Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s driver, Mikhail Aleshin, has admitted he believes his pit road incident that cost him his first potential Indycar win was just “unfortunate.”
The Russian driver started the race a mediocre 10th, but was thrust up into the effective lead of the Honda Indy 200 after timing his first pit stop to perfection with the first caution. Through the mid stint of the race he held is own against the Penske team mates and championship leaders, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.
When the caution came out for Jack Hawksworth on Lap 61, Aleshin (still in the lead) dived into the pits with the rest of the field, but was unfortunately released into the path of Josef Newgarden, damaging his wing. The damage was substantial enough to warrant Aleshin to return to the pits the very next lap, where he would drop to effective last.
“I want to just say that sometimes these things happen in the race. We were ready to win, but we got a little bit unlucky today,” said Aleshin.
Aleshin is yet to win a race in his 2nd season of Verizon Indycar Series, but has managed to finish in the top 5 three times in his 31 race career. Backed by Russian team, SMP racing, Aleshin has had a more successful time with open-wheel cars in Europe, participating in the GP2 series, and winning Formula Renault 3.5 in 2010.
He will be hoping that his car will be just as “amazing” in 3 weeks time when Indycar heads to Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500.