IndyCar »

Aleshin shines under the Texas lights

Mikhail Aleshin put in an excellent debut performance at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, finishing as the fastest rookie in the Firestone 600.
For a driver making only his second oval race start in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and at a venue he'd never seen before, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' rookie driver Mikhail Aleshin impressed with a fault-free run to seventh place in the Firestone 600.

Aleshin finished in seventh place as the first driver a lap off the lead, and the highest placed of the four official series rookies in this weekend's race.

"I learned so much tonight at Texas Motor Speedway," said the 27-year old Muscovite. "There is just so much for me to learn on every corner of every lap in every race.

"There are a lot of unknowns for me but when you have a good car like I did tonight, it felt great to be out there fighting for positions," he added.

"The team did a great job giving me a fast car, and our pit stops were strong. It helped that I didn't make too many mistakes, and we were able to get a strong result.

"I hear many experienced drivers say that as soon as you think you're used to an oval, it will bite you," he added. "With that in mind, I know I'm not used to this type of racing - but I'm starting to get it."

Including Aleshin, all four of the series rookies make it to the finish of the race, with Carlos Munoz crossing the line in 13th and Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas classified in 15th and 16th position, four laps off the lead.

Munoz would have finished higher if he hadn't the #34 Andretti Autosport - HVM Racing coming onto pit road for a green flag stop on lap 134, something that he was kicking himself for after the race.

"When I made that mistake, I just braked to get down to the speed limit, and I just lost the car completely," he explained. "There was nothing I could do, and before that we were running really good, really fast.

"Even after that happened, the Cinsay car was still really good, and I think we could have finished in the top positions," he said. "I'm just a little disappointed with that mistake, but it's experience for next time. Now we'll move on – we have testing next week, and I'll try to think about that instead."

Meanwhile Huertas was still recovering from the experience of 244 laps of the 1.455-mile high-banked oval which had left him literally in a spin by the finish.

"Racing here tonight was okay for me [but] I found it to be really difficult and sometimes I started to feel a bit dizzy after a while," he admitted. "The pace was good at the end of the stints but at the beginning we were not as fast as some other cars.

"I think I my driving style might have helped me save the tyres a bit for the end of the stints," he added. "I have always been pretty good at looking after my tyres and it helped me here."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Carlos Huertas waits on pitlane prior to the start (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz ahead of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz pits during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin (Photo by: Mark Reed for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin prepares for Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin slides into his machine prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin receives a handshake before his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin goes slightly off-course in the Turn 9 Esses during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin exits pit lane during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Incident between Mikhail Aleshin and Takuma Sato bring out the first yellow flag of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Incident between Mikhail Aleshin and Takuma Sato bring out the first yellow flag of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with Helio Castroneves and Carlos Munoz on the podium after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya with third-placed Carlos Munoz after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti cross the start/finish line during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.