Plowman holds off Dan Clarke for first Lights win
Martin Plowman started on the pole for the first time in his 24 Firestone Indy Lights races. He led his first laps in two seasons of competition. And the Englishman won his first race since competing in the Asian-Pacific (karting) Championships in Japan.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Plowman deadpanned after driving the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing entry for AFS Racing Andretti Autosport to Victory Circle in the Mid-Ohio 100. “To finally get it after so much hard work ... I’ve got such a great team behind me in AFS Andretti. Michael (Andretti), Gary (Petersen) and Stu (Kenworthy) my engineer. But also my parents and all of Team Plowey that couldn’t be here today. They are working hard to get me into IndyCar next year."
Plowman became the fifth different winner in nine Firestone Indy Lights races this season.
"I put in 40 consistent laps," he said. "I knew the only way I could beat (front-row starter) Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) was not make a mistake and that’s what I did. I’m with a great team this year and the results are starting to pay off.”
Dan Clarke finished 0.8443 of a second behind in the No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special for Walker Racing, tying his season high. Charlie Kimball finished third for his seventh top five.
Plowman led every lap of the caution-free race, but through Lap 35 didn’t have more than a 0.7949 of a second advantage over James Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit. On Lap 36, however, Hinchcliffe’s car ventured off course in Turn 5, dropping him to seventh.
Hinchcliffe, second in the standings entering the race, was pushing to both overtake Plowman for his third victory of the season and subsequently gain more points championship leader J.K. Vernay, who was running eighth. It obviously didn’t work out that way.
Suddenly, Plowman didn’t see the yellow and white car in his mirrors and nursed his lead over Clarke to the twin checkered flags. Plowman extended his streak of running at the finish to 19 over two seasons (last year with Panther Racing). He’s started and finished in the top 10 in every race.
1. (1) Martin Plowman, 40, Running
2. (3) Dan Clarke, 40, Running
3. (6) Charlie Kimball, 40, Running
4. (5) Stefan Wilson, 40, Running
5. (4) Sebastian Saavedra, 40, Running
6. (8) Adrian Campos Jr, 40, Running
7. (2) James Hinchcliffe, 40, Running
8. (7) J.K. Vernay, 40, Running
9. (9) James Winslow, 40, Running
10. (10) Philip Major, 40, Running
11. (12) Juan Pablo Garcia, 40, Running
12. (14) Rodrigo Barbosa, 39, Running
13. (15) Giancarlo Vilarinho, 39, Running
14. (13) David Martinez, 38, Off course
15. (11) Gustavo Yacaman, 34, Running
Winner's average speed: 107.364
Time of Race: 50:28.5067
Margin of victory: 0.8443 of a second
Lead changes: None
Lap Leaders: Plowman 1-40
Point Standings: Vernay 359, Hinchcliffe 306, Plowman 306, Kimball 287, Saavedra 269, Wilson 234, Clarke 224, Major 204, Yacaman 202, Campos Jr. 193.