INDIANAPOLIS – It was a tough day to be running up front in Friday’s Indy Lights Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On the first lap, both front row starters had a mishap in Turn 1 as third place starter Victor Franzoni got into the back of pole sitter Pato O’Ward who in turn got into the grass. O’Ward’s Andretti Autosport teammate and second place starter Colton Herta went wide to avoid the potential carnage, allowing fifth place starter Santi Urrutia to take over the lead.
On Lap 10, Franzoni who was running second, got off course in Turn 12 and fell from second to sixth.
10 laps into the race, the cars that started 1-2-3 all had problems. But, most would rebound.
Herta, went from second to fifth and back to second in a span of 11 laps. Five laps later, he took his No. 98 Mazda to the top spot. The second generation driver never looked back. Herta, won Friday’s Indy Lights Royal Purple Grand Prix of Indy en route to his third career Indy Lights victory and first of the season.
Not only did he go from fifth to first in 16 laps, he’d gap the field by over 5-seconds over the final 14 laps of the race. The margin of victory was 5.1512-seconds.
Herta, now has six podium finishes in his last seven starts and 13 straight top 10 finishes in the series. He led the way in practice on Thursday, so Herta winning the race isn’t much of a surprise.
Urrutia would wind up second in his No. 5 Mazda for his fifth top five finish in as many races in 2018, four of which on the podium. He lead the first 15 laps on Friday and now has eight podium finishes in his last nine races and 17 podiums in his career.
Aaron Telitz finished third in his No. 9 Mazda for his second straight top four finish. O’Ward and his other teammate Ryan Norman would round out the top five in finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Race No. 1 Results
- 98 Herta
- 5 Urrutia
- 9 Telitz
- 27 O’Ward R
- 48 Norman
- 23 Franzoni R
- 28 Kellett