Herdez Competition lived the dream on the streets of downtown Miami, Florida, taking the top two finishing positions in a race that left more than half of the field with damaged cars and damaged pride.

Both Mario Dominguez and Roberto Moreno avoided all obstacles thrown in their way while being helped by quick pit stops and impeccable engineering as they crowned a historic day in the history of the team founded by the late Tony Bettenhausen.

For 135 laps of the tight and bumpy 1.15-mile Bayfront Park street circuit, Dominguez and Moreno both bided their time as one by one their main rivals shot themselves in the foot and assumed the team's first ever 1-2 on lap 108 and never looked back.

The first round of pit stops occurred on lap 40 during the day's first caution period. Mario and Roberto swapped positions on the stop - coming into pit lane in ninth and seventh respectively and exiting in seventh and ninth with Alex Tagliani in the Herdez sandwich. On lap 44, the lap the field went green and then yellow again as Oriol Servia went into the wall, moving both Herdez drivers up one slot in the running order.

After 16 laps of full out racing action, the yellow flag flew again as Paul Tracy and Sebastian Bourdais came together, moving Mario and Roberto up another two places into fourth and sixth. While exiting the pits on lap 89, Mario avoided an incident between Michel Jourdain and Tiago Monteiro.

Jourdain, who was running in third at the time, was later penalized for not yielding as he left his pit and was sent to the back of the field. Monteiro's excitement for the day was not over as he was then taken out of the race on lap 93 while being lapped by Bruno Junqueira and leader Adrian Fernandez;

Junqueira locked his brakes and slid into the back of Fernandez, causing an early exit for both. This incident and Jourdain's penalty moved Mario into second position while Moreno took over third.

When new leader Darren Manning had no answer for the two distinctive green Lola-Ford's on the lap 106 restart, Dominguez took over the lead with a sweet move into the first turn while Moreno jumped to second at the same time. Neither driver was ever challenged; Dominguez led the final 28 laps of the race and beat Moreno to the checked flag by 5.2 seconds.

"This feels amazing, just unbelievable," said an elated Dominguez of his second career Champ Car victory. "This is a historic moment for our team. Everyone has been working very hard this year. We have continually pushed ourselves to improve from race to race. It is really paying off now. This win is going to be huge going into Mexico. It is the perfect way to show up in my home country, and it gives the whole team a lot of confidence."

"The result today has been a team effort," added Moreno, who stepped onto a Champ Car podium for the first time since his victory for Patrick Racing in Vancouver two years ago. "The engineering staff has really been working hard. We took all of that hard work and put it together in one day. It is my great pleasure to share this with Mario. Herdez Competition is a very capable team who is hard work and dedication is starting to pay off. It is just great to be a part of this team."

 

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