Jun 15, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT
Takuma Sato is back to the front of the field for the first time since Sao Paulo, coming from 15th starting position to lead the Milwaukee IndyFest at the halfway point.
Sato, along with multiple others, took advantage of an early caution involving a spinning Simona de Silvestro to pit off strategy. Since that point, he’s managed to make his way through the grid as the strategy has played out.
Helio Castroneves, last week’s winner at Texas, also pitted early along with Sato and was running second at Lap 125 of 250. Meanwhile, Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won last year at Milwaukee, has been solid again so far and is currently third after pitting on a normal strategy at Lap 68. Andretti Autosport compatriots E.J. Viso and James Hinchcliffe are fourth and fifth.
Pole sitter Marco Andretti, who came into today’s race 22 points behind Helio Castroneves in the championship, led from pole until Hunter-Reay was able to get by him on Lap 62. Then on a pit stop at Lap 68, his day got worse when his fuel line was momentarily unable to disengage from his car, adding several seconds to his pit stop and costing him track position.
Finally, at Lap 97, Andretti began to slow on the race track, pulling down on the apron between Turns 1 and 2 before coming to rest on the backstretch.
“Either the alternator – or, I don’t know, another part,” a frustrated Andretti told NBC Sports Network, confirming an electrical issue on his No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet. “I guess we’re gonna try to get it fixed.”
Shortly after the halfway mark, Andretti was found strapping back into his car and will presumably return to the race in an attempt to salvage some points for the championship.
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