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.
Race day has arrived for the inaugural Open-Wheels 500 presented by Mitchell Transmissions. Yang Ou, who came out of retirement for this race will lead the field to the green flag at 11:45EST this morning. Anyone in the first three rows could win the race, which features seven former winners of past iterations of this event.
Pre race activities begin soon. Race Director Tanner J. Watkins shares today’s viewing opportunities:
Pre-race airing of Today at the 500 presented by Thru Kaiser’s Visor begins at 9:00 AM ET, and we think you will enjoy not only the into theme, but the rest of the pre-race ceremonies. You can listen along by going to http://open-wheels.com/Today500 Then at 11:15 AM ET, hop on over to https://iracing.com/Live for the worldwide broadcast of the race via RaceSpot TV. Finally, live timing and scoring (provided by JRT) can be found at http://open-wheels.com/timing. See you all soon!
Wild Action on the Day Before the 500
yesterday’s two events provided some wild on track action. In the Veterans 100, Lluc Ibanez won after 40 laps of lead swapping with several other drivers. cars were thre and four wide at the stripe for much of the race. Jeff Drake led much of the race from the pole, but faded toward the end.
In the Pit Stop Competition presented by The Pit Window, Michele Constantini gambled pitting a lap earlier than the rest of the field. It cost him at the end as he ran out of fuel on the last lap. Brad Lichtenberg went on to take the victory. Constantini had built a 2.8 second lead following his final stop, but the margin was quickly erased as he tried to save fuel to get to the finish.
Congratulations to Tanner Watkins
Tanner John Watkins has worked tirelessly to put this event together from organizing, finding sponsors, creating peripheral items, and running the races and qualifying. He has got to be one tired guy today.
I want to thank him for all his hard work. it has been fun following along this month, in spite of that small distraction on November 4.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the race program, go to
This program is extremely well done. back with a race recap this evening.
9:00 to 10:00 AM | Today at the 500 streaming show airing
11:00 AM | Optional Drivers Meeting
12:30 to 1:30 PM | Final 500 Mile Race Practice Session (1 hour)
2:00 PM | Veterans 100 Race presented by Goke (40 Laps, 100 Miles)
3:30 PM | Pit Stop Competition presented by The Pit Window (30 Laps, 75 Miles)
Qualifying results for the Veterans 100:
The Pit Stop Competition is different from the one at the Indianapolis 500. I actually like this idea better.
Round One- Four heats of 12 laps with the top four in each heat advancing to the final round.
Round Two- The top 16 drivers participate in a 20 lap race.
In each heat and the final, cars have only 17% of full fuel load, necessitating pit stops. When they pit, the car can only be filled to the 17% level, just a bit more than three gallons. According to Race Director Tanner John Watkins, drivers will need to pit every three or four laps. Stops will be crucial to winning the race.
Action can be viewed on twitchtv. https//twitch.tv/openwheels
Tomorrow the Open-Wheels 500 presented by Mitchell Transmissions begins at 11:45 am EST. The race can be seen on RaceSpot TV. Go to