The word Texas is derived from a Native American word “tejas,” meaning friend.
And Tejas was friendly to Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin in his first IndyCar season in 2014.
“I’m very happy to be going back to Texas Motor Speedway,” Aleshin said prior to the Firestone 600. “Last time we did really good there and it was my first top-10 finish in IndyCar [on an oval].”
The next weekend, he discovered Texas Motor Speedway was not the only venue in the state that could be friendly.
Heading South, he learned that the temporary street circuit in Houston could also be hospitable when he finished runner-up to teammate Simon Pagenaud in the second race of the Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix.
Injuries from an accident and sponsorship problems kept him from attending Texas last year. For that matter, it kept him from all but one race during the IndyCar season, so Aleshin headed to Europe to race with SMP Racing in the European Le Mans Series.
MotorSportsTalk editor Tony DiZinno caught up with Aleshin in Le Mans, France last June, when Aleshin was due to make his debut in the 24-hour classic. He’ll run there again this year, too, next week.
On the anniversary of that first oval top-10, it was time to reminisce about his strong run in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car.
“Texas was fun,” Aleshin said at the time.
“One day I’m gonna come back there for sure. I’m gonna kick some ass.”
While Aleshin has positive memories about that distant race, he is going to need to put his more recent past behind him if he wants to redden the competition’s posterior.
“We didn’t have a great weekend in Detroit, so I’m looking forward to be back on track in the No. 7 SMP Racing and DOOM car so we can get some good points for the championship standings,” Aleshin concluded.
He finished 15th and 17th in the two races at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.