Moraes Places 17th With Sato And Viso Knocked Out Early
JOLIET, Aug. 29, 2010: Mario Moraes was anxious to return to the site of his best IZOD IndyCar Series finish, the lightening fast Chicagoland Speedway.
On Saturday night, the 21-year-old Brazilian driver looked to have the form that took him to a third place a year ago on the 1.5-mile oval south of Chicago in the Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300.
Moraes drove from his 21st starting spot to fourth in the middle of the race in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, as he challenged the leaders such as Ryan Briscoe, Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Dan Wheldon. Franchitti won the 300-mile race.
Moraes was forced to make a late pit stop that took him from contention as he finished 17th at the checkered flag. Despite the 17th finish, Moraes still remains a fight for a top-ten position in the point standings with three races remaining including next Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Series rookie Takuma Sato, who qualified tenth in the No. 5 Lotus — KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, made his Chicagoland Speedway debut Saturday with a strong showing in the top-ten early in the 200-lap event. The Japanese star fought back from an early problem due to debris on the track and ran consistently with Dan Wheldon to battle with the lead pack. Unfortunately, Sato was forced to retire from the race due to damage sustained in an pit incident.
E.J. Viso, who scored a career-best third in his last oval race at Iowa in June, made another sensational charge from his 16th starting slot to run sixth by the 50th lap. Viso, at the wheel of the No. 8 PDVSA — KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, looked to be on his way to possible second 2010 podium finish Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway.. However, Viso was eliminated from action due to a pit problem on lap 80.
KV NOTES: Mario Moraes’ car had Chizmark Larson Insurance as an associate sponsor for the Chicagoland event, as the Motorsports Insurance company is located in nearby Joliet… Chicago White Sox star Omar Visquel visited Viso at Chicagoland during Friday practice. The Venezuela duo have been friends for years…. Sato played host to four Japanese students who attended Saturday’s race for the first time. Sato will be featured with the students in an upcoming Nippon TV special… Longtime KV sponsor Plantronics hosted a group of guests and spoke with Viso prior to the race. They also received a garage tour.
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 17th: “The car was pretty good tonight. We had to make a late pit stop. It is unfortunate because I thought we had a chance to race to run in the top-five again here at Chicagoland with the leaders. On one restart, I came from 17th to fourth, so the car was quite good. Now, we will get ready for Kentucky next weekend and put in a strong showing there.”
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 26th: "I am extremely disappointed tonight. This is a very exciting track as we expected. It was fantastic to race two and three wide on the track. I really enjoyed the first part of the race. But I had a puncture from some debris on the right rear tire and had to pit. I got a lap down because of that, but we worked our way back onto the lead lap and I made it. I was excited because I could run right with the lead group. We had perfect timing with the yellow flag coming out and I made my second pit stop. Now we are absolutely back on the game. It was a great stop from my crew. However, I pulled out of my pit,, another car came out of his pit and I was hit. Unfortunately, it knocked us out of the race. We had good speed today and I hope we can carry that into the race next week in Kentucky."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA — KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 27th: “We had a very fast car tonight. I went from 16th to sixth and I was in position to run with the leaders. But on my second pit, I got hit leaving my pit box and we broke the car. It is very unfortunate because we had a great car. I was very pleased how the car performed tonight.”