IndyCar - Andretti Autosport Race Report
BALTIMORE, Sept. 5, 2011: The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix turned into one of the biggest street parties seen in the Maryland city in decades Sunday around the inner harbor of downtown Baltimore.
A huge crowd welcomed the IZOD IndyCar Series to the "Charmed City" in the first-time downtown street race and the racing portion proved to the icing on the cake for the community.
Danica Patrick topped the four Andretti Autosport drivers Sunday with a sensational drive from 23rd to sixth in the No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com car on the tough, demanding 2.0-mile 12-turn circuit around Camden Yards, the Baltimore Convention Center and four major hotels.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was challenging for a podium finish in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda machine at the halfway point of the 75-lap feature when his car was struck from behind in turn three by Ryan Briscoe and was forced to pit on lap 38. Hunter-Reay's crew made a quick rear suspension repair and Ryan charged from 19th to eighth in the final 25 laps. The eighth place finish moved Hunter-Reay into seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with three races remaining.
Mike Conway, in the new No. 27 Team Buffalo Wild Wings entry, suffered through a rough day from his eighth starting position. The personable Brit moved to sixth early in the race before suspension problems caused two long pit stops. Conway placed 23rd Sunday in Baltimore.
Marco Andretti, eighth in IndyCar Series points, was knocked out of the race after his No. 26 Team All Natural Snapple car was hit in the side in the big lap 36 tangle in Turn Three. At least 15 cars were involved in the melee and Andretti's mount was sidelined from the incident.
The Andretti Autosport team will now pack for the long trip to Motegi, Japan for the road course event set for Sunday, Sept. 18. The race will be shown live on VERSUS TV at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.
MARCO ANDRETTI, #26 TEAM ALL NATURAL SNAPPLE CAR
Recorded a 25th place result after mechanical issues
"It's a disappointing end for the No. 26 car today. The oil line was slowly letting go and then finally let go - (the engine) was in and out of emergency mode. It's unfortunate. We didn't have a great car today, but the Snapple guys did a great job and dad and the engineers did a great job. If we had stayed out during this yellow we could have been leading the race. But still it comes down to pace and we have some work to do in the off season. I'm up for the task."
MIKE CONWAY, #27 TEAM BUFFALO WILD WINGS CAR
Ended the race in 23rd place
"It was obviously a very disappointing day, not with just one mechanical failure but two. It's very, very disappointing. I'm very sorry for the Buffalo Wild Wings guys that we couldn't put on a good show for them. We need to do our homework, and then we'll regroup for Japan."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #28 TEAM DHL/ CIRCLE K/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA CAR
Secured an eighth place finish
"He [Ryan Briscoe] just dumped me. I'm just going to pick up and move on to the next race. We still salvaged 8th. It's just that some other guy's running around saving fuel the whole time and finishes 2nd, which is a shame. He [Briscoe] bent our suspension too which should have put us out of the race. The DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop guys did a great job to fix our suspension and we came out to finish eighth."
DANICA PATRICK, #7 TEAM GoDaddy.com CAR
Finished the race in sixth place
"What a great way to finish a challenging weekend. We took a chance on the fuel strategy and it worked in our favor. We ran out of fuel coming into the pits after the checkered which is fine by me. My guys had great pit stops which is key. I'm glad we had a solid finish for the GoDaddy.com car which we will use as momentum going into the road course in Japan."