Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman DeMelo in the No.19 Paysafe Honda led his first laps as a Verizon IndyCar Series driver on the biggest motorsport stage in the world at the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
In the closing stages of the race the Canadian led laps however he was forced to pit for a late fuel fill up and as a result finished the race in 19th place. Speaking following the race he said:
“It was a cool experience getting to race the #19 Paysafe car at the Indy 500. I really enjoyed my time. As much as I wanted to do better results wise, we went for it, we gambled, and it didn’t work but I’m happy we went for it. That’s what the sport is about, and we took a risk. I finished the race, I got a lot of experience under my belt and it will benefit me a lot when I come back next year. I think one more yellow and we would have had a better result. From the crowd, to everything, it’s been super surreal. I loved it, I enjoyed the whole month and I can’t wait to hopefully be back next year.”
It was a great day for Conor Day in the No.17 USAF Honda as he finished his first 500 since 2013 coming home in 19th place and speaking following the race he said:
“I think we have to be pretty happy from where we started. We thought it was going to be a much more difficult day. We ended up being pretty competitive and passing some cars. On track we were running with Wickens and Wilson, behind guys that finished in the Top 15, but every time we pitted it went yellow. Again, I can’t seem to find any luck here. I would have been super happy finishing in the top 15 because I knew I was faster than those guys all day. That’s just the frustrating part. I want to thank everyone that helped put this program together from the U.S. Air Force, Thom Burns, Dale Coyne, everyone on the team. I’m super grateful for the opportunity to race at Indy once again.”
It was a disappointing day for Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 SealMaster Honda with Vasser Sullivan Racing has he retired from the race and speaking following the event he said:
“The Sealmaster Honda No. 18 was pretty good, but on a couple of restarts I got caught out and wasn’t aggressive enough, so I got chewed up by a bunch of guys. I was trying to make up for lost ground and picking them off one by one. The stint before was really strong, the car felt very good, so when I left the pits I was trying to get ahead of (Alexander) Rossi. I got a good run on him coming off of Turn 3 and tried to stay in and make the pass. The car unloaded and I tried to dive through the understeer. The front hooked a little bit and snapped out on me and that was that. I gave it my best shot and, unfortunately, those things were really tricky today with the heat. The downforce was really low and it was very difficult to be flat. I’m just disappointed for the Dale Coyne Vasser-Sullivan guys. They worked so hard all month and we lost a chance on some valuable championship points.”