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Jay Howard gets bonus Texas outing

After a disappointing early end to his Indy 500 outing, Jay Howard is rewarded for a strong performance by getting an extra run in IndyCar at the Texas double-header event.
British driver Jay Howard has been added to the line-up for the Firestone Twin 275k races on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Howard had qualified a strong 21st position for the #88 Sam Schmidt Motorsport/Rahal Letterman Lanigan collaboration in the Indianapolis 500, only for an early pit stop blunder see him crash after a wheel detached coming out of pit road on lap 62 while running in the top half of the field.

"Our Indy 500 effort was strong all month long and to have it end the way it did was unfortunate," lamented Howard.

"Jay had a fantastic run going at the Indy 500, but it just wasn't meant to be," said team owner Sam Schmidt.

"Jay impressed us on race day and we are very optimistic that he can have another good weekend for us in Texas," agreed Rahal Letterman Lanigan co-owner Bobby Rahal.

Howard's performance at Indy allowed the team to pull together enough sponsorship to enable them to give Howard an extra outing at Texas.

"We really appreciate the support of Service Central and their brands that are making it possible for Jay to have another shot at Texas," said Schmidt.

"Service Central has believed in me from the start and it's very exciting to return with them to the Texas Motor Speedway," said Jay Howard.

Howard competed in the 2010 Firestone 550k at Texas for Sarah Fisher Racing after narrowly missing out on qualifying for Indianapolis the previous month. It's one of ten IndyCar series starts that the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion has made, four of them in 2010 but all of which ended up in mechanical failure or contact.

"We are entering into an event where anything can happen, but as we showed in Indianapolis, our team is ready for anything that does happen," said Rahal.

"We are looking ahead to Texas and plan another hard-fought effort with Rahal Letterman Lanigan," added Howard himself.

The Texas event itself has been overhauled this year and will now consist of two separate 275-kilometre (171 mile) events rather than the single 550-kilometre race previously seen at the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway in the past, the idea being to prevent the race settling into a prolonged mid-section procession as drivers just pace out the distance.




Related Pictures

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British driver Jay Howard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) at the 2011 Indianapolis 500 during May. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves wins pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves slides into his machine prior to the first session of the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves in his pit stand following practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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