Fort Worth, Texas (May 1, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi put in a strong performance in Saturday night’s Genesys 300, Race 1, at Texas Motor Speedway with a 15th place finish which wasn’t indicative of his speed aboard his #51 Nurtec ODT machine.
With qualifying being canceled earlier in the day due to track drying delaying the start of practice, the starting grid was set on Entrant points, which meant Fittipaldi took the green flag in 14th position.
Despite losing a few spots at the start, the Brazilian got back into a rhythm and ran competitive lap times all while saving fuel and managing his tires, making his way up to ninth before a full course caution came out on Lap 56.
Fittipaldi then fell to 11th following the restart but made his way back into the top 10 by Lap 96. Things were looking promising for the driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda as he made his way up the field, pitting from the lead on Lap 129.
Following his stop, Fittipaldi returned to the track in 17th. The team was hoping to repeat their performance from their previous stint but a full course caution on Lap 160 put a damper on those hopes with everyone now back on the same strategy.
The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver restarted with 38 laps to go in 16th and gained one more position on Lap 190 to take the checkered flag in 15th place.
“I’m super happy with my first race back in the NTT IndyCar Series tonight at Texas Motor Speedway,” expressed Fittipaldi. “We ran all the laps and I gained a lot of experience. I was lacking a bit of confidence in practice earlier today. The engineers and the team made a change in the car and it was a lot better for the race, they did a fantastic job. We were there running close to the top 10 and Dale made a great strategy call as well. We took a risk on the second pit stop to try and go very long because our tire degradation was very low. At the end it didn’t work out so we lost some spots, so who knows where we would have finished had it worked out. It’s oval racing so you have to take a risk. We ended up P15, I felt like we had more in the car, but I learned a lot and I’m super happy with the job we did today.”
Race 2 of the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 5pm ET on May 2, 2021.