Archive for Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Driver stretches fuel in IRL victory

July 9, 2003

It wasn't filled with coffee, but Bryan Herta's race car tank was good to the last drop.

Opting for a final pit stop in lap 139, Herta conserved enough fuel in the final 61 laps and won the Kansas Indy 300 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

The Honda Indy car won the checkered flag and then needed its pit crew to push it to victory lane because of an empty tank.

Herta completed just his third IRL race with the Andretti Green Racing team Sunday. He beat out Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, who finished second and third respectively.

"This is an amazing feeling," Herta said. "I have to give all the credit to Kyle Moyer and the Andretti Green Racing team. Their strategy and the fuel economy of the Honda engine are responsible for this victory.

"No one else had the combination of our strategy and the Honda's fuel economy. That's what got us to the end."

O'Reilly Auto Parts 250

Jon Wood's sponsor hopes he has a similar result next November to Wood's finish Saturday.

Wood won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 for the first time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driving for his sponsor -- Bob Graham for President.

Graham, a longtime Florida politician who has served as representative, governor and now senator in the Sunshine State, is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.

Wood, meanwhile, eyed his first win in 48 tries Saturday. He made his way to victory lane in the 167-lap race that saw a Kansas Speedway record eight caution flags and eight different leaders.

Kansas Speedway will be silent until Oct. 3 with the NASCAR Busch Series' Mr. Goodcents 300. The Banquet 400, part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, makes its way to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 4.

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