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Aug 24, 2014 - 08:17 AM
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Zack Meyer Earns Tough Ninth Place in First Race of Grand Prix
Posted by: newsla on Aug 24, 2014 - 08:15 AM
IndyCar News
Zack Meyer Earns Tough Ninth Place in First Race of Grand Prix of Sonoma Doubleheader


The end of the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season is drawing to a close, and Canadian Zack Meyer went into California wine country hoping to end this challenging season on a high note. The challenging 12-turn, 2.385-mile Sonoma Raceway is the backdrop for the season finale, a scenic conclusion to a daunting rookie campaign. Meyer’s weekend started with great promise, consistently placing in the top five during testing and practice. Qualifying, though, was a different story, and Meyer was disappointed to put his #2 TMR/DAMIS PARTNERS III/Innisfil Indy Karting/Xtreme Coil Drilling car tenth on the grid for the first race of the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Sonoma.

 

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The 22-year-old from Innisfil, Ont., may have started the race from the last row, but he was determined to go out and atone for Friday’s qualifying performance. “We really thought we were headed the right direction with the setup and truly thought we would qualify well,” the Canadian lamented after an unexpected drop in performance on Friday afternoon. “When we went out to qualify, though, we never really had the pace to contend. However, like always, I will go into the race and keep pushing myself to get the most out of the car and make the best out of the race.”

When the green flag flew for the 40-minute sprint race, Meyer battled hard with those in front of him, and was able to capitalize on a mistake from Ryan Phinny to claim ninth place. Phinny quickly began to reel Meyer in, though, and the duo became part of a four-car pack running closely together. After several laps of tight racing between Phinny and Meyer, the two had a coming together in Turn 7. Meyer lost time, but was able to continue behind Phinny in tenth. Phinny would come out worse for wear, however, and was soon forced to pit for repairs. That promoted Meyer back to ninth, where he ran a steady yet lonely race on the way to the penultimate checkered flag of the season.

“Obviously not the result we wanted, and it was a difficult race,” Meyer explained after the race. “I made a decent start and got by Phinny. Then we were able to keep the pace of [Zach] Veach and [Scott] Anderson, but down in Turn 7 we got hit and that was pretty much it. The car wasn’t really damaged, but we lost too much time and without a yellow I just focused on hitting my marks each lap and bringing the car home. Tomorrow, I want to go out and really end the season well. It will be a tough race again, but I’m pumped up and going to try my hardest.”

The sole Canadian racing in Indy Lights still has the 60-minute feature race to tackle this weekend. The grid for the feature race will be set by the second fastest lap each driver set during qualifying. As such, Meyer will start tomorrow’s race in ninth place. The second race of the Grand Prix of Sonoma is slated to take the green flag at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday. The television broadcast of the doubleheader weekend will air on NBC Sports Network on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT, immediately after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.


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