Mikhail Aleshin was not letting the disappointment of losing the chance of taking his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series victory during Sunday’s race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with a pit stop incident with Josef Newgarden costing him everything.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver had assumed the lead after pitting just before the first caution of the race, and was in great form to pull more than a ten second lead, only to see that return to nothing with the second caution period.
It all then went wrong during his pit stop when his mechanic released him straight into the path of Newgarden, hitting the American and breaking his front wing, resulting in a further trip to the pits for repairs and then a trip through the pit lane again due to a penalty for the incident.
“The car was amazing,” said Aleshin. “The team did a fantastic job to bring the No. 7 SMP Racing car up to speed. No one was really faster than we were.
“I felt quite competitive up there in the front and I wasn’t pushing like crazy because I was also saving fuel. Everything was going proper, perfect and I was saving fuel but at the same time, I was the fastest car on the track so obviously the car was pretty good.
“I think the incident (in the pits with the No. 21 car) was unfortunate. I don’t want to discuss it though. I want to just say that sometimes these things happen in the race and we’re ready to win but we just got a little bit unlucky today.”