Friday, May 22, 2009

Summary of Firestone Freedom 100


Summary and results of the Firestone Freedom 100, compliments of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thanks, guys. Wish I could have been there.

The Firestone Indy Lights series is a developmental driving league for the Indy Car Series. Think Triple A Minor League ball teams for Major League Baseball.

I was personally cheering for England's Pippa Mann (who lives here in Indianapolis). She finished 21st, after making contact seven laps into the race. Hard luck, Pippa. Better luck next time.

Wade Cunningham won, J.R. Hildebrand came in second. You can see the rest of the results here.

FIRESTONE FREEDOM 100 RACE RUNNING


Lap 1: GREEN. #11 Cunningham leads the field into Turn 1. #20 Beatriz passes #26 Hildebrand for third in Turn 1. #11 Cunningham leads #27 Saavedra by .2027 of a second.

Lap 2: #20 Beatriz and #26 Hildebrand side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2. #26 Hildebrand goes underneath #20 Beatriz for third in Turn 3. #27 Saavedra passes #11 Cunningham for the lead on the front stretch. #27 Saavedra leads #11 Cunningham by .0538 of a second.

Lap 3: #11 Cunningham passes #27 Saavedra for the lead entering Turn 3. #11 Cunningham leads #27 Saavedra by .2087 of a second.

Lap 4: #26 Hildebrand passes #27 Saavedra for second. #11 Cunningham leads #26 Hildebrand by .0447 of a second. #7 Hinchcliffe to pit lane.

Lap 5: #26 Hildebrand passes #11 Cunningham for the lead in Turn 3. #27 Saavedra passes #11 Cunningham for second on the front stretch. #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .5065 of a second.

Lap 6: #11 Cunningham passes #26 Hildebrand for the lead on the front stretch. #11 Cunningham leads #26 Hildebrand by .0283 of a second.

Lap 7: YELLOW. #15 Plowman does a quarter-spin to the left entering Turn 1 and makes heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier with the rear of the car. The car also clips #16 Mann who brushes the SAFER Barrier with the right side of the car at the exit of Turn 1. #16 Mann has flat right side tires and continues to pit lane. #9 Summerton to pit lane. #15 Plowman climbs from the car without assistance from the Delphi Safety Team. Leaders under caution are: #11 Cunningham, #26 Hildebrand, #27 Saavedra, #20 Beatriz and #37 Howard.

Lap 12: GREEN. #27 Saavedra passes #26 Hildebrand for second in Turn 4. #11 Cunningham leads #27 Saavedra by .6441 of a second at the line.

Lap 13: #27 Saavedra passes #11 Cunningham for the lead on the front stretch. #27 Saavedra leads #11 Cunningham by .0074 of a second.

Lap 14: #11 Cunningham underneath #27 Saavedra for the lead in Turn 3. #11 Cunningham leads #27 Saavedra by .0398 of a second.

Lap 15: #11 Cunningham leads #27 Saavedra by .0396 of a second.

Lap 16: #27 Saavedra and #26 Hildebrand underneath #11 Cunningham for the lead entering Turn 1.

Lap 17: #26 Hildebrand passes #27 Saavedra for the lead entering Turn 1. YELLOW. #20 Beatriz and #44 Yacaman touch wheels in Turn 1. The right front of #20 Beatriz touches the left rear of #44 Yacaman. #20 Beatriz does a quarter-spin to the left and makes heavy contact with the inside wall with the front of the car. #44 Yacaman makes light contact with the SAFER Barrier with the right rear and then does a full spin across the track, coming to rest in Turn 2. #20 Beatriz is assisted from the car by the Delphi Safety Team. #44 Yacaman climbs from the car without assistance from the Delphi Safety Team. Leaders under caution are: #26 Hildebrand, #27 Saavedra, #11 Cunningham, #5 Romancini and #37 Howard.

Lap 24: GREEN. #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .0023 of a second at the line.

Lap 25: #5 Romancini passes #11 Cunningham for third entering Turn 1. #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .1400 of a second.

Lap 26: #11 Cunningham passes #5 Romancini for third. #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .0170 of a second.

Lap 27: YELLOW. Debris on the front stretch. Leaders under caution are: #26 Hildebrand, #27 Saavedra, #11 Cunningham, #5 Romancini and #37 Howard.

Lap 29: GREEN. #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .2825 of a second at the line.

Lap 30: #5 Romancini passes #11 Cunningham and #27 Saavedra for second on the outside entering Turn 1. #26 Hildebrand leads #5 Romancini by .1171 of a second.

Lap 31: YELLOW. The right front of #35 Kimball makes contact with the left rear of #24 Potekhen. #24 Potekhen does a quarter-spin to the right and back to the left and continues to pit lane. #35 Kimball continues to pit lane. Leaders under caution are: #26 Hildebrand, #5 Romancini, #11 Cunningham, #27 Saavedra and #37 Howard.

Lap 34: GREEN. #26 Hildebrand leads #5 Romancini by .1412 of a second.

Lap 35: #11 Cunningham looks inside #5 Romancini for second entering Turn 1 but can't make the pass. #26 Hildebrand leads #5 Romancini by .0665 of a second.

Lap 36: #26 Hildebrand leads #27 Saavedra by .1208 of a second. #11 Cunningham is third. #5 Romancini is fourth.

Lap 37: #26 Hildebrand leads #5 Romancini by .0794 of a second. #11 Cunningham is third. #27 Saavedra is fourth.

Lap 38: #26 Hildebrand leads #11 Cunningham by .0670 of a second. #5 Romancini is third. #27 Saavedra is fourth.

Lap 39: #27 Saavedra white walls in Turn 1. #11 Cunningham underneath #26 Hildebrand for the lead entering Turn 3. WHITE. #11 Cunningham leads #26 Hildebrand by .2115 of a second.

Lap 40: #27 Saavedra brushes the wall exiting Turn 2. CHECKERED. #11 Cunningham wins the Firestone Freedom 100 by .1046 of a second over #26 Hildebrand.

***

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-RACE NOTES:

  • Wade Cunningham is the first two-time winner of the Firestone Freedom 100. He also won the event from the pole in 2006.

  • This is Cunningham's sixth career victory and his first since Watkins Glen 1 in 2007.

  • Cunningham made his fifth start in the Firestone Freedom 100, most of any driver.

  • This is the third Firestone Freedom 100 victory for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. The team also won in 2004 with Thiago Medeiros and 2005 with Jaime Camara.

  • The margin of victory of .1046 of a second is the closest in Firestone Freedom 100 history. The previous closest was .1319 of a second in 2005 when Jaime Camara defeated Wade Cunningham. It is the 21st-closest margin of victory in series history.

  • There were nine lead changes, most in race history. The previous high was seven in 2005.

  • Cunningham is the fourth different race winner in five Firestone Indy Lights races this season.

  • J.R. Hildebrand finished second, his best finish of the season. His previous best was third at St. Petersburg 2 and Long Beach.

  • Mario Romancini finished third for the second consecutive race (Kansas).

  • Jay Howard finished a season-best fourth. He has finished fourth and second (2006) in two starts in the Firestone Freedom 100.

  • Sebastian Saavedra finished fifth, his third top-five of the season.


  • ***

    Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, medical director for the Indy Racing League: #15 Martin Plowman and #44 Gustavo Yacaman have been checked and released from the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. Both are cleared to drive. #20 Ana Beatriz is being treated for a small laceration on her chin and will have X-rays taken of her left elbow and right knee.

    Photo: cmakin - taken at 2008 Indy Lights race in Speedway, IN

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