Mario Romancini, the polesitter in the No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied/RLR Andersen Racing car, led every lap of the Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds 100 Presented by Charter and won by 1.0907 seconds over J.R. Hildebrand at the Milwaukee Mile.
It was the second victory in the series for RLR/Andersen Racing – the other coming at Kansas Speedway in 2008 with Hildebrand behind the wheel. Alex Lloyd in 2007 is the only other winner to lead from flag to flag at The Milwaukee Mile.
“This win means a lot to me and a lot to the guys,” said Romancini, who had finished third in each of his other oval starts this season – at Kansas and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “It’s just my third oval race, and I’m so very, very happy to be this competitive.”
Romancini was able to keep Hildebrand at bay on a Lap 91 restart (a caution flag thrown when Daniel Herrington’s No. 28 LeBleu/Bryan Herta Autosport car made contact with the inside retaining wall at the pit lane entrance). He led by 0.7677 of a second on Lap 95 and 0.8986 of a second on the white flag lap. He’s the fifth different winner in six races.
“I was a bit concerned because every time I started to pull away, the yellow came,” Romancini said. “We knew we had a good car, so with 10 laps to go, all I had to do was manage the gap.”
Hildebrand’s AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammate, Sebastian Saavedra, overtook Gustavo Yacaman on Lap 99 to claim third place. Yacaman, driving the No. 44 Crepes & Waffles/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, posted a season-high fourth.
Hildebrand, also the runner-up in the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, gained five points on Saavedra in the championship standings. He leads by 10 heading to Iowa Speedway in three weeks.
“(Romancini) had a really good car and he was doing a really good job with it,” Hildebrand said. “Having to run behind him the whole race, I started picking up understeer and wearing out the front tires and I just didn’t have anything for him at the end. I think I had just worn out the fronts trying to keep up with him. With the lapped car on that restart, I didn’t really have a chance to try to jump him then, so there wasn’t much I could do there towards the end.
“But it was a great finish for the team. We’ve had a good car in qualifying and practice. I’m looking forward to the next one.”
James Davison, who started seventh in the No. 21 People’s Liberation Vision Racing car, finished a season-high fifth and Wade Cunningham was sixth in the No. 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.
“We had a good car that didn’t go off, and that was able to race with the power teams like AGR and Schmidt, so we’ve got to be very happy with that,” said Davison, who recorded his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. “I drove the right race and just made sure that I protected the right rear tire so that the car didn’t go loose. We’re starting to learn the ropes and learn all of these things that a new team has to in order to compete at the front of a competitive series like this one.”
James Hinchcliffe advanced from 10th to finish seventh in the No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. Andrew Prendeville, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling entry, was eighth and Pippa Mann scored her first top 10 in the No. 16 Panther Racing car.