Jon Herb won the Phoenix 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Phoenix International Raceway after taking the lead on a lap 21 restart. His first career victory puts the Chicago driver atop the point standings after two races. Herb finished third in the season opener at Miami.
Cool track temperatures provided less than optimum conditions leading to several incidents due to lack of grip. On the initial start three cars were sidelined as the field accelerated through the second turn. P.J. Chesson and Jay Drake were unable to continue while Marty Roth was able to rejoin the competition after making lengthy repairs in the garage area.
Roth returned to the track and managed to record enough laps to pick up two positions from cars that had retired from competition before spinning in a single car incident on lap 76 to bring out the fifth and final caution period. Roth was credited with 10th place. With the race running longer than anticipated, IRL officials announced that the race had been shortened to 90 laps from the scheduled 100 lap distance.
With ten laps to go after the final caution, Herb held off a final challenge from Chris Festa whose second place finish was a career best. "Once we got going, we were about a tenth quicker than Jon, but I just couldn't quite get close enough to him in turn four," said Festa. "Once I got up to him, I'd lose him in turn four and he'd pull away again."
"Chris Festa did a good job of making me stay on my game," said Herb. "It wasn't as easy as I'd like to have it, but I'll take it anyway I can."
After eight laps of cleaning debris from the first incident Jaime Camara spun on the ensuing restart and collected Jeff Simmons. Later, Mishael Abbott spun in turn two in a single car incident eliminating six cars from the field by lap 33.
Travis Gregg was credited with leading the first 21 laps of the race, most of which were under caution. Gregg was involved in the fourth caution period while running second. He spun during a restart, collecting Al Unser. Unser was unable to resume but Gregg, whose car was nearly unscathed except for a portion of his right front wing was able to report to the pits and continue after receiving a new front wing. Gregg finished two laps down and was credited with seventh place.
"It was an unavoidable incident," said Unser. "Travis spun on that restart and we clipped him."
Wade Cunningham finished third completing all 90 laps.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Nick Bussell finished one lap down finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The next event on the Infiniti Pro Series schedule is a race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. marking the first time the Pro Series or the IndyCar Series has raced on a road circuit.