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DATE News (chronologically)
10/09/09
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Romancini Wins a Nail-biter Lights Race
Mario Romancini
Photo and Story by Scott Morris/AR1.com
Mario Romancini won the closest thing to a home race in front of a contingent of Brazilian fans, family and friends in the second closest finish in Indy Lights history, and one of the closest finishes in the Indy Racing League History.

Romancini started tenth and rocketed to the front, crossing the line in third by lap four, and going 3 wide into turn 1. There was a lot of 3 wide racing today, but it seemed to merely allow the trailing drivers to close, making things even more interesting.

Polesitter Davidson and front row starter Cunningham faded around mid-way, finishing 5th and 6th respectively, with a couple of yellow flags tossed in to keep things interesting.

By the time the last yellow flew for Barbosa, the stage was set for a vicious battle between the top three drivers. However, when it started to shake out, Saavedra didn’t quite seem to be able to make up the couple of car lengths on Hildebrand and Romancini.

Romancini was going high and low and everywhere in between looking for a way past "Captain America", who had already clinched the championship in Chicago, but is true racer right to the last flag. Romancini would pull up next to the leader time and time again only to hit a wall of wind and they would run dead even most of the way around, until Mario would drop back into the draft to try again, and yet again.

  They came down for the checker and JR dropped low to try to break the draft early, and Mario ducked behind again down the backstretch, pulling out again and running side by side to the checker. 

The track announcer called Hildebrand as the winner, but as we all assembled in victory lane for the podium ceremony, in drove the black and grey car of RL Anderson Racing with Romancini at the wheel. 

He was visibly moved and didn’t even rise out of the car for a good five minutes. Then he jumped out and wrapped himself in a Brazilian flag and savored the moment. 

And so another fantastic Indy Lights season comes to close. Let's see if any of these names show up on the grid next year. Scott Morris reporting from Homestead Results

1. (10) Mario Romancini, 67, Running $30,000
2. (7) J.R. Hildebrand, 67, Running $22,500
3. (16) Sebastian Saavedra, 67, Running $19,000
4. (6) Mike Potekhen, 67, Running $17,000
5. (1) James Davison, 67, Running $15,000
6. (2) Wade Cunningham, 67, Running $14,500
7. (17) Martin Plowman, 67, Running $14,000
8. (3) Pippa Mann, 67, Running $13,500
9. (8) Logan Gomez, 67, Running $13,000
10. (13) Andrew Prendeville, 67, Running $12,500
11. (12) Sean Guthrie, 67, Running $13,000
12. (9) Daniel Herrington, 67, Running $11,500
13. (5) Charlie Kimball, 67, Running $11,000
14. (11) James Hinchcliffe, 67, Running $13,000
15. (15) Rodrigo Barbosa, 53, Contact $10,000
16. (14) Gustavo Yacaman, 47, Contact $9,000
17. (4) Brandon Wagner, 4, Contact $7,500

      Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 137.423 mph
      Time of race: 43:26.4173
      Margin of victory: 0.0057 of a second
      Cautions: 3 caution flags for 16 laps
      Lead changes: 11 among 4 drivers
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