Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hildebrand Stays On Top Of Point Standings ---staff----

J.R. Hildebrand needed some luck in the Miller Lite 100 at Iowa Speedway to maintain the points lead in the chase for the Firestone Firehawk Cup.

The driver of the No. 26 ARPRO car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing was penalized for blocking while running in second position, but was able to stay on the lead lap as the yellow flag flew as he was heading to pit lane to serve a drive-through penalty.

After restarting as the final car on the lead lap, Hildebrand, the race's pole sitter, was able to pass a few cars to finish sixth and maintain a 16-point lead over RLR/Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini.

"(The) race was definitely frustrating for us," he said. "We started on the pole, so we knew we had a good car. We also knew we were fighting a bit of understeer in qualifying. With such big condition changes before the race, it made it really tough to get the car set up and the understeer continued to get worse throughout the race. After the drive thru penalty we lost position and had to fight our way back up. It's difficult to pass here and the understeer wouldn't allow us to get close enough to other cars."

Hildebrand won his third pole position of the year and leads the standings for the $5,000 Lucas Oil Frequent Pole Sitter Award.