Wilson wins 2nd Indy pro race at Indy
Bobby Wilson passed for the lead on Turn 1 of the opening lap of Race 2 of the Liberty Challenge on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then cruised to a 10.5-second victory over series points leader Alex Lloyd.
Wilson started on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 1 Ocala Gran Prix entry as a result of a seventh-place finish in Race 1 on June 16. (The top eight finishers were inverted for the start of Race 2). Wilson made a move on polesitter Ryan Justice in the first corner and drove all 18 laps unchallenged on the 13-turn, 2.605-mile circuit.
The victory was Wilson's second in the Indy Pro Series and the first while driving for Brian Stewart Racing.
Lloyd, who maintains a 104-point advantage in the point standings, finished second for the second consecutive race after coming into race weekend with a record five-race winning streak.
Lloyd started seventh in the race, moved up several positions on the start, and passed Justice for second on Lap 14.
Hideki Mutoh, who earned his first Indy Pro Series victory in Race 1, improved from the eighth starting position to finish on the podium. He passed Justice on the final straightaway, beating him to the line by 0.003 of a second.
Justice earned a career-best finish in fourth while Andretti Green Racing's Jaime Camara was fifth.
Logan Gomez, a Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate of Lloyd and Justice and a native of Crown Point, Ind., recorded a career-best finish of sixth.
Jonathan Klein improved 12 positions from the start to finish seventh. Mike Potekhen, Richard Antinucci and Daniel Herrington rounded out the top 10.
1. (2) Bobby Wilson, 18, Running, $25,000
2. (7) Alex Lloyd, 18, Running, $17,000
3. (8) Hideki Mutoh, 18, Running, $13,500
4. (1) Ryan Justice, 18, Running, $11,000
5. (6) Jaime Camara, 18, Running, $10,500
6. (9) Logan Gomez, 18, Running, $10,000
7. (19) Jonathan Klein, 18, Running, $9,750
8. (10) Mike Potekhen, 18, Running, $9,500
9. (3) Richard Antinucci, 18, Running, $9,000
10. (22) Daniel Herrington, 13, Mechanical, $8,750
11. (4) Stephen Simpson, 18, Running, $8,500
12. (13) Sean Guthrie, 18, Running, $8,000
13. (18) Joey Scarallo, 18, Running, $7,750
14. (11) Chris Festa, 18, Running, $7,500
15. (12) Phil Giebler, 18, Running, $7,000
16. (17) Ken Losch, 18, Running, $6,500
17. (23) Jon Brownson, 18, Running, $6,000
18. (25) Tom Wieringa, 17, Running, $5,000
19. (24) Robbie Pecorari, 16, Running, $4,000
20. (21) Andrew Prendeville, 15, Running, $3,000
21. (5) Wade Cunningham, 9, Spin, $2,000
22. (16) Brad Jaeger, 5, Mechanical, $1,200
23. (14) Doug Boyer, 4, Contact, $1,000
24. (15) Micky Gilbert, 0, Contact, $1,000
25. (20) Marc Williams, 0, Contact, $1,000
Winner's average speed: 108.792 mph
Time of race: 28:40.9170
Margin of victory: 10.526 seconds
Cautions: 1 for 3 laps.
Lap leaders: Wilson 1-18.
Point standings: Lloyd 340, Mutoh 236, Wilson 207, Camara 176, Festa 167, Potekhen 165, Klein 145, Cunningham 134, Simpson 134, Pecorari 132.
BOBBY WILSON (No. 1 Ocala Gran Prix, first): "It's been an up-and-down year. I'm so happy to be here (victory lane). It's a been long time coming, I know these guys worked hard - the Brian Stewart race team was working all night on the car. I'm ecstatic right now. It was a great win, cruise to win, no pressure, just everything just fell in to place. My sponsor Ocala Gran Prix couldn't be here but we're giving him the call tonight and giving him the good news.
(About winning at Watkins Glen and Indy) "Its going to set in. Those are two of the oldest tracks in the country and there is a lot of history, and this is a great facility and a great series that we are running - the Indy Pro series. I'm proud to win here and it's going to be a day of celebration. I'm going to enjoy it."
ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/SSM, second): "It went pretty well for us. We made a lot of changes overnight. The only downside was we were starting seventh. That was our biggest problem. Maybe we would have something for the win if the yellow hadn't been out in the first corner for so long because I kept being able to chase Ryan, my teammate, for second and had to keep backing off because of the yellow. So, we lost half the race because of that, and by the time we eventually got through to second, we had a good car. But Bobby was way out front. All in all, yesterday was disappointing. Today, hey, we came from seventh to second, so all in all, two second places, good points. Not the wins we wanted, but we've come away with points and a consistent weekend."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 55 Panther Racing, third): "It was a great race. I started from eighth position and made third place, so yeah, I feel thankful for the team, and I think I drove quite well today." (Your performance should help with name recognition): "Yes, I think so because I won yesterday quite big. It was a big victory, and today I overtook five cars, so this means quite a lot." (Is this a difficult track?): "It is if you are behind someone. It is a struggle to drive the car."
RYAN JUSTICE (No. 38 Lifelock/Lucas Oil/SSM, fourth): "For sure, the team did a really good job overnight getting the car a lot better for today's race. It's always a good feeling to peak in qualifying, but this weekend we had our best car during the second race. We're definitely improving every race. It's easy for me to be really hard on myself about the one little mistake I had during the race, but when I look around the company I was in up there they all have seasons of experience on me. I know for sure now we'll be able to challenge for race wins by the end of the season."
JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 Osofresh, fifth): "The car was good, but this track is really hard to pass. I think everyone was running the same downforce level, so as long as you reached terminal speed on the front straight, it's really hard to pass. I think that's the case today. I had a good run, but I couldn't pass. The car was quite good, but it was a case of lack of grip. I did my best there. Ryan Justice held it under a lot. I think I was faster then him, but I couldn't pass."
LOGAN GOMEZ (No. 23 Isilon Systems/Flacondos.net/SSM, sixth): "We started in ninth place and finished in sixth. It's always great to move forward in the race. The car was awesome. The team couldn't have done a better job. I was running the same pace as Alex Lloyd, who's won five races this year. That's a great feat in itself. Now I'm looking forward to road courses. It's great to be here in front of the home crowd."
JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling, seventh): "It was good. Everyone was running real close together. I wish the race was a little bit longer. I think our car was coming in at the end there. It's nice to be here. We got a little bit behind at the beginning of the weekend. It was an OK weekend. We got out of here with some points. I look forward to going to Iowa next weekend."
RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 51 Cheever Racing, ninth): "We changed some things. We had a problem with our exhaust yesterday. We tried to change them, but it didn't go any better. We had a lot of drag on the straight. That's unfortunate. I had some good battles, then Wade (Cunningham) cut me off, and we touched. I was very fair today. I left the inside all day to (Stephen) Simpson, and he couldn't do it. He just couldn't pass, and I think he spun by himself. I want to underline the fact after the race: He punted me off. It was exciting and frustrating. We started the weekend never seeing the track, and we were quickest and slowly dropped back. I think the potential is there. Unfortunately, these things happen in racing. It's a very competitive series this year, and as soon as you are a little off, you get nailed."
SEAN GUTHRIE (No. 4 Trace Die-Cast Car Crafters, 12th): "The day was alright. We are definitely moving in the right direction with our setup. Although I was faster today than yesterday, the car was much more difficult to drive. There was a neutral balance - it was either too loose or pushing really badly. I'd have to adjust my line or gears to try to fix the setup. Once I spun, I flat-spotted all four tires, which made braking hard. I had to be more patient because it was much more difficult. Overall, though, we were good as a team. It was a "maintaining points" kind of day. We're happy we are going to Iowa with a good, clean car, and hopefully a better result."
CHRIS FESTA (No. 9 CGR Indy Pro Series, 14th): "The car was a lot better. I just kept making mistakes, and the 44 car kept blocking me, which was pretty bad. He was running me into the inside wall, so I am a little angry at him. I just made a couple mistakes. I made one on the start, and then I spun it on myself going into (Turn) 4. But the car was a ton better, we were turning pretty good lap times, so we are happier for that aspect. I am just really disappointed in myself."
PHIL GIEBLER (No. 12 Playa Del Racing, 15th): "The only trouble I had was idiot drivers out there, just people making stupid moves. I had a hell of a restart, and these guys are just making stupid mistakes. I got caught out there in the first corner with guys bashing into the side of me or the rear of me and spun me out. The Playa Del Racing crew is working like crazy to get this thing running, and we get run in to. You just can't catch a break."
ROBBIE PECORARI (No. 13 Cabo Wabo Tequila, 19th): "We had to start in the back. We had a few problems yesterday. We figured we'd have a pretty decent race car. It wasn't a bad race car. Once we lost the draft, it was kind of done. But there are people in the series that are doing one-off races and go into Turn 1 thinking they're a hero and going to pass everyone and crash. They drove a couple of guys off, and I got stuck in the gravel because something like that happened and lost a couple of laps. It's just disappointing seeing these guys come in for one race and ruin everyone's season."
ANDREW PRENDEVILLE (No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing, 20th): "It was adventurous, for sure. We had a good race car. We had a good start. We had a good restart. The one kid, the Crawford car, just came down with a head of steam and bounced off of two cars or something like that. I had to avoid him, so I went to the outside. I just don't think he even made an effort to turn the car for Turn 2, so I had a nice flight into the sand trap. I don't know. We need to qualify better. We know we have a good race car. We've just got to get up there at the beginning and get out of this mess that keeps happening."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., 21st): "Well, the start got a little bit strung out. We did all right. We stuck with the leaders. Unfortunately, there was an accident in the first corner behind us, and we had to go full-course yellow. That gave the rest of the field a chance to bunch up. I was racing for position, and I got shunted off the track by Antinucci. Two laps later, because of that, something in the upright or wheel bearing failed."
BRAD JAEGER (No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing, 22nd): "From the get-go, I didn't have third gear. It was making the whole run pretty hard up to the point when I lost fourth (gear). With the sequential transaxle we run in the Indy Pro Series cars, when you lose one gear, it's almost impossible to keep all the rest. Just because you are missing that one step, it makes it hard to get it past the gap into the next gear. We held onto it for a couple of laps. Then it just took out one of the dog rings in fourth gear. From there, I couldn't get the car past second gear. I was just running around in first gear. That was my race."
DOUG BOYER (No. 8 Boyer Properties, 23rd): "It started as just a bit of a mess. A couple of guys didn't get great jumps on it. It just created a three- or four-wide situation going down into (Turn) 1, and it doesn't fit that many cars."