Munoz wins Indy Lights snoozer
As if only eight cars on a 2.5-mile track isn't boring enough, polesitter Carlos Munoz grabbed the lead at the start and ran off and hid to win the Pocono 100 Indy Lights race on Saturday leading every lap.
|A future star for certain, the very talented Carlos Munoz dominated again|
Colombian Munoz captured his fifth Firestone Indy Lights career victory today, and third of the season, when he started the Pocono 100 from the pole position -- his fifth pole of the year. He led each of the 40 laps in today's 100-mile race and crossed the finish with a 16.225 second lead over the competition.
Munoz previously raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries from 2010-2011 and competed in the Formula Renault Eurocup from 2007-2009.
"My team, my engineers, my mechanics, everyone did an amazing job giving me this great car. I was flat out the whole way and it's really nice to be back in victory circle after our weekend in Iowa. I was really motivated to come here and race on this oval. Looking forward to continue our momentum in Toronto."
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Dialy-Ser Andretti Autosport): “It’s nice to be back into victory after tough weekends in Iowa and Milwaukee. I knew if I could get a little bit of a gap from second, I could pull away because I was really fast all weekend. A consistent race, and I didn’t make any mistakes.” (About winning the home race for team owner Michael Andretti): “It’s nice to have the pole position in IndyCar and to win here in Indy Lights.” (About unique winner’s trophy): “It was really, really have with a nice American eagle and the American flag. It was a really nice trophy.” (When did you figure out this track?): “Since yesterday afternoon. I knew I had a great car to be alone. Yesterday, I was not happy in traffic. But we made a few changes this morning. I knew if I was alone, I could make a gap.” (Do you get setup help from IndyCar teammates?): “Yeah. They help me a lot. More or less, the Indy car had the same problem in traffic. The engineers, Michael said they did this. So we did that. It was aggressive, and it helped a lot.”
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): “I was really excited for this race knowing it was my hometown crowd. Carlos was really fast; we just couldn’t keep up with him. I was flat out the whole race. I had a good battle with Gabby (Chaves) at the end. I’ve known him since we raced karts when we were 10 years old. We’re teammates. We knew we were going to race each other clean. But we had some contact there at the end, and I think he damaged his front wing.” (About whether it would have made more sense to avoid battle with Chaves to try and catch Munoz): “We tried. We stayed nose to tail for 30 laps, hoping that was going to do it. It should have. We should have been able to catch him. But we couldn’t. He was so fast. We knew after Lap 1 it was going to be no chance.” (About contact with Chaves): “I was actually quite surprised we didn’t have any damage because his wing hit my tire. Usually when carbon hits a tire, it goes flat. But thankfully it held up.” (About Munoz’s speed): “I got a tow (on fast practice lap). He did his 47.9 running alone. We knew we were in trouble. He was in a world of his own this weekend. We knew that from the first session.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): “I really don’t know to say. We did what we had to do. Carlos just ran away. We had nothing for him. I had a really good battle with Sage, side-by-side a couple of times. We had a good counterattack, but I got some damage to my front wing and the car was just a handful.”
ZACH VEACH (No. 12 K12/Andretti Autosport): “Up until the race, it’d been a really tough weekend for all of us on the K12 car. We really struggled with the balance of it and just couldn’t find the right groove. Then, finally in the race starting sixth, I think we made some right decisions on the car. That was the best car I’ve had all weekend. We got a solid fourth (place finish); I think we could have contended for the top three. Once you lose that top pack in the draft at a place like this, you can’t really get them until a yellow (flag) comes out. I want to thank everyone at K12 and Andretti Autosport for working so hard. It’s a good finish for us – a top five is always nice, and we’ll carry this momentum into Toronto.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): “It was a pretty average race. We qualified fourth, and we had a decent start. Zach was pretty quick behind, and he was able to pass me and so I spent most of the race behind him. I thought we had a good chance to get past him at the end of the race. All in all, not a great result but glad my teammates did well.”
1. (1) Carlos Munoz, 40, Running
2. (2) Sage Karam, 40, Running
3. (3) Gabby Chaves, 40, Running
4. (6) Zach Veach, 40, Running
5. (4) Jack Hawksworth, 40, Running
6. (7) Juan Pablo Garcia, 40, Running
7. (8) Peter Dempsey, 40, Running
8. (5) Jorge Goncalvez, 40, Running
Winners average speed: 182.948
Time of Race: 00:32:47.7712
Margin of victory: 16.2247
Lead changes: 0
Munoz 1 - 40
Point Standings: Munoz 285, Karam 281, Chaves 246, Dempsey 226, Hawksworth 221, Veach 201, Goncalvez 198, Garcia 192, Matthew Di Leo 30, Victor Carbone 26.