Jacques Villeneuve enjoyed a promising return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, being a contender for victory in Saturday's race at Road America.
Driving Braun Racing's #32 Toyota Camry, the 1997 Formula 1 world champion and 1995 Indy car champion was a factor on his return to Elkhart Lake, leading the race for three laps before polesitter Carl Edwards re-passed him at a restart.
A couple of laps from the end Villeneuve was slowed by a broken alternator wire that eventually cost him a strong finish. He was officially classified in 25th place.
"It was actually a lot more fun than I expected," said Villeneuve. "The cars drove really well around the course and it was a fun race. It was obviously a lot different than the last time I was here, but it was fun out there today."
"The car felt really good. It's really annoying to work so hard all weekend and not have the result. The crew worked hard and my car was amazing. It's just tough when you do two races a year. You have to make the most of them."
The Canadian took particular pride in his overtaking move for the lead, one that he had been setting up since he followed Edwards earlier in the race.
"That was fun," said Villeneuve. "That's one place I knew I was braking later than the 60 [Edwards]. I had seen it all race and I was close enough. It was three-wide and I knew it was going to be tight, but you have to take your chances when they're available.
"Carl was quicker than us all through the race so I had to take my chance when I could. I was battling the front brakes all race. Then at the end, after the last restart, the car was really, really quick, but we had electrical problems."
Edwards' victory was his first this season and also gave Ford its maiden NASCAR victory in a national touring series this year.
Villeneuve will be back in the Nationwide Series in August when the series makes its annual visit to the Ile Notre Dame in Montreal.