Andretti Autosport Road America 2016 Race 2 Report
 June 26, 2016| 
  • Team News

ELKHART LAKE, Wis.  – A rainy morning always makes for an interesting race and that is exactly what today’s Round 10 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition gave us. The 20-lap race saw two full course cautions, a lot of passing and a hard battle once the track began to dry. 

Dean Stoneman, who started the race from fifth, made his way up to second in just five laps and took the lead on Lap 7. After a series of unfortunate events on Lap 8 resulting in a caution, Stoneman was forced to pit just after the restart due to a punctured tire, which unfortunately put him a lap down. The Stellrecht crew took off the rain tires and put on slicks and the rookie was picking off cars quickly to get back on the lead lap, taking the checkered flag from ninth.

Shelby Blackstock lined up for green from 11th. Through the early laps of the race, Blackstock fell back to 12th position, but quickly gained momentum and by Lap 4 was up to 10th.  Once the first caution came out and the field was set to restart, Blackstock took the opportunity to focus forward and was able to avoid a collision ahead of him and pick up the seventh place spot. By half-way call of the race, the Starstruck car was in fourth. With just three laps to go, the rain tires began to take a toll and Blackstock lost one position and was the top Andretti finisher crossing the line in fifth.

The weekend’s streak of bad luck continued for Dalton Kellett today, after battling issues with the car resulting in lack of practice time and retiring early from yesterday’s race.  Kellett began Race 2’s 20-lap race from 14th and was off to a good start when his car landed in the sand of Turn 14 causing a full-course yellow. Although the car was running and the wheels were spinning, the No. 28 car was trapped and had to wait for the Holmatro Safety Team to dig him out, placing him one lap down. While never gaining his lap back, Kellett gained two positions from 14th to 12th when two cars collided on track and were forced to pit and retire.

The team takes a break for Independence Day celebrations before heading to corn-country for Round 11 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition. Practice begins at Iowa Speedway Saturday, July 9 at 2:15 p.m. ET.

Shelby Blackstock – No. 51 Starstruck Mazda

“Fairly happy with Race 2. Started 11th – it took a little to figure out the wet track, but once we figured it out, it was good. We could’ve come in and pitted for slicks, but you never know what happens then. Dean came in and pitted for slicks and it didn’t work out for them. It is kind of a 50/50 deal with that gamble. Overall a good day, P5 is good for points. It was a fun race slipping-and-sliding around on treads. I’m very happy I have the team behind me that I do. I’m happy after yesterday we were able to redeem ourselves a little and finish fifth.” 

Dean Stoneman – No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda

“It was a frustrating race. We were doing really well, the Stellrecht car was great. Unfortunately, a move was made and that damaged my front tire. It punctured my tire and I didn’t realize it under caution, so when we came up to the restart I didn’t feel it until I got down past the start/finish line, which is too late.  So, I had to do a whole lap which cost us a lot of time. When I came in to fix the tire, we took a risk and put on slicks and just hoped for a safety car. It unfortunately just didn’t go the way we could have hoped. We did gain more points toward the championship, which is closer to the leader. All we can do is keep carrying on and prepare for Iowa.”

Dalton Kellett – No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda

“It’s been a really tough weekend here at Road America for us. I was really excited to come back to Elkhart Lake and was looking forward to the race weekend. We unfortunately got off on the wrong foot and wasn’t really able to pick it up from there. I just feel really bad for the K-Line Insulators crew – they’ve worked hard all weekend and sadly we couldn’t bring them a good result. It’s Iowa up next for us and we’ve been good on ovals all year. I can’t wait to get back to short oval racing. This has definitely been a character building weekend and I’m happy to learn from it and move on.”

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