Including its starts under various different names in Champ Car over the years, HVM Racing will reach an important milestone at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Chicagoland Speedway.
The PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300, which closes HVM's first full season under IRL rules, will be the team's 200th start since being acquired by Keith Wiggins in late 2000. The team competed in CART and Champ Car competition from 2001-07 - using various aliases including Herdez Motorsport, CTE Racing HVM and Minardi Team USA - before reverting to plain old HVM Racing when it joined the IndyCar Series this season.
"Reaching 200 starts is a great milestone, but you don't really think too much about what you've done in the past more than looking ahead to the next 200 starts and being stronger and more competitive," Wiggins said.
"We're a team that has been fortunate to have had success in the past and have done so with many different drivers in many varying circumstances. We've been able to help some young guys and give them the opportunities to be successful, and that was again the case this season with EJ [Viso]."
The landmark start comes after a couple of strong performances from Viso at Infineon Raceway and Belle Isle, where he recorded a best starting position of ninth before having his day cut short on Sunday.
For the second consecutive weekend, the team was off to a strong start, running in the ninth position before a caution on lap 17 helped Viso advance to sixth. On lap 30, the team relinquished that spot during its first stop for fuel and tyres, but Viso returned to the track in tenth, intent on regaining ground as soon as possible. Having passed Danica Patrick on his second lap out of the pits, the Venezuelan had gapped the veteran's battle with Vitor Meira and Graham Rahal when he ran wide at turn twelve and hit the wall.
Viso was unhurt in the accident, which occurred when he was running eighth and on course to move up again when others pitted, but the team's day was over as the car proved beyond immediate repair.
Ironically, on the same lap, Meira and Danica Patrick also made contact, also causing a caution and, allegedly, promnpting another outburst aimed at Viso by Patrick.
The HVM team was quick to point out that it was not involved in the Patrick-Meira incident, nor had any involvement with the two drivers as they were already behind Viso when they clashed.
"I cleanly overtook Danica after our pit-stop and was running far ahead of her and Vitor," the rookie commented, aware that he had had previous run-ins with both, "I never had any contact with either driver and it was a separate racing accident.
"I went into the turn and the car felt like it does when you drive over oil or something. The car slipped and felt like it had no grip. It's disappointing for the team because we were having another strong run."