Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
Arriving at the penultimate race venue of the season, Andretti is still in the fight for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship where he currently sits in fourth place. The third-generation racer holds 14 top-10, six top-five finishes and two pole positions this year.
“This weekend may be the important weekend of the season. With the doubleheader, it will be a huge points swing and hopefully the RC Cola team is on the good end of the luck. We are going to need to roll off strong with the No. 25 Chevy because we don’t have a lot of time to improve with only one practice session and two races.”
With only three races remaining, reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay enters this weekend’s 17th round of competition fifth in the series standings. The 32-year-old Florida resident has recorded two wins, three poles and eight top-10 finishes so far this season. Sunday’s Race Two of the doubleheader weekend will mark Hunter-Reay’s 150th career start in 10 years of competition.
“Houston will be a new challenge for us as a team as we’ve never competed at this circuit in the past. This is basically our last chance to really make a run at the championship. Helio (Castroneves, current points leader) will be in conservation mode at this point so we have to go for it. There are a lot of points on the table for this weekend, we just need to take it one session at a time and bring the DHL Chevy out on top.”
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet
Still in the championship title fight in eighth position, James Hinchcliffe is armed with three wins and nine top-10 finishes as he enters the doubleheader weekend in Houston. The Toronto native will be sporting a special livery on his No. 27 Chevy to bring awareness to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
“I think every driver loves the opportunity to try out a new track. I know for me, and a few others, it’s not 100% new. I got to drive it back in ’06 and ’07 in the feeder series, but obviously that was a long time ago. From what I remember, it was a very technical, very bumpy street course, so doing a double header there – in the Texas heat no less – will be a huge challenge for the cars, teams and drivers. But Houston was a really cool city and the fans seemed to love the event, so hopefully we can go there and put on a good show for them! We have had a few hard-earned top 10′s the last few races in the GoDaddy Chevy and we really want to end the season strong, so this is a great chance to grab good results and good points.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Sitting 12th in the championship points fight with three races remaining in the 2013 season, E.J. Viso will make his 99th and 100th start during this weekend’s doubleheader at the 1.7-mile temporary street course.
“I’m very excited to be racing at Houston. It’s definitely going to be a very busy weekend having a doubleheader and just knowing that the race track will be built in just one week. The other excitement, for me, is having CITGO members with me this weekend, supporting me – I’m very excited to have them join us. Also, understanding the big Latino and Hispanic communities around that area is going to be an amazing boost; I’m looking forward to having a great weekend. I believe that after all the hard work and development we’ve done as a team, we are well prepared for this weekend.”