The Milwaukee Mile Racing Report

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Honda Racing Report
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Circuit:                The Milwaukee Mile (1.0-mile oval) West Allis, WI
2011 Winner:       Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 117.390 mph average

Weather:              Scattered showers, humid, 82 degrees F

Top 10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver Team Engine Chassis Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 225  122.020 mph avg.; led 84 laps
2. 6. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 225 -5.1029 seconds
3. 8. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 225 -7.2715 seconds; led 1 lap
4. 20. Oriol Servia DRR Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 225 -9.8940 seconds
5. 5. E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 225 -10.0782 seconds; led 27 laps
6. 4. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 225 -12.1105 seconds; led 50 laps
7. 13. Alex Tagliani Bryan Herta Autosport Honda Dallara 225 -12.3440 seconds
8. 22. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Dallara 225 -12.7396 seconds
9. 11. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 225 -13.3395 seconds
10. 3. Rubens Barrichello KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 225 -13.8178 seconds

Other Honda-powered Results:

11. 21. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 225 -14.3764 seconds
13. 7. Simon Pagenaud-R Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda Dallara 224 Running
16. 25. Mike Conway A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 224 Running
17. 18. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 224 Running
19. 1. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 193 DNF-contact; led 63 laps
20. 24. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 107 Did not finish - contact
21. 16. James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 105  Did not finish - contact
23. 12. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 93 Did not finish - mechanical
25. 17. Josef Newgarden-R Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Dallara 67 Did not finish - mechanical

R – IndyCar Series Rookie                                     

Tagliani Runs Seventh for Honda at Milwaukee

A race that started well for several Honda-powered IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams on Saturday at The Milwaukee Mile ended with Alex Tagliani finishing seventh and Graham Rahal ninth on a day that promised much more.

Pole-qualifier and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti dominated the opening segment of today's 225-lap contest, leading until the first round of pit stops on Lap 63.  But an ill-timed caution flag took away Franchitti's advantage, leaving him running fourth, with a car that did not work as well in traffic as when he had been at the front of the field.  On Lap 192, Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe made side-to-side contact, and one lap later a rear suspension failure sent him crashing into the Turn 4 wall.  Franchitti was uninjured, but out of the race as a result of the crash.

Starting 21st after taking a 10-position grid penalty for an unapproved engine change, Detroit race winner Scott Dixon battled his way through the field to fourth place at mid-race, but was given a "drive-through" [pit lane] penalty by race officials when he was judged to have jumped a Lap 121 restart.  The penalty dropped Dixon to 16th, the last car on the lead lap, and he was merely able to recover to 11th by the finish.

After a disappointing qualifying run on Friday that left him 13th on the starting grid, Tagliani found his Honda Dallara to be working much better in today's race, and he quickly moved into the top 10 in the opening laps.  Tagliani continued to advance during the middle stages of the contest, reaching third place on Lap 100.  But the Canadian driver was caught out by lapped traffic on the final two restarts, dropping him to a seventh-place result.

Rahal, meanwhile, fought handling problems early in the race, but made changes to his car and gradually improved his position throughout the second half, to finish ninth.  Simon Pagenaud had an encouraging short-oval debut, starting seventh, but fell a lap down to the leaders in the closing segment and finished 13th.  Mechanical issues ended the race early for Texas race winner Justin Wilson and rookie Josef Newgarden, while Takuma Sato and James Jakes were caught up in a Lap 107 crash that ended the day for both drivers.

The June run of consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series races concludes next week, with another short-oval race, the June 23 Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 8 of 16 races):
1.Will Power 274 points(3 wins) 6.Simon Pagenaud 216
2. James Hinchcliffe 243 7. Dario Franchitti 205 (1 win)
3. Scott Dixon 239 (1 win) 8. Tony Kanaan 200
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay 233 (1 win) 9. Ryan Briscoe 193
5. Helio Castroneves 231 (1 win) 10. Oriol Servia  173

Manufacturers' Championship:   Rookie of the Year:  
1. Chevrolet  63 1. Simon Pagenaud  216
2. Honda 57 2. Josef Newgarden 114
3. Lotus  32 3. Katherine Legge 88

Alex Tagliani (#98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda) started 13th, finished 7th, his best result of 2012, switched to Honda power starting at Indianapolis: "It was a good day.  We recovered from a not-so-strong [qualifying] day yesterday and were capable of a third or fourth-place finish today.  But we got hung up by slower traffic on that last [Lap 201] restart.  That cost us a couple of places and there weren't enough laps left to recover.  It's the nature of Milwaukee.  But it is another step forward for the team.  Since we joined with the Honda family, we've had to opportunity to compete up front.  That gives us the confidence we need to keep pushing, and that's exactly what we'll be doing next week in Iowa."

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's first short oval race of 2012:  "All in all, it was a disappointing race for Honda.  Qualifying on the pole yesterday with Dario [Franchitti] gave us high hopes for the race, along with strong performances from Justin Wilson, Simon Pagenaud  and Josef Newgarden.  Certainly, the early part of the race was 'proceeding according to plan', but the second half – with the crashes, ill-timed cautions and mechanical issues for some of our teams – seem to conspire against us.  Credit to Alex [Tagliani] and the Bryan Herta Autosport team for their strong performance in today's race.  And it was encouraging to see two of our engines finish the race today with nearly 2,000 miles [beyond the IndyCar series-mandated 1,850 miles between rebuilds].  We'll learn from today and move on to next week's short-oval race at Iowa Speedway."

For photogaphs from today's race, go to:
http://www.sportssystems.com/hosting/display.cfm?key=101628

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