NEWTON, Iowa, Saturday, June 23, 2012 – After two consecutive days of sunshine and amazing weather, the drivers and teams of the Firestone Indy Lights Series had to literally weather the storm for Saturday’s Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway.
Minutes before the green flag was scheduled to fly for the race, a band of storms swept through the area and pushed activities into a holding pattern as the INDYCAR series and Speedway staff hurried to dry the 7/8-mile surface and get the raceday activities back on track.
With the delay came a shift in schedule as the start of the 115-lap feature was pushed back to follow the checkered flag for the IZOD IndyCar Series race, which rolled off the grid at approximately 9:30 p.m. locally.
Ostella in his No. 22 Global Precast/LiUNA/Xtreme Coil Drilling entry of Team Moore Racing was finally able to take the green flag at approximately 11:30 p.m. But it was under a much different set of track conditions based on the lateness of the hour and radical temperature difference from earlier practice times.
The 20-year-old was comfortably in third position in the last practice under sunny skies and higher track temperatures, but he immediately noticed a difference in the car’s handling as he rolled off the grid in his fifth place starting position.
“Right away the car wasn’t all there,” he said. “It was a bit loose in the rear and not quite what I expected based on how well it was handling in practice earlier. “
But a clear head prevailed, along with confidence gained from his fourth place finish last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile and the young Maple, Ontario native was able stay in the hunt and finish where he started in the top-five.
“The start of the race was a bit late for me,” he laughed. “But it was a good race. Tough, but good. I was holding onto the car the whole time, but there was some good, clean racing out there and I had great competition. I tried to save my tires in case I really had to push it there at the end, but in the end I am really happy with a top-five finish, thanks to my crew and all the effort from Team Moore. “
Ostella is now clearly focused on the next round on the Firestone Indy Lights calendar in his hometown of Toronto in just two short weeks for the Honda Indy Toronto.
“I am so excited to be racing in my hometown in front of my family and friends and I hope to put on a great show for LiUNA and Global Precast and all of my local supporting partners,” he said. “I wouldn’t be racing if it weren’t for the support of this entire group and it means so much to me to be home racing in their backyard.”