Leeds, AL (April 24, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing was hoping for a better outcome at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday than at the opening three events on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, but it was more of the same for the team, who despite their strong pace, crossed the finish line in 18th with Luca Filippi and 20th with Conor Daly.
Filippi, who had qualified 12th, had a good start to the race gaining a few positions. However, for a second race in a row, he suffered slight damage to his front wing on the opening lap when a car spun in Turn 5. The Italian was able to continue in ninth but would then lose places following his first pit stop.
Despite good stops by his #19 Boy Scouts of America crew, Filippi was never able to get clear laps on new tires after exiting the pits, which could have helped him gain positions. While he was able to move back up to 13th at one point, Filippi would end up crossing the finish line in 18th place in what was a very competitive field.
Starting from 17th, Daly had misfortunes of his own. The rookie lost positions at the start of the race when trying to avoid causing a stack up while taking the green flag. Daly would make it as high as 14th before his first stop, but upon exiting the pits in 19th place, the American went off track in Turn 6 when trying to get by fellow rookie Max Chilton.
He later chased Chilton down and finally passed him but the time lost to the cars ahead was too big, and with no full course cautions to help his cause in moving forward, Daly would go on to finish 20th.
The Dale Coyne Racing team now heads back to their home base in Plainfield, IL to prepare for the Angie’s List Indy Grand Prix of Indianapolis which takes place May 14, as well as the upcoming 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Dale Coyne Racing Driver Quotes
Luca Filippi – #19 Boy Scouts of America
“The start was good. There was a bit of a mess in Turn 5. Everybody had to slow down quite a lot and I was on the inside. Somebody turned around on the outside, so everybody suddenly came closer to me and I had a bit of damage on my front wing. It wasn’t big but we had to carry that for the entire race. The balance of the car was still good but we probably lost a bit of overall downforce and performance. The pack was so tight and the pace was the same for everybody so the strategies and pit stops became very important. I was quite happy with the balance of the car and I don’t think our pace was that bad. It’s just that it didn’t work out as I wanted it to. Unfortunately, every time I was leaving the pits on new tires, I always had someone in front of me so I never could make the strategy work as we wanted. It didn’t really turn our way.”
Conor Daly - #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group
“The start was bad. It was just a massive stack up and the same thing that happened on the first start was about to happen on the second start if I didn’t just jump out of the way of the guys in front of me. We have to think about the way we start these races. I hate rolling starts. I think we should be doing standing starts on road courses. It was just tough from then on. It was a difficult race. It’s just a shame. Plus, it’s almost impossible to pass out there. We made a few passes work but it doesn’t matter when you’re that far back.”