Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda started Monday’s ABC Supply 500 from pole position following a dominant performance for the Russian on Saturday.
Aleshin made a fantastic start to the race and held onto the lead and was extremely quick throughout the race running at the front of the field all day however unfortunately he was unable to hold off the challenge from Team Penske’s Will Power who took victory however he was able to hold off the flying Ryan Hunter Reay who finished in third place for Andretti Autosport.
Right from the get go on Saturday Aleshin and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were quick with the Russian and team mate James Hinchcliffe leading the way in Saturday’s opening practice session while Aleshin took the pole on Saturday. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
I’m very proud of my team and everyone who works on the SMP Racing car No. 7, They did a fantastic job today and it payed off. Will [Power] was just faster in the end and I couldn’t do anything with him. When I was catching him, I almost put my car into the wall a couple of times but I still couldn’t overtake him. He has a fair win for sure, but I’m happy to be in second place because we had some difficult moments this race and this year, so this is a good position to move forward.
James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Honda had another strong race as he came home in tenth place having started the race in sixth place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was a solid top ten. “It certainly wasn’t the result we were hoping for after qualifying but if you heard the whole story of the race, I think you could understand that we’re pretty pleased with that. We had a decent top-five run going for the first half of the race and then we had a piece of bodywork start to separate on the engine cover. It was not only creating a bit of drag but also changed the handling of the car quite a bit. We went wicked loose for about the last four laps of one of those stints and we were just really losing a lot of lap time. We came in and made some repairs to the bodywork. Anytime we’re chucking tape onto a car during a pit stop in a race, you know things have gone a bit south, but the Arrow Electronics guys did a great job to get that fixed and we played some strategy a little bit there to stop early and have a shorter last stop than everyone else when that yellow came out.
The Mayor of HinchTown who goes to Texas on Saturday leading the race went on to say:
So like I said, it wasn’t the true pace of the Arrow Electronics car but from where we were around lap 135, I think we can be pretty happy with a top ten.