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Cunningham Taken Out While Running In The Top Ten

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Wade Cunningham
2011 IZOD Indycar Series
Firestone Twin 275s meeting
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth
Texas
Fri-Sat
June 10-11
2011
19-06-11
EVENT REPORT
Cunningham Taken Out While Running In The Top Ten In Texas

Kiwi Wade Cunningham looked set for an impressive IZOD IndyCar Series debut at the Firestone Twin 275s meeting in Texas on Saturday night - only to be sent spinning into the wall late in the first of two 114 lap races by a lapped driver, Charlie Kimball.

Having qualified eighth out of a field of 32 cars, Cunningham - driving the #99 Creatherm-backed, Sam Schmidt Motorsport-run car - was circulating in ninth place and confident he could get to eighth when the incident happened and - unfortunately - was powerless to do anything about it.

"I had put him (Kimball) a lap down but he had been drafting me for several laps after that then tried to go under me into Turn 3. Instead he understeered into the left rear of my car and put me in the wall. I was just lucky Sam (Sam Schmidt Motorsport team boss Sam Schmidt) had another car I could use in the second race."

That luck held through the grid draw process for the second race, Cunningham starting from the front row of the grid alongside poleman Tony Kanaan
However, as Cunningham soon found out, the second car was not as well set up as the first, and he slowly slipped back down the field to cross the line in 25th place.

Afterwards he told the official IndyCar.com website:

"It's been a long night! Looking at the positives? I got a lot of experience out there tonight and I was in a lot of traffic, especially in the second race where I was just trying to stay out of the way. I didn't know what to expect heading into the first corner in a different car, with a different set-up and in a car I hadn't even sat in before. It was just a big unknown. I tried to make the most of the new tyres on the first few laps. But unfortunately, it's a road-course car and not in superspeedway trim. Once I got back into third or fourth, and you get in the turbulent air and obviously I wasn't comfortable in the car, it was just tough to hang on at that point. Overall? It was a tough night and it was particularly tough to get over the crash in the first race because we were running so well."

This weekend's meeting was the first of three 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series ones Cunningham will contest this year in a Creatherm/Sam Schmidt Motorsports cars with the second and third - both again on ovals - in October.

Ends

2011 IZOD Indycar Series Firestone Twin 275s meeting Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth Texas Fri-Sat June 10-11
Qualifying
1. Alex Tagliani 00:48.6834
2. Dario Franchitti 00:48.7708
3. Will Power 00:48.7901
4. Takuma Sato 00:48.8461
5. Ed Carpenter 00:48.8681
6. Tony Kanaan 00:48.8957
7. Scott Dixon 00:48.9484
8. Wade Cunningham 00:48.9504
9. Ryan Briscoe 00:48.9782
10. Danica Patrick 00:48.9877

Race 1 (114 laps)
1. Dario Franchitti
2. Scott Dixon
3. Will Power
4. Alex Tagliani
5. Takuma Sato
6. Ryan Briscoe
7. EJ Viso
8. Vitor Meira
9. Graham Rahal
10. Helio Castroneves
also
29. Wade Cunningham
Race 2 (114 laps)
1.Will Power
2. Scott Dixon
3. Ryan Briscoe
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Tony Kanaan
6. Marco Andretti
7. Dario Franchitti
8. Danica Patrick
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay
10. EJ Viso
also
25. Wade Cunningham

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