Michele Constantini saved enough fuel on Sunday to win the inaugural open-Wheels.com 500 Presented by Mitchell transmissions. In contrast to Saturday’s Pit Stop Competition presented by The Pit Window, when he ran out of fuel on the last lap, Constantini began saving fuel after the first caution at the midway point of the race. The final caution with four laps to go erased any doubt that he had enough to complete the distance.
Constantini led a race high 63 laps, first taking the lead on lap 29 and assuming the point for the last time on lap 190. “I was good to go even without the caution,” he said after the race.
“I began saving fuel after the first caution. Yesterday really helped me.”
The win was Constantini’s first in a major event. “The car was amazing,” he said.
Runner-up Liam Quinn admitted he could’nt have caught the winner. Third place Henry Bennett lurked in second place while trying to save fuel and hoping Constantini would need to get a splash of fuel at the end. Quinn passed him as he was going slow. bennett admitted afterwards that the race ending caution saved his third place.
Pole sitter Yang Ou had issues from the start and was never a factor in the race. He finished 24th, three laps down.
The top five:
The race was extremely clean with just two cautions for seven laps. The first yellow came on lap 98 and the second one on lap 196 efffctively ended the race.
There were 52 lead changes among 12 drivers.
24 cars were running at the finish. Dylan Freckelton did not start and was awarded 33rd place.
despitre his lap 196 incident, Jeff Drake still came home in 10th on the lead lap.
17 cars finished on the lead lap.