Belle Isle, Detroit – A season-best 5th place starting position for Barracuda Racing ended in disappointment Saturday afternoon for the first of two dual races in Detroit at Belle Isle race park.
Alex Tagliani immediately gained one position on the first lap of the race, and by lap 10 he was running in third through lap 24.
The day started to unravel when Tagliani ran down the runoff area in turn three. After a pit stop from his Barracuda Racing crew, he unexpectedly hit the tire barrier in the same corner while following the pace car under a yellow flag period.
Post race, the team determined a bearing in the car’s steering rack failed, leaving Tagliani unable to control the car and avoid the accident.
The Canadian driver expressed his disappointment in the ups and downs of the Detroit race weekend, and his 23rd place finish in Dual One.
“The start of the race was going really well, we were running a good pace with the softer Firestone reds,” said Tagliani. “The tire degradation was big but it was big for everyone. Then something happened in the car and I couldn’t turn when I was in turn three. It’s just such a shame for the Barracuda Racing team. We were doing so well.
Team owner Bryan Herta added, “Alex reported that the steering locked up on him and he couldn’t turn the wheel, and that’s what put him in the tires. Further inspection indicates there was a mechanical failure in the steering unit. It’s disappointing for all of us at Barracuda Racing. We have a big group of people here from Barracuda Networks. Their largest technical center is close to here in Ann Arbor so luckily we have another day tomorrow to come back and try to get a better result.”
Dual Two takes place Sunday afternoon with an estimated green flag at 3:50 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ABC. Tagliani will start in P25 after losing his two best lap times when he spun and caused a red flag in Saturday morning’s Dual Two qualifying.
Despite the incident, the Canadian driver expressed his confidence saying, “Last year we came from the back to the front so we should be alright. We have a good car.”