IndyCar » 26 June 2006
Allmendinger wins crazy race in Cleveland.
“It was frustrating today. We clawed back from an 11th place start to a high of third place,” said Clarke afterwards. “With one lap left, I tried to make the pass for second, and lost out at the end and have to settle for seventh. Still, we extended our lead in Roshfrans Rookie of the Year chase and keep showing that we have strong race pace. The CTE HVM crew gave me a great car and it was disappointing not to keep my podium spot, but it's done, we have to move on and we'll come back strong again in Toronto.”
The incident promoted Junqueira and Servia to the podium, with Servia chasing the Brazilian to the flag.
“All the close calls we had in the race, even the last lap, Mario slid in turn eight, the chicane, I said Oriol is going to have a run on me,” recalled Junqueira, who celebrated his best result of the season. “I just came out of the corner with the 'push to pass', was able to hold second place. The whole race was excitement.”
“Our pit stops were good,” added Servia. “We had a couple issues with the air jack that cost us a couple positions. Plus I didn't have radio communication today, so was not the greatest day to not have a radio with all those yellows. At the end, we got a little bonus at the last lap. I think we deserved the podium.”
Tagliani fought back to finish fourth while Dale Coyne Racing's rookie Jan Heylen provided some solace for his team owner with a career-best fifth-place finish. Dominguez ended up in sixth, Clarke in seventh with Katherine Legge scoring her third top-10 result of the year with an eighth-place finish.
The early exits for Bourdais and Wilson, coupled with Allmendinger's victory, turned the Champ Car standings into a three-car hunt after six races. Bourdais continues to lead with 166 points, while Wilson is 26 behind. Allmendinger lopped 29 points off of Bourdais' advantage with this weekend's win and is just 31 points behind.
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