Simona De Silvestro spoke on Friday how she had to get acclimated to the speed in these NTT INDYCAR Series machines. While it’s the same Dallara as the last time out, this was the first race away from Indy for her in the series since 2015 and her first race in general since last October. She felt like after Day 1, the car was driving her and not the other way around.
On Sunday, she started the race from 27th. After just two laps, she pitted under full course caution for the first stop of the day to swap alternate Firestone Firehawks to primary tires and a full turn of front wing. De Silvestro pitted for the second time on lap 10, again under full course caution. The No. 16 Paretta Autosport crew put on a fresh set of primary Firestone Firehawk tires and a half turn of front wing. She restarted from 22nd.
By lap 19, De Silvestro had worked her way into the top 10 through strategy. She ran as high as 7th. On lap 25, De Silvestro pitted from 16th for primary Firestone tires and a tire pressure adjustment. De Silvestro pitted for the fourth and final time on lap 41 for fresh primary Firestone Firehawks.
In her first start of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season, De Silvestro finished 21st with four clean pit stops.
“I think it was really important to finish this race,” she said. “We had so much going on with me getting back in the car, getting to know the team again and working with my engineer. But we finished and I think we can be pretty happy because things started to come together at the end. It’s something to build on.”
She finished ahead of people like Helio Castroneves, Jimmie Johnson, Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou.
“I’m really happy with the result today,” said team owner Beth Paretta. “It was such a learning day for us. So the goal was to finish the race cleanly and she did just that by ending on the lead lap and gaining some positions. I’m excited about the rest of our partial season in 2022. Thank you to Kiwi Co, Winnebago, The Henry Ford Museum, Chevrolet and Ed Carpenter Racing for getting us back on track this year.”
Instead of waiting a year for the next start, they’ll be back in the next race at Mid-Ohio on July 3.