually great except it had a lot of understeer. We just missed our target on the front wing. The rest of the car was awesome we just had too much understeer. Unfortunately you can only put so much wing in on each pit stop without losing too much time. Every pit stop the car would get better because we put more wing in each time. But again we didn't want to stay in the pits too long putting wing in and lose positions. At the end the car was at its best but I still think we were a couple of turns short on the front wing. Apart from that I am happy coming from ninth. We had some moments where we thought we would end better but it is what it is. It was an interesting race, tough to pass. It was a good result for the team."James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing): "We were so close to that podium. Obviously starting third was great. We had a good car and a little bit more downforce than the fast guys so I couldn't lead very well but I could push guys really well. At one point I was pushing Oriol back up to the pack. Near the end there I let Cunningham go by so I could push him up to the pack. Once we were in the pack I think the extra downforce was helping. We had some trouble in the pits today but some things were out of our control like when JR had a problem in front of us in his pit box. But the car was good and we were able to pick those places back off. It was a ton of fun; this is the kind of racing you wanted to see here on the 1.5 milers and it was a great show for the fans." (On taking the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points lead:) "Certainly it's nice to go into the last race of the year a little bit up (in points) but at the end of the day there is still a lot that can happen. As you can see JR was ahead of us on track at one point during the day and so many things can happen to throw you off. It just proves how tough these races are; its really about being there at the end. We'll take it! Obviously I would rather be ahead than behind but there is still another 300 mile race to get through."E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It's definitely a race to forget. From the beginning the car was undriveable. It was extremely loose and I almost lost it several times. Therefore we made the decision to pit early and make some changes which we believed would fix the car and it did. Once I returned to the track the car was way better and stable enough to make it to the end of the race, but we didn't have the pace and were a number of laps down. I also feel very bad for my Chief Mechanic, DJ McMahon who was injured by Simona de Silvestro in the pits. He unfortunately fractured his knee and hopefully will get better soon. As a team we are disappointed of the results, but we have one more shot (Vegas Final) to put all our best efforts to bring home a stellar result."TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It was a very tough race. At the beginning the car was so loose I almost lost it several times. But the main problem was we just didn't have overall speed, so I just kept following other cars using the draft. I gained a lot of positions on the restarts, but then I would get overtaken because the car was slow. In the end I was pleased that I finished the race. We did everything we could and we showed strength as a team. The pit stops were great. The crew did a good job. We need to go back and review what we did this weekend because we were not at our best today." TONY KANAAN (No. 82 GEICO - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "We were slow, slow all day long. There was nothing I could do to make the car go any faster, so I took every start and restart to gain positions and did my best to maintain them during the green flag periods. But the car really didn't help. As soon as the field began to stretch I started losing positions again. It was a painful day for the GEICO - KVRT - Lotus guys."GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "The Service Central guys did a great job all day today. The No. 38 Service Central car was quick and had the pace to finish up front. I worked with my teammates Dario (Franchitti) and Scott (Dixon) to pull away from the group when we were running top-3 and it seemed to work well. We know the Service Central car can run up front. I'm looking forward to a good finish in Las Vegas."WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 17 Air Ride Pallet): "The Air Ride Pallet AFS car handled great. We didn't get as much race running done in the second practice. We did a little qualifying simulation work. I wasn't 100 percent sure where we needed to be in terms of race car. We moved up in the first two stints making wing changes and tire pressure adjustments. We went too far in the second stint, but Ben did a great job dialing it back. He didn't make any wing changes in the last stop so we didn't lose any positions during the yellow pit stop. Again, the car handled really well. Once you get to those top-five guys, I ran fourth behind Dixon and I was able to push him around Hunter-Reay. Once I got there, that's when you really notice that extra down force that we were running. You really notice it when you're running with the top-three guys. We did what we had to get through the cars. Once we got to the front, that's the compromise (extra down force) you make. If I had played my cards better, we could have finished fourth but I am pleased with this finish today."DAN WHELDON (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "It was eventful (his race). It kept me busy, but that happens when you start from the back. By the same token, we were able to move forward in the Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia car. We just didn't seem to quite have the speed and the balance necessary to get right to the front. I think certainly that this experience will help for Las Vegas and it certainly allows Nick (Snyder) and I to work together, along with the team, before we move to Las Vegas. That's experience that is invaluable."MIKE CONWAY (No. 27 @FollowAndretti): "It was a tough day for us. Obviously we wanted to stay where we were at the start. That was difficult at the beginning of runs. Then the car settled down for us. But we went backwards and I tried to stay out of trouble. It made for a really long day. We just couldn't get the car to my liking."RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "It wasn't a bad day. It was a little frustrating because you couldn't complete the pass when you got up to someone. It was crazy racing in the end. It was a good top-five for us. We really didn't have the setup to win today. We had a run in the last four of five laps that could have moved us to the front, but I had nowhere to go. I was boxed in and couldn't get past anyone. In the last corner, I kept my foot in it. I knew I was going to get a huge push and James (Hinchcliffe) was able to go around me on the outside. We definitely wanted more for today. I feel badly for Marco (Andretti). He had a good car and he had an incident in the pits. That is sad. This place is more of a handling track that the next race in Las Vegas. Las Vegas will be more about engineering the car for aerodynamics." VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Suppy Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "It was a tough day. We passed a lot of cars and we had a fast car. I was just told we had the 5th fastest lap but everytime we came into the pits we were put last because the pits in front of us (Viso) kept having problems and crashing. We went last every single stop. Towards the end of the race we lost half of the front wicker (something hit it) & lost a lot of downforce. That's how the day went."CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen): "It was a really good day for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. We were strong all day and I had a great car. The No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen car started out great and I think we made it a little bit better in the middle of the race. About half-way through that last stint on the last restart, I didn't keep up with the car balance like some of the other guys did and that put me a little off at the end when I needed it. I got chopped a couple of times and shuffled back, but proved all day we can run inside the top 10 and have the pace to be there on long green flag stints as well as restarts. I'm really looking forward to doing it again and taking it another step forward in Las Vegas."WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "Nothing we could do about that one (pit road incident). We lost 4 mph with the hole in the side of the car. Guys had done such a good job with the car, we had the fastest car on the track, best car I've ever had on an oval. Handling was still there, just no speed." (Next race at Las Vegas): "We can go there (Las Vegas) and prepare this car cause its really fast and go there and win and see what happens."PIPPA MANN (No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): "We had a rough stint to start the race and we developed a big push that caused us to lose a couple laps, but the guys did a great job in bringing the car back," Mann said. "After that first stop, the car got a lot better and I was able to gain a lot of experience. Nobody laid down and gave up after that first stint, everybody kept battling hard and I was very impressed with that. I learned a lot that of things that I will be able to use at Las Vegas in two weeks."RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Transitions Adaptive Lenses Team Penske): "It was a pretty good day for the Transition Adaptive Lenses car. We had a fast car and we passed a lot cars coming torugh the field. MY pit crew gave me awesome stops today and we gave it our best, but we just didn't have quite enough pace to get up front with the leaders and fight for the win. It's very unfortunate that the 12 and 3 cars had the days that they did."HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Cintas Team Penske): "It's a really a shame for the Cintas Team Penske car. We changed engines after qualifying and the car was just awesome from the green flag. We were moving up to the front when we noticed a water issue. We came into the pits and once the guys took a look, we just lost power. It's just one of those things - it rarely happens, but it seems everything is happening to us this season. Hopefully we can turn things around and finish the season on a positive note in Las Vegas."***The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Las Vegas Indy 300, the main event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championship Presented by Honda, on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race will be televised live by ABC at 3 p.m. The race will be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on XM 94. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Las Vegas 100 on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.