Aleshin pleased with best oval result at Iowa

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports racer Mikhail Aleshin was left satisfied with his most convincing weekend at an oval track, after finishing top Honda car in both qualifying and race.

Aleshin pleased with best oval result at Iowa
Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, pit action
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

The Russian started ninth and finished fifth, the only HPD-powered entry on the lead lap, having spent the entire race running in the Top 10.  Despite 40 laps of green flag running from the final restart to the checkered flag, Aleshin finished less than a second adrift of championship leader, Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Simon Pagenaud.

Aleshin commented afterward: “Fifth is definitely a decent result and really good for the whole team. The guys did an amazing job to put the car together overnight after some technical issues we had yesterday.

“The car was pretty good to drive compared to most of the field. We were moving up in positions constantly during the race and I was pretty patient. I knew that we were going to be up there, but at the same time, I knew that we had to be aggressive with some things. Overall, we put everything together today and P5 was definitely good.

"The car was very consistent all day long, and that’s exactly what you need here. In 2014 [his previous Iowa race], I finished here in the wall. I like this more!”

Teammate James Hinchcliffe was also satisfied with his ninth-place finish, considering he had to come from the back of the grid, following a technical issue in qualifying.

"I think we can be pretty pleased with that," said the Indy 500 polesitter, "to start shotgun in the field and end up in the top 10 without really any lucky breaks or lucky yellows.

“It was just on pace. We had quick stops from the guys and stayed out of trouble. There weren't a lot of cautions or a lot of guys going out today, so we just had to race our way up there. Big credit to the No. 5 crew and everybody on the Arrow Electronics team.

"The car was good all weekend, other than that issue with qualifying obviously. It sucked to start back there but to be able to work our way back up showed the strength that we have."

Marc Sours, senior manager/chief engineer, at Honda Performance Development, admitted: “We realize we need to work harder with our teams, to improve our overall performance on the short ovals.

"That being said, Mikhail Aleshin and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team, found a way to persevere and run towards the front of the field.  James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi [sixth for Andretti Autosport] were also impressive as they came up from the back of the field to finish well." 

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