WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Back to back July short oval track races started this weekend at the Milwaukee IndyFest with the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250. The historic one mile track has the distinction of being the oldest operating motor speedway in the world and has hosted a variety of races over its history.
Pippa Mann made her first Verizon IndyCar start at the Milwaukee Mile this weekend and Tristan Vautier made his second. Both drivers have experience racing at the venue in the Mazda Road to Indy Series with Vautier taking the 2012 Indy Lights win at the speedway.
The condensed weekend schedule required drivers to qualify and race on the same day, a first for the series this season. Tristan Vautier qualified the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda 20th after getting up to speed quickly in practice and logging the 16th fastest time prior to qualifying.
During the first stint of the race, Vautier battled his way up to second position as the leaders began to make their first pit stops. He was unable to capitalize on this track position before his fuel tank ran low and required his stop. The leaders of the race ran some blistering laps shortly after this and put Vautier a lap down.
Despite the team’s best efforts to get Vautier back on the lead lap, the caution periods didn’t come and he was forced to battle at the back of the field. In a race that saw a very large number of cars retire for a variety of issues, Vautier finished strong and earned a 16th place finish. This betters his previous finish from 2013, his only other start at Milwaukee.
Pippa Mann could have benefited from more practice laps to dial in the car before qualifying and was unable to put the No. 18 any higher than 23rd on the starting grid. Unfortunately, the same handling issues that prevented her from getting up to speed forced an early retirement and a 24th place finish.
The 13th round of the Verizon IndyCar season starts on Friday with the race being run on Saturday night, July 18th. Mann and Vautier aim to improve on their strong runs in Milwaukee in the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. The race will air live on NBCSN at 8:00 PM EST and can also be heard on the IMS Radio Network Sirius 212/XM 209.