LEEDS, Ala – Pato O’Ward is off to a great start to the 2018 Indy Lights Series season. The Andretti Autosport driver won the season opening race on the streets of St. Pete, then came home seventh in the second race of that race weekend. But, that result should have been better than that.
On Saturday, O’Ward led flag-to-flag at the Barber Motorsports Park en route to his second career series victory in his No. 27 Mazda. He started second, but quickly passed his teammate and pole sitter Colton Herta for the top spot. He’d never look back en route to his fourth series top five finish in seven tries.
Herta, came home second in his No. 98 Mazda, crossing the finish line of the 2.3-mile Alabama track 1.3247-seconds behind O’Ward. The runner-up was Herta’s second podium in three races this season and ninth of his career.
Santi Urritia started third and finished there in his No. 5 Mazda. He’s finished on the podium in all three races so far this season and now has seven straight podium finishes in the series dating back to last season. Overall, he has 19 career podium finishes in Indy Lights competition.
Victor Franzoni finished fourth in his No. 23 Mazda while Ryan Norman rounded out the top five in his No. 48 Mazda.
Aaron Telitz unfortunately found trouble early on in the race again. He crashed hard in qualifying for the second race at St. Pete in the opening race weekend and would have to forego his top starting spot in race No. 1 as a result. Then, in the second race, he was crashed out on the opening lap. On Saturday, he crashed on Lap 4.
Race No. 1 Results
- 27 O’Ward R
- 98 Herta
- 5 Urrutia
- 23 Franzoni R
- 48 Norman
- 28 Kellett
- 7 Celis R
- 9 Telitz OUT