Guthrie Racing's Flying Four Finish in Style A jammed packed weekend with a record breaking entry field was finally able to entertain the crowd today as the Firestone Freedom 100 ran a day behind schedule at the historic Indianapolis Motor ...
Guthrie Racing's Flying Four Finish in Style
A jammed packed weekend with a record breaking entry field was finally able to entertain the crowd today as the Firestone Freedom 100 ran a day behind schedule at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 27 car field, the largest in the series history, took place under a cloud-free day, unlike Friday where rain washed out the original race scheduled to run on Carb Day. The team's drivers finished as follows: Logan Gomez 7th, Sean Guthrie 12th, Mickey Gilbert 21st, and Tom Wieringa 22nd.
Guthrie Racing did an outstanding job at running four cars in the race, all of whom crossed the finish line in one piece. This successful day was matched equally off the track as well, marking the beginning to a promising partnership with IZOD clothing for Logan Gomez and Guthrie Racing. Look for Gomez and the team to be wearing their stylish, sport-inspired clothing at every event this season. IZOD and the many other clothing brands of Phillip Van Heusen Corporation look to take Indy Racing by storm and provide a fresh new image for the series. Even with the reorganized event and the "500" Festival Parade occurring during the same time, a large crowd showed up to watch the Firestone Indy Lights drivers duke it out for the most prestigious race in the series.
Gomez started 9th, finished 7th and moved up one position in the Driver Points Standings to 10th place. An unlucky start resulted in the loss of positions on the first lap before a yellow flag.
"We lost 6 spots on the start due to a mistake by the car in front of us," Gomez explained. "The car felt the best it had all weekend. It handled great in traffic, but we had to play catch- up for the rest of the race."
The Crown Point, IN native demonstrated spectacular side-by-side racing at over 190MPH and showed his impressive driving skills as he made clean passes throughout the entire race.
"We picked up a slight push by the end, but I was still able to maintain full control on the inside line and pass a few more cars before the finish," Gomez said. "The Menards Guthrie Racing Car performed well today. I was glad to have a strong showing in my first race for IZOD clothing too."
Sean Guthrie picked up four spots from his 16th starting position and finished 12th.
"The car was fairly good today. We had a push right from the get go so I worked on preserving the front right tire during the whole race, which prevented me from pushing the car to its fullest," Guthrie said.
Guthrie tried all race to break into the top ten, but he lacked top-end speed making passing an extremely difficult task.
"We had the wrong gear in the car, which killed our speed on the straight," Guthrie said. "The engine would hit the rev limiter as soon as I came out of Turn 4, so even if I had a good run on a car entering the straightaway, I would fall back and was unable to get around."
With the way the race turned out, Guthrie had no complaints.
"Overall it was a successful weekend for the team. We might not have achieved the results we were hoping for, but all four of our cars are going home in one piece, which is crucial having the Milwaukee race in only one week."
Gilbert, who joined the team only five days ago after the former owner and driver of Mile High Motorsports merged with Guthrie Racing, gained a few positions from the start ending up in 21st.
"The field ran in a tight pack today as lap times were very similar. Even after 20 laps, all of the cars were still bunched together down the straightaway," Gilbert stated. "The Guthrie Racing team gave me a solid car this weekend, but I was a little upset with some poor restarts on my part. It was a really fun race to be part of though."
His results may not have been what he has looking for today, but as Gilbert grows with the team and develops a stronger relationship with his new teammates, success is looming on the horizon.
After the busy weekend, Gilbert leaves town for a few weeks to take a personal vacation.
"I'll be out of the vehicle for a few races, but I'll come back recharged in a few weeks!"
Wieringa was looking strong at the beginning of the race, however he made contact with the wall, which forced him to back off of his fast pace.
"Out of the box our car was awesome," Wieringa said. "Unfortunately I smacked the wall coming out of Turn 1 so hard that I thought parts were going to start flying off. After that when I was going into Turn 3, I was waiting for the car to fall apart on me. The Guthrie Racing crew did a great job with giving me a competitive setup, but in the end all I could do was hold on."
Wieringa entertained some famous guests this weekend. Beth Horn, better known as "Venom" from the show American Gladiators, was on site to watch the race in hopes of putting together a sponsorship package with Wieringa. Horn has been his personal trainer since the off season to make sure the oldest driver in the field is fully capable of keeping up with the younger drivers in the series.
The weekend was full of action and excitement on and off the track as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway never shows a dull moment. No one could ask for a better way to kick off the weekend of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing", the Indy 500. Guthrie Racing will have a short rest as they ready themselves for the Milwaukee Mile only one week away. With the biggest race of season behind the team, the season has only just begun as each driver continues their pursuit for the Drivers Championship.
Indianapolis: Andretti Green Racing race notes
Battistini holds on to take Freedom 100 win