MILKA DUNO FINISHES WELL IN DEBUT INDYCAR RACE
Advances Seven Positions, Finishes Fourteenth in First
CITY, KS. (April
29, 2007) - CITGO Racing's Milka Duno, who
just passed her official "Rookie Test" for the 2007 IndyCar Series
this past Thursday, started her debut race at the back of the pack
advanced seven positions through the field to finish 14th in today's
Lottery Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.
In her first race of her ten-race rookie season and in only her fourth
behind the wheel of her #23 CITGO Racing Dallara Honda, Duno worked
some serious understeer at the start of the 200-lap race to ultimately
the circuit at speeds in the 213mph range and achieve average lap times
high as 209mph.
During the first caution of the five-caution race, the crew added some
wing which helped correct the understeer - but not totally. During
second caution they added some more. By the third caution - and with
adjustment to the wing - the team had the problem completely corrected
Duno was then able to power forward much more quickly.
"The car was handling crazy with so much understeer right from the
start of the race, said Duno. "It was very hard to drive and I just
to stay safe and be able to get the car to the pits for the first caution.
The crew went right to work and added some front wing and it helped
- but we still needed more. More was added on the second yellow flag
stop and it improved again and with one last adjustment on our third
finally felt really good. My lap times really improved from that moment
forward and I felt then that I had a pretty good car. The charts will
just how dramatic a change it made and my lap speeds and average laps
were really getting better and better - and not too far off the mark
the top contenders."
"For a new team and a new driver I think this shows that our communication
is really good and I was able to relay how the car was behaving and
was able to translate that to into a solution that worked," added Duno.
"This is very important and a very good sign for us. We're working
together as a team and I'm sure it will only get better from here on.
Today's race has shown us that we have an ability to quickly identify
problem, create a solution - and then fix it. We've now got our first
behind us with a respectful finish so alot of that "first race" pressure
been reduced. The team has worked very, very hard during a very concentrated
period of time with a lot of pressure and scrutiny - and as a result
passed our rookie test, first set of practices, first qualifying and
race. Thanks to the entire team for an outstanding job well done -
making our "firsts" successful for CITGO Racing."
"Milka did a really good job. We gave her a car that had a considerable
amount of understeer and she did a great job of just getting the car
first pit stop safely, said team owner Peter Baron. "We made a little
degree of wing change which helped her a little bit and brought up
a little bit and then on the next pit stop we added another degree
half of front wing to increase the front downforce. After that the
started working well and her confidence in the car came in and the
started working well in traffic. Going into the race was really the
time we had the car in any real amount of traffic. Group practice sessions
have additional cars in them - but still fall short of actual race
conditions. You can be around and get around some cars - but a whole
of cars in the heat we had today - it was our very first opportunity
that. The heat and the air from a group of cars really affects the
pressure on the car and took a lot of our front grip away. Milka did
job of quickly identifying and relaying the problem and the crew did
job correcting it. Once the problem was solved Milka really got into
turned some great laps for the rest of the race."
By the team's next race at Indy, the #23 CITGO Racing Dallara Honda
receive some aerodynamic updates that had not arrived in time for the
race. These updates will reduce drag - which should serve to increase
car's top speed and average lap times.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, marketer and transporter of
transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt
other industrial products. The company has been a major sponsor of
racing for 21 years in such series as NASCAR, Grand-Am Racing and now
IndyCar Series. CITGO is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly
owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national
of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO
For additional information on Milka please visit www.milkaduno.com.
information on the IndyCar Series please log on to www.indycar.com.