EJ Viso rebounded from a difficult start to his St. Petersburg weekend to score a top-10 finish, nearly a top-five, in his first start with Andretti Autosport.
Viso, who is in his sixth IndyCar season but first under the Team Venezuela/Andretti/HVM banner, had something break on the car in Saturday morning practice that sent him into the wall and left the team scrambling to repair the car.
“We screwed him up on Saturday,” said Viso’s team principal Michael Andretti. “We made the mistake with something in the practice, and then also in qualifying it was a mistake on his car. He didn’t deserve to be where he was on the grid.”
But from 22nd on the grid, Viso methodically worked forward and edged past Justin Wilson late in the going for seventh, and nearly eclipsed Scott Dixon and Simona de Silvestro on the last lap.
“He kept his head today and drove a really good race,” Michael Andretti said. “I saw a very smart race. He was very aggressive, and there’s times where maybe the ‘old Viso’ would have kept going there, but he was backing off, really used his head and drove a good race.”
Viso, understandably, appreciated his team’s resiliency throughout the weekend and was one of the stars of the race.
“I am extremely happy finishing seventh after a very difficult beginning of the weekend with so many mechanical issues in the practice and qualifying,” Viso said. “It’s been tough to survive and make it to here, but the team did a great job to get me a very competitive car and give me all the tools to stay battling in the field.”