Patricio O’Ward Finishes 16th After Fueling Issue at Barber

Patricio O’Ward Finishes 16th After Fueling Issue at Barber

08.04.2019: Patricio O’Ward finished the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in 16th place, which marked the third round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.

Patricio O’Ward finished the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in 16th place, which marked the third round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.
 

 

 
In his second appearance of the season, O’Ward was on pace throughout practice, finishing in the top ten in the majority of the sessions. O’Ward qualified his No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet in 18th place after struggling with the softer red Firestone tires, similar to the rest of the field.
 


A plodding start lead to a crowded entry into the first turn of the 90-lap race, but O’Ward was able to stay clean and immediately begin the fight to gain positions. Running on a different pit strategy than the leaders, Carlin called the No. 31 to the pits for the first time on lap 18. On lap 30, O’Ward made a strong pass on the outside of the No. 10 car to take 11th position.



Just nine laps later came the second pit stop for fuel and tires and O’Ward re-entered the race in 16th. Moving up to 15th due to pit strategy by lap 46, O’Ward found himself once again behind the No. 10 and was able to make another pass on the outside to take 14th place. Shortly after, the fuel alarm came on resulting in O’Wards third pit stop.
 


Carlin tasked the Mexican native with getting laps back and to push his No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet with hopes of a yellow flag coming out to play into their strategy. On lap 57 an incident occurred with the No. 15 car in Turn 9 resulting in a yellow flag in the following lap. O’Ward stayed out while the majority of the field scrambled for the pit lane. Carlin teammate, Max Chilton, fell victim to the rush after being pushed off the entrance to pit lane by the No. 14 car.
 


With the circumstances looking to significantly play into Carlin’s strategy, O’Ward stayed out to make up time until the team came across a fuel issue that resulted in O’Ward having to pit three extra times during the seven-lap caution. The lost time left O’Ward in 17th place on the restart where he was able to make up one more position to finish the Honda Indy Grand Prix at Alabama in 16th place. O’Ward tied Josef Newgarden for the most passes during the race at 13 each.
 


Next week marks the first street-course for Patricio O’Ward’s 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season in Long Beach California. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place at 4:00 P.M. ET on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
 



PATRICIO O'WARD (No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet):


 
“That was definitely a hard one to take. We were working our way through the field and making up a lot of ground, but when we came in for our second stop, we had an issue with the fuel that we just never recovered from. The No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet was better than 16th for sure – I think we were actually looking at seventh or eighth, so it’s a tough pill to swallow.



Regardless of how frustrated I am, we were able to take some positives out of today’s race with the progress I made with fuel saving from COTA. It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t get another top-10, but thankfully we’re going straight into Long Beach, which I’m really excited about.”
 
    
 
    
Natasha Masterson,  photo Spacesuit Media

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08.04.2019 / MaP

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