ELKHART LAKE, Wis – It was an emotional weekend for the entire Juncos Racing group. None more so than for driver Victor Franzoni. He lost his mentor Jeff Green is a tragic accident last weekend. Green, took Franzoni under his wings with Juncos Racing last year and helped Franzoni to win the 2017 Pro Mazda Series championship. See, that was likely Franzoni’s last year in racing if he didn’t win the title. He didn’t have the money to continue on and a third season in Pro Mazda didn’t make much sense.
Green, was the calm presence to help Franzoni achieve his goals and not only win the championship, but also receive the scholarship to move up to Indy Lights action in 2018.
Now, one week after Green was killed in a crash in Canada, Franzoni is in victory lane with Juncos Racing celebrating his first career Indy Lights victory.
Franzoni, started on the pole on Saturday but could only muster a third place finish in his No. 23 Mazda. He was passed by Colton Herta and his Andretti Autosport teammate Pato O’Ward on Lap 5 and couldn’t get back up to them to challenge for the victory. On Sunday, he made sure that didn’t happen again.
This time, Franzoni passed O’Ward on Lap 2 and never looked back en route to his third podium finish in the last four races and seventh top four effort in nine races this season. It was an emotional moment for sure. He led a race high 18 of 20 laps on Sunday.
Saturday’s winner Colton Herta would see his four race win streak come to an end but he’d still bring his No. 98 Mazda home runner-up. He was 8.9153-seconds behind Franzoni at the finish. It was Herta’s seventh straight podium effort and eighth in nine tries.
Home state hero Aaron Telitz came home third in his No. 9 Mazda. He’s now in a tie for fifth in the series standings which is impressive for how this season started. He passed O’Ward for the final spot on the podium inside of five laps-to-go.
O’Ward finished fourth in his No. 27 Mazda for his sixth top four finish in the last seven races. His teammate Ryan Norman rounded out the top five in his No. 48 Mazda.
Herta leads O’Ward by 17 points heading to the next race at Iowa.
Indy Lights Race No. 2 Results
- 23 Franzoni R
- 98 Herta
- 9 Telitz
- 27 O’Ward R
- 48 Norman
- 28 Kellett -1
- 5 Urruita -7