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IndyCar Series 2012

Round 08: Milwaukee

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
June 16, 2012

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.

Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport)zoom
Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport)
Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport)zoom
Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport)

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.

Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)zoom
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)zoom
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
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.”
IndyCar Series
Round 08: Milwaukee
Rank Driver (Team)
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)
2 Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Technology)
3 James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)
4 Oriol Servia (DRR Panther Racing)
5 E.J. Viso (KV Racing Technology)
6 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)
7 Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport)
8 Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing)
9 Graham Rahal (Chip Ganassi Racing)
10 Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing Technology)
11 Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi)
13 Simon Pagenaud-R (Schmidt Hamilton Racing)
16 Mike Conway (A.J. Foyt Racing)
17 Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)
19 Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi)
20 Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
21 James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing)
23 Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)
25 Josef Newgarden-R (Sarah Fisher Hartman)

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