In the past two oval races, E.J. (Ernesto Jose, named for his father) Viso has been one of the drivers you couldn't take your eyes off of for all the right reasons.
Making his first appearances on the flat track at Milwaukee and the high-banked Texas Motor Speedway, the HVM Racing rookie has impressed with speed, patience and tactics in the No. 33 PDVSA-sponsored car.
Under the stars in Texas, Viso advanced from the 28th (last) starting position to 10th by Lap 35 and ran as high as eighth on Lap 73. A shot at his first top-five finish began to unravel when he was caught speeding down pit lane (60 mph limit) during a green flag stop on Lap 100. He served a drive-through penalty that put him two laps down.
Viso moved to 13th by Lap 150 and settled for 14th place.
"The team gave me a great car and we had a strategy to finish in the top 10," said Viso, who is third in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year standings. "The first third of the race went very well as I was cruising towards the top five by Lap 100. But on the next pit stop, I had an issue with speeding in the pits, which hit us hard. The drive-through penalty that followed ruined our whole race.
"I feel sorry for the guys who have worked very hard to give me an outstanding car and did a great job in the pits. We will be back in Iowa to continue our journey towards the top." The promising run followed the 225-lap effort at The Milwaukee Mile, in which the team earned its first top 10 (eighth) on an oval.
"We are progressing at each race and slowly but surely starting to regularly run with the top teams," HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins said. "Now we have a much-needed break before going into the long back-to-backs of mid-summer."
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