HOUSTON (AP) — A season that started with so much promise for Simona de Silvestro finally delivered a payoff after a long wait for the Swiss driver.
She scored the first podium finish of her career Saturday with a second-place finish in the Grand Prix of Houston. It moved her alongside Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher as the only women in IndyCar history to earn a podium finish.
For de Silvestro, it came in her 63rd career start, and few thought it would take this long. After all, her previous best finish was fourth at St. Petersburg in the 2011 season opener.
"I'm just really happy to be here. We've been waiting a really long time for this podium and everybody on the team and all my sponsors that have supported me all these years — it's really cool we can be together and celebrate this," she said Saturday.
This was supposed to be a big season for de Silvestro, who moved with sponsor Nuclear Clean Air Energy to KV Racing during the offseason in what was unquestionably the best ride of her IndyCar career. She had spent three seasons driving for Keith Wiggins and 2012 was a disaster with an underpowered Lotus engine that left her barely able to compete.
But the move to KV put de Silvestro in a Chevrolet and with a teammate for the first time in Tony Kanaan. The partnership seemed to be a perfect fit at St. Pete, where de Silvestro opened the season by qualifying third and finishing sixth.
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