Joe Jennings, IndyCar Correspondent
Esteban Guerrieri came from last to first to win the Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon. The winner drove the Pistas Argentinas/SSM w/Curb Agajanian entry fielded by Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
The victor qualified 11th but when the team elected to change engines, Guerrieri had to drop back to the rear of the field.
It was a fantastic race, and I was thrilled to win it.
With haste, the Argentine moved rapidly through the field, catching the leaders with relative ease, joining a group of highly competitive drivers that were jockeying for the lead. The field was tightly bunched in the late going with some seven cars running close together. As the race wound down, Guerrieri caught up with leaders Gustavo Yacaman, Tristan Vautier and Carlos Munoz, who were each seeking the top position.
The lead changed hands often and if not for a late-race caution, there would have been a fantastic finish. Instead, a crash on the 39th lap forced the race to end under the yellow flag.
Guereri took the win and was trailed by Munoz and Vautier. Fast qualifier Yacaman took fourth and IndyCar driver Sebastian Saavedra grabbed fifth place.
Victor Carbone led 25 of the 40 laps but faded at the end to finish sixth.
Said the victor, who led three laps, “It was a fantastic race, and I was thrilled to win it. I had a good start and got some speed, allowing me to pass on the outside. From the beginning, I tried to be smart and to use my head. It was a step-by-step move to the front and I attacked when I got there. I was very aggressive during the last two laps, and I am very pleased with the outcome.”
At the outset, a massive crash on the opening lap triggered a four-lap slowdown. Five cars were involved but no injuries were sustained.