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Indy Lights Results

By:  Mark W. Theisen

     INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA May 27, 2011:     Josef Newgarden gave Sam Schmidt Motorsports its 6th win in the Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon edging teammate Esteban Guerrieri in a race that was plagued by caution flags ending under the yellow with the teammates being denied a chance to “duke” it out between them on the final lap.

     The 40 lap or 60 minute race, whichever came first, started by virtue current point’s standings in the series because the qualifying for the event was rained out yesterday.

     That put Clauson he pole with Newgarden on the outside with Stefan Wilson and Victor Garcia in row 2.

     Two of the drivers on the grid, Victor Carbone and David Ostella experienced problems in the early morning practice for the race but both had their cars on the starting line prior to the race that saw Newgarden pass Clauson on the outside of turn one to take the lead at the end of the first lap of the race.

     Wilson took the lead of the race on lap three with Clauson drifting back in the field but could only rule the race for lap as Newgarden came right back.

     Anders Krohn took the lead from Newgarden on lap 5 as the race’s first caution was waived on lap 8 for a spin by Carbone in the second turn, the eventful day for him ending just a few laps into the race.

     Newgarden re-took the lead on the restart of the race on lap 12 as he was now pressured by Guerrieri who took the lead on 13th but could not shake the determined Newgarden who re-established himself at the point on lap 15th and was in front when the second caution appeared on lap 21 for a three car tangle in the second turn.

     Gustavo Yacaman, Juan Pablo Garcia and James Winslow where involved in the tangle that kept the yellow flag out for 7 laps.

     Only two more laps could be recorded when Duarte Ferreira and Brandon Wagner made contact also in the second turn.

     Through these cautions Newgarden continued to rule the race and pulled out on the ensuing restart on lap 33 only to see the fourth caution to be waived on lap 35 when three abreast racing into the first turn resulted in contact between teammates Jorge Goncalvez and Krohn sending the later hard into the inside retaining wall and then putting the car on it’s side with a spurt of first coming from the underside of the race car.

     Both drivers were taken for examination as the race ended with Newgarden winning for the second time this season, his rookie year in the series followed by Guerrieri, Victor Garcia, Wilson and Clauson.

     “This is unbelievable,” said Newgarden, when asked of his win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  “The team works so hard, we had four cars in the race and we all work so well together and it was my teammates that helped me get familiar with this track.  The car was fast right off the track and that is a credit to the entire Sam Schmidt Motorsports team.  They all work so hard.”

     “Josef (Newgarden) were working real hard to pull away from the rest of the field and battle it out ourselves when that final caution came out,” said Guerrieri, “and we never got the chance. It was fun for a while just disappointed that we could not challenge for the lead.”

     This win by the Schmidt team sets the stage for Sunday’s running of the 500 with their Indy Car entries of Alex Tagiliani of Townsend Bell in prime position to give them a sweep of the May races at Indy, which would be a first for any team competing in both series at the same time.