Herrington wins Lights race, Hildebrand title Technical partners Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) and Vision Racing found themselves sharing the Firestone Indy Lights podium for the second consecutive weekend, only this time BHA took the top spot for the first time with driver Daniel Herrington and Vision secured second place with James Davison in Saturday evening's Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway.
In their 14th race, first-year team BHA, and owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey have earned their first victory as an organization with driver Daniel Herrington who also earned his first Indy Lights victory in his 27th start.
While it was Herrington's first time on the podium this season, it is BHA's second consecutive podium finish and third overall this season as their part-time hire, Felipe Guimarães, finished second last weekend at Infineon Raceway and third earlier this year at Watkins Glen International.
Herrington started the race from the ninth spot on the grid in the No. 28 Le Bleu/BHA Dallara/Firestone and worked his way up quickly in the hectic opening laps. Upon the first caution on lap six Herrington had moved up to seventh and upon the race restart on lap 11, he again diced through the field to run as high as third by lap 17 finding himself in a group of cars running three and four cars wide at the front.
The race went to caution again on lap 31 which set Herrington up for a move to the front and sprint to the finish. The race restarted on lap 41 and Herrington, who took the return to green flag conditions in third, seized his chance to solidify his spot at the helm. He did just that by leading the field on lap 42 and never looking back; leading 26 of his first laps led this season and taking home an Indy Lights victory for the first time.
Herrington, the 23-year-old North Carolina State University graduate and Winston-Salem, N.C., resident now has 29 laps led in his Indy Lights career, one win, three top-fives, and 19 top-ten finishes. Not to mention, his 14 starts this year have produced a dozen top-ten finishes and now have him sixth in the Firestone Indy Lights championship point standings with 365 total points (138 points behind champion, J.R. Hildebrand).
Vision Racing's James Davison's second place finish today gave the Australian and the team their third consecutive podium finish and fourth overall this year in addition to their fourth consecutive top-five finish and seventh overall in 2009.
Driving the No. 21 People's Republic/Vision Racing Dallara/Firestone machine, Davison started from the sixth position and on the first lap powered his way to the second spot where he challenged fellow competitor Wade Cunningham for the lead. Davison eventual led a lap, his 88th of his career, and held on to the second position for the finish; all the while defending his teammates lead and maiden victory.
Adding a second place finish to a season that has also produced a victory, two pole positions, seven top-five finishes, and just one finish outside of the top-ten has propelled Davison into the second spot in the Firestone Indy Lights championship point standings. He has 416 total points and is 87 points behind 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion, J.R. Hildebrand.
Television coverage of the Chicagoland 100 from Chicagoland Speedway will air Monday, Aug. 31st at 6 p.m. on VERSUS. Firestone Indy Lights action resumes on Friday, October 9th at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Results Saturday of the Chicagoland 100 Firestone Indy Lights event at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any) and money earned:
1. (9) Daniel Herrington, 67, Running $30,000
2. (6) James Davison, 67, Running $22,500
3. (14) Andrew Prendeville, 67, Running $19,000
4. (3) Wade Cunningham, 67, Running $16,000
5. (13) J.R. Hildebrand, 67, Running $15,000
6. (2) Sebastian Saavedra, 67, Running $14,500
7. (11) Charlie Kimball, 67, Running $14,000
8. (8) Martin Plowman, 67, Running $13,500
9. (5) Pippa Mann, 64, Running $13,000
10. (16) Rodrigo Barbosa, 61, Running $12,500
11. (12) Richard Philippe, 34, Mechanical $14,500
12. (7) James Hinchcliffe, 32, Contact $11,500
13. (4) Mike Potekhen, 31, Contact $11,000
14. (15) Ana Beatriz, 31, Contact $12,000
15. (1) Brandon Wagner, 20, Handling $12,000
16. (10) Mario Romancini, 12, Mechanical $7,500
Winner's average speed: 138.490 mph
Time of race: 44:07.3016
Margin of victory: 0.0613 of a second
Cautions: 2 caution flags for 14 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers
Lap leaders: Cunningham 1-16, Davison 17, Cunningham 18-23, Potekhen 24, Cunningham 25-41, Herrington 42-67.