Huertas lands first IndyCar win in bizarre Houston double-header opener

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on June 29, 2014 7:16 am

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Yes, I had a good jump (on the restart) there. It is one of those deals; it’s racing. That’s what happens. I had a shot once at passing. It was really close. I thought he wasn’t going to make it on gas, but congratulations to Carlos (Huertas). I think my Verizon Chevy was unbelievable today. This race, especially when it rains, is all about keeping it off the wall and running smart all day, and we did that. I liked passing Tony (Kanaan), I really enjoyed that. I’m starting to get there, and I’m pretty happy.” [On his race:] “We were running pretty good. We were running seventh or something, and we came in and put black tires on it, and that really hurt us. But in a way, it forced us to do something different, and it paid off. I am amazed; we did a timed race, and with 35 minutes to go and I am counting 30 laps – ‘We can make it at this pace – we can make it. Why are they not stopping.’ I was surprised anybody pitted…then I was like oh, thank you.” [What did you say to Carlos (Huertas)?] “I said congratulations. He is a good kid. He did a good job today. He did what he had to do. Our Verizon Chevy was really good today, I thought we had a chance to win, but at the end, the tires went off. I do tease him a lot, trying to help him. I am always telling him to close the neck of his suit so he looked good.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet): “Obviously we were looking for a better day today after qualifying on the front row with the Pennzoil Chevrolet. With Brazil winning their World Cup match on penalty kicks I was really feeling good about the day. The rain, I think, through all of us for a bit of a loop. It was very wet to start and there were some corners that never dried. We just weren’t prepared for that. But we know we have a fast car in dry conditions. Hopefully we will qualify well again tomorrow and have a better ending.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “Kind of the story of our year. Not unlike Detroit, we picked a strategy that we had to pick running out front like that. There’s no way you could predict this many yellows with the guys at the end running into each other. I just feel so bad for the United Fiber & Data guys, they were killer in the pits. The car was good in the rain, we were right on Sato’s gearbox coming into the pits and got ahead of him during the stops – we were controlling the race. All those restarts we were pulling away and it looked like it was ours to lose and then all of a sudden we come out from that last stop… the guys that took a risk, at first I honestly didn’t think they had a chance but the yellows that subsequently happened, they were able to do it. Saving grace though is we have a quick car, we have a chance to try again tomorrow and hopefully, hopefully, finally, one day, maybe the yellows will go our way.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): “We had to come back from a disaster and just hang in there. We were ahead of Carlos and then we should have pitted and instead we stayed out. If we would have went on Carlos’s strategy, I think we would have finished third. We’ll go through everything tonight and come back ready tomorrow.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay HVM Honda): “This time was our day of luck; in Detroit we were not lucky with strategy. It seems like you have to start in the back to have the right race. Some guys that finish in the front, they started in the back. Another good strategy during the race even after I had to serve a drive-through penalty and our front wing broke… I finished third, and what can I say, it’s good points for the championship. Now we have to focus on tomorrow, and I have to work to improve the qualifying for tomorrow’s race.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Strike/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “It’s a shame to have a day like today. A bit of a mixed day for everyone it looked like with the crazy and changing conditions. I made a mistake coming into the restart. I clipped a puddle on the outside coming into Turn 10 and spun the rear and that put me on the left side of the Turn 10 wall and then sent me to the outside of the Turn 10 wall. I clipped the rear and ended up breaking the tow link. The guys worked really hard and got it patched up as best as they could, but there was some further damage inside and it showed its head about 10 laps later. We weren’t able to finish but we definitely had a strong car today.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda):”Unfortunately it just came down to strategy. We made a lot of headway with the DHL car there in the beginning under green. It came down to when you pit, when’s the right time. That’s how the podium (finishers) got where they are. It was a weird day, kind of one of those street-course anomalies. We got a good balance read at the end of the day, so we’ll use that and move on to race two tomorrow.”

LUCA FILIPPI, (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda): “We never ran on the wet tires so it was a bit tough at the beginning then everything went well after we settled in. In the middle we were struggling a little with the worn out wet tires but still we were fighting for some positions. I think the car was very strong with slicks on and I wanted to try to overtake Simon. I was on the overtake button and wanted to take the last corner as fast as possible and I even anticipated the understeer that was coming from the cold tires but I made a misjudgment and I hit the inside wall. It’s a shame because everything went well to that point and I think the car was strong in the conditions.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Racing Chevrolet): “It was a crazy race. I am very sad because the result does not show what an amazing car we had. We were very strong in the wet, making a lot of passes when the conditions were at their worst. With a great strategy and fantastic pit stops by the Automatic Fire Sprinklers – KV AFS Racing crew we were able to get up front. Unfortunately at the end I got taken out by Ryan Briscoe while looking to have a top-five or better finish. I’m disappointed, we came from so far back in the field and worked so hard that we deserve a lot better. We have a good car and just need to re-group for tomorrow. Big congratulations on the Colombian 1, 2, 3 finish today and of course in the World Cup with Colombia winning their game, which is huge for my country. I wish I could be there!”

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