Tagliani started Ninth for Iowa Corn Indy 250
Contact with the wall in turn two ended the day early for Alex Tagliani and his Barracuda Racing crew for a 24th place finish on Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway.
The team started the race with a ninth place spot on the starting grid, after earning a third place finish during Saturday night’s heat race qualifying format.
Tagliani fought hard to maintain a solid position during the first quarter of the 250-lap race. He advanced three spots during the second restart.
Unfortunately, the Canadian driver encountered some pressure on the tight, 7/8-mile oval. On lap 137, he attempted to pass another driver on the outside and moved up just enough to make slight contact with the wall in turn two.
“We were fighting really hard,” said Tagliani. “It would’ve been nice to have a solid top ten finish.
“I got caught on the high side when I tried to pass Dario [Franchitti]. I touched the marbles – my mistake. I’m sorry to the Barracuda Racing guys who have been working so hard. I got caught in the grey. I pushed up and just tagged the wall.”
The Barracuda Racing team fixed the bent toe link, changed the rear wing and sent the No. 98 car back out on lap 149. When it didn’t handle as expected, the team determined that the damage was more than just cosmetic and brought it back to the garage.
In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Pennsylvania for the Pocono IndyCar 400. The 160-lap race on the “tricky triangle” will take place on Sunday, July 7 at 12 p.m. ET. The open-wheel action will be broadcast live on ABC.
After an action-packed day at Iowa Speedway on Saturday
Alex Tagliani and his Barracuda Racing team will start ninth for Sundays’s Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Running as high as ninth during the morning practice, Barracuda Racing looked strong heading into qualifying. The unique format gave Tagliani and the rest of the field a one-lap attempt to set the grid for the evening’s heat races.
Tagliani’s lap of 17.686 was 14th fastest and put the Canadian driver in the first heat race. Competing against seven other cars, Barracuda Racing completed the heat race in third place, and then a ninth place on the starting grid for the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
“I think we still have a bit of work to do on the balance of the Barracuda Racing car to make sure that we’re okay on old tires, but early on we were good,” said Tagliani. “Takuma [Sato] was using the whole track and I was trying to pin him down low. When he took the high side off me, I tried to go down on the inside of turn one, and I made it through. Then on the exit, he had enough to get back in front of me in turn three. I think we needed to make it happen right away and we were close, but not close enough.
“It’s definitely a good thing that we were able to do a long run in some sort of dirty air with the front two guys. We were able to analyze our car, see where the tire pressure goes up and how much more grip we will need at the end of the stint. The car was getting a little too slippery out there for my taste but I think we learned a lot and I’m sure we’ve got a chance to run up front tomorrow.”
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 is the 10th race (of 19) on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The 250-lap competition will take place on the 7/8-mile, Iowa Speedway oval. An estimated green flag drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET and the race will be broadcast live on ABC.
source: bryanhertaautosport.com, photo: INDYCAR Photo