Alex Tagliani finished 19th
The P19 result was not reflective of the speed for Alex Tagliani and his Barracuda Racing crew for Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
An on-track incident in Saturday’s qualifying gave the Barracuda Racing team a P21 spot on the starting grid. Despite that, Tagliani knew the No. 98, Honda-powered car had the speed to advance in position.
The team switched to red tires on lap 18 of the 80-lap competition and had one of the fastest cars on the track about 20 laps in.
Then on lap 29, the No. 83 car of Charlie Kimball made contact with Tagliani’s car, causing damage to the front and rear wings. The Barracuda Racing team pitted and changed both wings, but went a lap down in the process.
From that point forward, Tagliani worked to regain positions, finally crossing the finish line in P19.
“The Barracuda Racing car was blisteringly fast,” said Tagliani. “The team worked so hard this weekend and we definitely would’ve finished near the front of the field. I’m just really disappointed because I’ve had problems with Kimball for three years now. I’m a patient guy but this is just unacceptable.”
Team owner Bryan Herta added, “The weekend started bad and never really got better. Alex raced hard today and our strategy was going to play out. We were going to cycle up into the top six or seven but then unfortunately we had a problem with the 83 car there.
“We did finally find a good setup for this new generation of Firestone tires, which bodes well for the upcoming races. The best thing we can do at this point is focus ahead and build some momentum through Brazil in two weeks, and carry that into Indianapolis.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series is headed to the first international race of the year. The Sao Paulo Indy 300 is scheduled for Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET. The 75-lap competition will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.