IPS: Chicagoland: Alex Lloyd race report

Closest Finish.... Ever! It was the last round of the 2007 Indy Pro Series and 22 year old Clerical Medical and Manx Sports Aid Foundation backed Alex Lloyd was as eager to win as he was in the first round. It was held at the 1.5...

Closest Finish.... Ever!

It was the last round of the 2007 Indy Pro Series and 22 year old Clerical Medical and Manx Sports Aid Foundation backed Alex Lloyd was as eager to win as he was in the first round. It was held at the 1.5 mile oval at Chicagoland Superspeedway, and Alex was looking forward to this round more than any other as he knew he could enjoy the race and go all out to win, after having already claimed the championship in the previous round at Sonoma.

The Sam Schmidt Motorsports/ Lucas Oil car was 3rd out to qualify, and Alex found he was very happy with the car's performance during the practice sessions and went out and put in a quick lap of 190.333mph, and was the only car to get into the 190mph range, claiming his 5th pole position of the season for the race start on Sunday.

"I'm very happy with today," he said afterwards. "I'm happy with the car we've got. I'm sure we'll put on a great race for the fans." The result marks the twelfth time this year that Lloyd will begin a race from either pole or second position on the grid. To put his feat into perspective, Lloyd capped his season with the distinction of starting every race where qualifying was conducted on the front row.

"That's something that definitely means a lot to myself and the team," he said. "On every weekend, no matter what, we've been right there either the quickest or right there as second quickest. That really shows the performance we've had all year."

[IMAGE]At the start of the race, Alex immediately rocketed into the lead, a position he would stay in for most of the first half of the race. With around 20 laps to go Lloyd was running side by side with his team mate, Logan Gomez, when a yellow came out and Gomez had a nose on Alex at that time, and therefore he was gifted the lead behind the safety car . With 10 laps to go the track went green, Alex tucked in behind Gomez and pushed him from behind to help the 2 cars pull away to make it a 2 horse race. Alex bided his time and on the final lap went going into the final turn made his move around the outside. The 2 had a drag race to the line to notch the closest ever finish in Indy racing League history, finishing a mere 0.0005, or 1.6 inches, behind to make it a Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1-2.

"It's a great race for the series to finish up on. I'm obviously disappointed not to win but when it is that close it is really a toss of a coin as to who comes out on top." Lloyd said. "It's a shame, all the yellows, but I think the final few laps were pretty good. I had just been trying to figure out where I was going to go. I gave myself a little bit of room coming through Turn 1 and 2 to really suck it up and give it a go through 3 and 4. We were almost there. Almost, but not quite.

"But it's great for Logan. I'm so happy for him. He's had a really great year and really been coming on strong. For him to get into Victory Lane is a really great boost for him over the winter and for the start of his next year. To have a 1-2 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports is really pretty special and I must say a big thank you to Sam for putting me in the car this season. It has been a year I will never forget."

Alex hopes to have plans for next years IndyCar Series finalized within the next few weeks, and to make an announcement shortly after.

-credit: Alex-Lloyd.com

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