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Feb 22, 2014 - 06:04 AM
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Cooper Tires Winterfest Wrap-up - Day 1 from NOLA
Posted by: newsla on Feb 22, 2014 - 06:03 AM
IndyCar News
Cooper Tires Winterfest Wrap-up - Day 1 from NOLA


The Indy Lights duo participated in two test sessions at NOLA Motorsports Park today.

Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

First session - P3 at 1:29.382
Second session - P8 at 1:29.846


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"Today we made a lot of progress, but some things didn't go exactly the way we wanted it to. We only got about 11 laps in on that last session due to some gearbox issues, but that's the reason we're here. We're here to try a lot of new things, so time-wise we might be really quick or we might be off, but we want to figure everything out now and go to St. Pete with everything finalized to take the win there. My Andretti Autosport guys did a great job to get my car back together and the RePLAY XD car will be back where it belongs tomorrow."

Matthew Brabham, No. 83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED

First session: P2 at 1:28.778
Second session: P1 at 1:27.630

" Great day for us. It was good to get back in the car and start getting prepared for St. Petersburg. I need to get as much track time as possible and get used to the car, and I think we're doing a great job so far. Today was great for us; we made a lot of improvements but we still have a lot of things to try, for sure. But it was a great day and the team is working really, really hard... the car looks great and everything has been prepared very well. I couldn't be happier with how the team is working."


Our Pro Mazda freshman and sophomore drivers competed in the first round of racing in 2014 today at NOLA Motorsports Park for Race 1 of Winterfest.

Garett Grist, No. 27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management

First Pro Mazda race of his career
Qualified P2 at 1:33.202
Fell to fifth place and finished in fourth
Second quickest lap of the race at 1:32.804

"So today was my first ever race in Pro Mazda. We didn't have the best start; we fell back to fifth, made a nice pass for fourth and kept setting fast lap after fast lap. We just got nicked (for fastest lap) at the end by Spencer (Pigot), but it was a really good race. The car handled great, and it was fun to be in battle; that's what I look forward to the most. So, I think we start second tomorrow and I look forward to the race. Today was my first (Pro Mazda) race and I have a lot to improve on, and I learned a lot, so I'll be able to apply that to tomorrow's race and make it better."

Shelby Blackstock, No. 28 Starstruck

Qualified P5 at 1:33.538
Jumped to P2 at the start
Finished P2

"Unfortunately, on the first lap, I made a really bad mistake and threw the car off in the back section (of the track); I cut a corner too shallow, hit a curb and it just tossed me off. Luckily I was able to get back on the track, but by then the gap (that Spencer Pigot had on the rest of the field) was set, and it was just follow the leader from that point. For tomorrow, we need to work on the car a little bit to match Spencer's (Pigot) times, so hopefully we can go back and do everything a little bit better next time. I have to thank Andretti Autosport... we had engine trouble in qualifying, and I'm very happy they got the engine back together in time."

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