Hinchcliffe wins first oval at Chicagoland

James Hinchcliffe drove from 13th starting position to win the Firestone Indy Lights series race at Chicagoland Speedway. It was Hinchliffe's third victory of the season and his first career victory on an oval. Currently in second place in the...

James Hinchcliffe drove from 13th starting position to win the Firestone Indy Lights series race at Chicagoland Speedway. It was Hinchliffe's third victory of the season and his first career victory on an oval.

Currently in second place in the championship standings, Hinchcliffe now trails J.K Vernay by 53 points with two races remaining.

Pippa Mann finished second, her career best, after leading twice for 35 of the 67 laps. Mann was leading when a late race caution turned the contest into a four lap dash. Hinchcliffe moved ahead to lead the final two laps, crossing the line 0.0159 of a second ahead of Mann.

"It was tough," said Hinchcliffe. "I wasn't sure I would have enough. Pippa was super strong."

Mann was quick to compliment her competitor. "He had an awesome car," she said. "When he was right behind me on the restart, I thought this is the last person I want to see in my mirrors."

Points leader J.K. Vernay lined up third for the final restart but was passed by his Sam Schmidt teammate Philip Major in the final laps. "This is probably one of the craziest tracks I have ever raced at," reported Major. "I don't remember a lap where we weren't side-by-side and almost banging wheels. It was crazy."

Vernay was disappointed with his result after the team's strategy did not work in his favor. Working with Mann to maintain first and second place, Vernay was unable to position himself to defend third place as the top four cars scrambled to the finish line.

"We had a chance to win," said Vernay. "The last two laps were really odd." Other than that, "I really have nothing to say."

Dan Clarke rounded out the top five.

Polesitter Martin Plowman suffered a cut tire and reported to the pits for a replacement. He finished 13th, six laps down.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Pippa Mann , James Hinchcliffe , Martin Plowman , Philip Major , Dan Clarke