Lexington, OH – Entering this weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, it looked like Kyle Kaiser would run away with the season championship. He had a wide lead in the standings over second place Matheus Leist and even swept the race weekend the last time out at Toronto.
Furthermore, Kaiser had four podiums over his last five starts and five straight top five finishes on the season. On top of that, the Juncos Racing driver had nine top 10’s over his last 10 races.
Counter that with Leist having seven top five finishes over his last eight races, and it was clear the duo would have a battle amongst themselves the rest of the way.
Or so they thought.
Both struggled immensely, and that allowed Colton Herta, Santi Urrutia and Nico Jamin to close the gap.
Kaiser, finished 12th on both Saturday as well Sunday, while Leist was 11th and 10th respectively himself. On the flipside, Herta and Urrutia gained the most ground, as both split the front row each days with Urrutia winning on Saturday and coming home second on Sunday. That propels him to second in the standings now.
Herta had a prime opportunity to shrink the deficit even more, but while leading on Lap 3, he spun and would fall to 10th. Luckily, he would rebound to finish sixth and trails by 43 points overall.
Jamin would reach victory lane for the third time of the season on Sunday as he also enters the championship fray himself.
Kaiser’s points lead has shrunk to 42 points to Urrutia, 43 to Herta, 48 to Leist, 54 to Jamin and Zachary Claman de Melo.
It all started in qualifying though. Kaiser started sixth on Saturday while Leist rolled off 12th. On Sunday, they started ninth and 13th respectively. That made it difficult to move through the field which was the key culprit to their rough weekends.
Next up is another oval at Gateway before finishing the season up at Watkins Glen on Labor Day weekend. This fight isn’t over, in fact, it’s really just beginning.