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Wednesday - November 17, 2010, 4:12 pm

Rubens is the best rookie of the Indy 500

Barrichello, piloting the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, made his Indy 500 debut a memorable one.  Starting 10th he dropped back into the middle of the pack as he and the team continued the process that had been so successful this month.  Barrichello essentially went to “school” for the first half of the race, taking his time, learning how to run with 33 cars on track and dealing with the tricky turbulence that can often get a rookie in trouble.  He began to move up towards the top-10 after the first 100 laps and by lap 148 was in the top-10.   Over the final 50 laps, Barrichello, who used the same race strategy as his teammate, was fighting for a top-10 finish getting as high as ninth but fell just short, placing 11th.  Never-the-less the 11th place finish made him the highest finishing rookie of the eight rookies to start the race.
 
"It was a very busy afternoon,” Barrichello said.  “I had to be a quick learner and the last 20 laps were totally different to the first 180.  Today I wanted to be competitive, but I also wanted to make sure I was running till the finish.  I think right at the end we had a little too much downforce on the car, but I am so proud of what we achieved.  The team did a fantastic job of keeping me safe and I really enjoyed my first Indianapolis 500."
 
Barrichello, 40, a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, was attempting to become the first driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the U. S. Grand Prix Formula One race (won in 2002) that was held on a road course that incorporated part of the IMS oval.  The native of Brazil earned 23 points today and is now 11th in the Championship standings with 102 points.

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