MILKA DUNO: FIRESTONE 550k RACE REPORT
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 6, 2010) - IZOD IndyCar driver Milka Duno's race ended due to mechanical issues on lap 116 of the 228-lap Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.
Duno was 6th fastest in the first practice session on Friday and hopes were high for the qualifying session a few hours later - but she was concerned about an increase in the engine temperature. While qualifying, she again noticed a change in the car but was able to generate an average lap speed that would place her 17th on the starting grid for the race. The 2nd and final practice session on Friday confirmed that something was not definitely not right as her time placed her at the back of the pack.
The Dale Coyne Racing team immediately went to work on the car to identify and correct the issues in time for the start of the race on Saturday night. To address the temperature issues the team replaced the oil cooler and worked on the car's gearbox.
From the wave of the green flag for the start of the 342-mile/550-kilometer race Duno could tell that the car was still not at its best and that it had nowhere near the speed that she had generated in the first practice session.
At mid-point of the race a piece of track debris - an piece of aluminum - struck and damaged the car's front wing and punctured the radiator. Duno's race ended due to mechanical issues - placing her in 23rd.
"Coming to this race after the difficulty we had at Indy and then generating the result we did in the first practice session here at Texas was a great thing for all of us," said Duno. "We work very hard at this and it just shows what we can achieve and what we are capable of when everything is working well and we have a bit of luck too! The crew was great and everyone gave it their best as they always do, but unfortunately we weren't able to carry the results of that first session into qualifying and then into the race. Something was still missing in the car - and then the debris ended our effort too early.
"Milka had one of her most competitive weekends of her IndyCar career," commented team owner Dale Coyne. "Finishing 6th during the first practice session yesterday, she qualified 17th out of the 26 car field and was running competitive lap times in the race after slight changes during her first two pit stops. However, after her 109th lap of the race today, she left the race due to mechanical problems. Debris from Simona De Silvestro's crash punctured the radiator in her car, thus causing problems cooling the engine. This was the end of what could have been a great weekend for Milka."
Duno drives the #18 CITGO/CANTV car with Dale Coyne Racing.
About Dale Coyne Racing
For more information on Milka Duno please visit www.milkaduno.com