Romancini misses podium, but gains ground in points race

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It wasn’t the thrilling charge to the podium he recorded at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or the domination he displayed at The Milwaukee Mile, but RLR/Andersen Racing’s Mario Romancini’s move from 13th to fourth in the Miller Lite 100 on June 20 at Iowa Speedway was almost as impressive.

The 21-year-old Brazilian drove the final portion of the race with a broken weightjacker, which prevented him from making the in-cockpit adjustments to his No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied car during the final 25 laps of the 115-lap/100.625-mile race.

“It was a good race for the championship,” Romancini said. “I had a problem with my weightjacker; it wasn’t working for the last 25 laps or so, which made it very, very difficult. The car had a lot of push and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was up to third but then I got blocked by (Daniel) Herrington and then (James) Hinchcliffe and (Ana) Beatriz passed me. There wasn’t anything I could do about it. Still, it was a very, very good result for us, especially with the problem with the weightjacker. ”

Despite missing the podium on a oval for the first time this season. Romancini again won the $1,000 Force For Earth Hard Charger award.

“It is very difficult to pass here,” he said. “I was just trying to take advantage of other people’s mistakes. I was able to pass both on the inside of Turn 1 and to the outside of Turn 3, so that proves I had a good car and we did a good job.”

The strong finish moved Romancini to second place in the championship standings. He trails J.R. Hildebrand 227-211 heading into the Corning 100 on July 4 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

“Now we go to the road courses,” Romancini said. “We’ll continue to work hard. I have to thank the guys. It was not an easy day for us with the problems we had in qualifying, but everybody did a good job. (Sebastian) Saavedra did not have a good race and he was ahead of me in the points, so I am second now. But I am very happy to come from 13th to fourth in this race.”

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