The 2012 IZOD IndyCar season finale came to a close only a few laps too soon as Alex Tagliani and his Barracuda Racing crew battled for the lead.
With less than 25 laps remaining in the 500-mile MAVTV 500 race, a mechanical issue ended the day for the No. 98 car. Just before the incident, Tagliani had fought his way to the front of the field.
The Canadian driver qualified sixth for the race but the team changed the engine and incurred a ten-spot grid penalty, giving them a P16 spot on the starting grid. Only ten laps into the race, Tagliani had gained those ten spots back and was running P6.
Consistent pit stops from the Barracuda Racing crew, along with Tagliani’s signature focus, helped the team run in the top ten for most of the race. The mechanical issue put the team in P20 when the checkered flag dropped. Despite the disappointing finish, Tagliani was satisfied with the race results and the 2012 season.
“I think we were the car to beat at the end,” he said. “I won’t lie, it’s disappointing, but I would race with Honda any given day. I’m very thankful that they allowed us back into their group. I’m a Honda driver and I want to race with them for a long time. These are things that happen. It’s racing, it’s mechanical and it’s out of our control.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with the team and the way that everybody performed during the season. It’s a hell of a job that the Barracuda Racing crew did. It’s a shame because where we were heading at the finish would’ve probably put us in the top ten in championship points, but it was an amazing comeback.
“I’m proud of the way that we finished the season, showing how strong we are. We had our share of bad luck and this was another one. But next year is going to be a totally different situation. Next year is going to be our year.”
Over the upcoming months, the focus shifts to the off-season, as Barracuda Racing prepares for the 2013 season. The IZOD IndyCar Series opener will take place on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL on Sunday, March 24, 2013.