Top Five Result for Taylor Hagler at the Racing Capital of the Worldadmin
In the return of IMSA to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis saw the highs and lows the historic race track is known for in the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks. The No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR completed the only four-hour race on the 2023 schedule rounding out the top five in the TCR category.
Hour 1: The penultimate IMPC round opened under heavy cloud cover with the threat of rain overhead. Lewis took the first shift of the four-hour race from third. Before the field could complete one lap, Lewis utilized the winding in-field portion of the 2.439-mile course to take the lead of the race on lap 1. A light dusting of rain began 26-minutes in, but remained light enough to not affect the race strategy of the No. 1 BHA team.
Lewis held first place until the first full course caution appeared on lap 22. With over three hours remaining on the race clock, Lewis came to pit lane for fuel and two new Michelin tires on the front. The No. 1 Hyundai returned to lead the TCR field on lap 34 as the race clock struck the top of the hour.
Hour 2: Lewis maintained the TCR class lead until lap 60 before being the first TCR entry to come to pit lane for fuel, four tires and a driver change to Hagler. By taking the pit stop early, Hagler was able to create a sizable gap of 12-seconds to second place as she returned to the lead following the pit stop cycle.
Hagler kept the first place spot for 10 laps until the second full course caution appeared on lap 70. While the pace slowed, the No. 1 Hyundai squad chose to pit during the yellow flag to fill the fuel tank full to open up their strategy options to finish the race off strong.
Hour 3: The third hour of the four-hour race started and ended with full course cautions. As the field returned to green flag conditions, Hagler sat sixth in the field of 14 TCR entries. Strategy was the name of the game for the No. 1 BHA Hyundai team as a fellow competitor sat beached in a gravel trap. The team opted to keep Hagler out on track as the field behind came to pit lane for their final pit stop. The strategy move allowed Hagler to cycle up to second.
When the yellow flag appeared on lap 98, Hagler concluded her one hour, 11-minute stint handing the car back over to Lewis to finish out the final hour.
Hour 4: The final hour of the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks was one for the books. As the sun set in Speedway, the field of 38 running cars battled through the final 35 laps to the checkered flag.
Lewis rounded out the top five of the TCR class and was sitting at a steady state until a competitor’s mechanical failure caused a collision with the No. 1 Hyundai. Lewis went spinning in Turn 2, but quickly recovered and maintained his position. Under complete darkness, Lewis crossed the finish line in fifth concluding the four-hour race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the Racing Capital of the World.
Taylor Hagler, No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR:
“Everyone knows what they say about Indy – this place picks its winners. It is disappointing to have a great first half of the race and not be able to come home with a result to show how strong we were. The No. 1 BHA team called a good strategy that put us at the front of the field, but we weren’t able to be there when it mattered. We only have one more race left and it is hard to believe the end of the season is here. I love Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and have fond memories there so I am looking forward to getting back there.”