Chris runs top 5 until final laps, finishes 12th 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - In Sunday’s race, Chris Festa returned to form running 5th until the closing 2 laps of the race after missing the setup in qualifying on Saturday morning.  Chris’ great run from a qualifying position of 15th began in the Saturday race.  He ran through the field of drivers on the tight St. Pete street course coming from 15th on the grid to finish 8th often lapping the demanding course at speeds equaling the race leader.   

In Sunday’s race, Chris started 8th and was running 5th by the half way point.  The front “pack” of 9 nine cars all ran nose to tail in a tight race.  Chris again ran lap times equaling the leaders, but the lead pack of talent was all very equal.  In the closing laps, drivers began to make very aggressive pass attempts.  As the 6th and 7th place cars attempted to pass Chris as he was held up by a lapped car in front of him, things got a bit tight on the inside of the track.  Chris was penalized as the 3 cars fought for position and moved to last place.  In the closing 2 laps, Chris recovered and finally finished 12th.

A very disappointed Chris said, “We were right there with 4th when things started to get very tight.  The lapped car held me up a tiny bit, but with this great group of drivers that’s like blood in the water to a shark and Robbie and Richard both tried to duck underneath into turn 1.  I had to move over to miss the lapped car, but Robbie still had plenty of room down the inside.  Unfortunately, the officials felt I moved over too aggressively to avoid hitting the lapped car and put me to the back.  We came back to 12th, which could have been much worse.  A lot of cars found the walls this weekend and didn’t make it to the end.  At least we’re still 4th in points with Indianapolis next and 13 races to go.”