Chip Ganassi's Chris Festa Advances From the Start to Strong Second Place

By Allan Brewer

Sunday, May 27, 2007 - Second on Friday came Chip Ganassi Racing's Chris Festa, who waged the day's most compelling "race within a race" against Rahal Letterman/Andersen Racing's Andrew Prendeville (who ended the day in fourth place) with an exciting duel along the front and back straightaways, and then into turn one, that produced a pair of passes that brought fist-pumping and smiles from the red car's pitbox and cheers from the crowd.

Festa overcame an accident in qualifying to put his car seventh on the starting grid, then moved upstream with purpose on Carb Day, steadily picking off contenders to assume second place on lap ten. His team made additional changes to the CareCentric car overnight to give him the assured pace he maintained over the next thirty laps.

"The car was much easier to drive today," he said. "It wasn't quite where we wanted it, but it was fast and I could keep up with Alex."

Chip Ganassi Racing Pit. Photo: Allan Brewer

Festa lamented the rainfall and a chance to challenge Lloyd in a charge to the finish line, saying "If I had started just a little further forward on the grid I probably would have been able to draft with Alex for most of the race. Just one last lap, we could have challenged for the win today; but that's racing and congratulations to Alex."