Lloyd eyes Indy Pro Series title at Infineon
Alex Lloyd already has seven wins in his back pocket and a 98-point lead in the Indy Pro Series point standings with three races remaining, but he's not ready to let up one bit as the series heads to Infineon Raceway for a doubleheader weekend Aug. 25-26.
"We're going in with the aim and ambition of winning both races and certainly coming away with at least one win," said Lloyd, who drives the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. "That's the way I've been all year is trying to win the race, and if we keep winning races and win more than everybody else out there, then the championship is likely to follow, and that's the same mentality I've got here."
Lloyd opened the season with an unprecedented run of five consecutive victories, including the Freedom 100 on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After that, he added victories at Iowa and Watkins Glen, although a string of 10 consecutive top-three finishes ended with an 11th at Nashville on July 14.
"We've been fortunate that we've had a big lead from the start of the championship, and we've not had any pressure on us, really," Lloyd said. "We had two bad races where we had some problems, but nobody grabbed the bull by the horns and took the fight to us, so we've still got a pretty big lead, and it's one of those things where we know if we have two 10th-place finishes that may be enough to come away with the championship."
Indeed, at this point, it will be difficult for Lloyd to lose the battle for the Firestone Firehawk Cup. Panther Racing's Hideki Mutoh is the only championship contender remaining among the 22 entries for the two 30-lap races on the 12-turn, 2.26-mile road course located in the Sonoma Valley.
If Lloyd can add seven points to the margin in the Carneros 100 on Aug. 25, he would become the first Indy Pro Series driver to clinch the championship in the third-to-last race of the season. If that doesn't work out, he can claim the title after the Valley of the Moon 100 on Aug. 26 by maintaining a 53-point lead over Mutoh.
"We'll go there, do our job, put ourselves in a position to win races, and hopefully we will pick up a win this weekend," Lloyd said. "If we do that, the championship will be ours. We're still taking it race by race and trying to get as many wins as we can."
Practice and qualifying for the two races is scheduled for Aug. 24. IRL PR