Rising Star Racing Wraps Up Busy Month in Indy
 May 26, 2015| 
  • Team News
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It was a big weekend of racing in Indianapolis over the Memorial Day holiday weekend as Rising Star Racing was well-represented in all three INYDYCAR-sanctioned events including the iconic Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Friday kicked off the race action as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires staged the debut of the Dallara IL-15 on the 2.5-mile speedway. The event saw new track records set with the machine, with Pigot scoring a grid spot on the fifth row with an average speed of 194.504 mph as his Juncos Racing squad worked to look for more speed out of the new car and return to race-winning form with the No. 12 entry.

The race didn’t deliver the forward progress that the team had been hoping for, but Pigot persevered to come home ninth at the checkered flag. 

“It was fun to be in the new car on the big track this week,” said Pigot. “It is just an incredible opportunity to race there. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the outright speed to be more of a factor really but we learned a ton and came home to the finish. The Juncos guys are learning more and more about this new car every time we run, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the car in Toronto.” 

Turn the page to Saturday as Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires racer Neil Alberico delivered a thrilling performance at Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday for the 90-lap ‘Day Before the 500’ Freedom 90 event. The day was a busy one with practice, qualifying and the race held within a span of several hours.

Alberico opened the event from fifth on the grid and moved up to fourth in the early running. He then put on quite the show for the fans at Lucas Oil Raceway when he went side-by-side with his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Florian Latorre lap after lap as the two battled for the final step of the podium.

It was Alberico who finally edged out Latorre for third and celebrated his hard-fought finish on the podium.

“The Capes did a great job trying to predict the conditions. I think we missed by a little bit but brought the car home and are on the podium,” said Alberico. “We scored great points for the championship and we’re at the beginning of the halfway point so I’m stoked to have a podium result. We have a long season ahead of us and we’re looking forward to it. The car was a handful the entire race, so I’m just super happy to bring the car home in one piece! Big thanks to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing to put this car on the podium. I’m very happy for them and everyone at Rising Star Racing, it’s such a big month for all of us.”

The weekend culminated with the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon, with Josef Newgarden coming home ninth in the world-famous race. The 500-mile event saw six caution periods and Newgarden managed to keep trouble-free of each on-track incident. He completed all 200 laps in the No. 21 Century21 Chevy for Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing and took the checkered flag ninth in a race that saw a thrilling final 15-lap dash to the finish following a late-race caution.

"Relative to everything that was going on, it was nice to get a solid finish for Century 21,” said Newgarden. “We had them here in 2013 and it just wasn't the race that we all wanted to have. A top 10 is a solid day. We were in the mix there at the end and that's exciting for us as a group, with everything that we had to go through during the week. I can’t say enough about having teammates like JR (Hildebrand) and Ed (Carpenter), they have really been top notch with helping push the program forward. We struggled a little bit with the conditions. It was hot, greasy, really hard to keep the car underneath you, and we battled that. I can't ask for a better group than CFH Racing, they're the hardest working boys out here. We sure showed a lot of heart today and we were at least able to battle all the guys up the top. A top 10 is pretty rewarding."

The Verizon IndyCar Series will be back in action next weekend for the Duals in Detroit. Pro Mazda and Indy Lights will next race as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event with the Verizon IndyCar Series on June 13-14.
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