Sebastien Bourdais was disappointed following qualifications for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT.
The four-time CART champion knew he had a fast car on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn street circuit, but acknowledged he "got a little greedy" during Round 1.
"At the chicane I was trying to get some reference to see how much I could go on the curbs," he said. "I guess I just stepped over the limit. I put the tub on the curb and bounced off of it and the tires were waiting for us at the exit. This busted the car up so its pretty frustrating and disappointing for the guys."
During the race day warm-up, the No. 7 McAfee Dragon Racing car topped the speed chart. But starting 22nd, what could Bourdais expect to achieve over the 75 laps? It turns out that through attrition, some good fortune and crafty driving, he placed third.
Along the way, Bourdais was credited with leading twice for 19 laps (one off his season high) to secure his third podium of the season.
"We had a fast car. We had a fast car all the way to the end of the race," said Bourdais, who advanced the most positions in the race. "That car got beat up pretty good, so by the end it was pretty ragged. I am just really happy for the guys. Yeah, it would have been awesome to win and in so many ways I guess we should have or would have. But you know, it's the podium ... another one, and its really important for the group.
"Still pretty happy because when you start nearly dead last and you make it to the podium, pass a bunch of people and make it stick at the end. It's pretty sweet."
Simona De Silvestro earned a season-high fifth-place finish in the No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology car, moving up 12 spots relative to her starting position. It was a unique 25th birthday present.
"I don't think we had the fastest car out there, but we had a pretty good call on the pits when we got stuck in one of the wrecks," she said. "After that we were able to move forward and had some pretty good restarts. The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was really good at the end, so I'm pretty happy with it for sure."
Bourdais' Dragon Racing teammate, Sebastian Saavedra, recorded a career-best eighth place. He advanced 11 positions.