IPS: Lloyd notches St. Pete race one victory

Alex Lloyd led flag to flag at St. Petersburg to earn his fourth Indy Pro Series victory. Lloyd, who has won three of the last four races dating back to last year, is coming off his first oval win last weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway. Lloyd...

Alex Lloyd led flag to flag at St. Petersburg to earn his fourth Indy Pro Series victory. Lloyd, who has won three of the last four races dating back to last year, is coming off his first oval win last weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Lloyd nearly lost control of his Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 7 on a lap 18 restart when Jay Howard hit him from behind as the pair reached the first corner. "I didn't make a good restart," Lloyd admitted. "Jay (Howard) was right behind me. Unfortunately, instead of trying to overtake me he decided he was going to try to ram me off the track. Luckily, I managed to keep it one."

Howard essentially threw away a podium finish, taking the checkered flag in fifth place.

Hideki Mutoh finished second in what he described as a "fun" race. The 24 year-old Japanese-speaking driver has shown considerable poise and maturity in his first two Indy Pro Series races.

Jonathan Klein returned to the Indy Pro Series, notching a third place finish in the car normally driven by Tom Wood. Klein will share driving duties with Wood this season, competing in all the road course events. Klein started eighth, noting that this year's Indy Pro Series field is "exponentially better than last season."

Klein said he just wiggled through while others were "defending, dicing and racing hard."

Rookie Stephen Simpson finished fourth driving for Kenn Hardley Racing. "It's not bad," Simpson said. "I wanted to finish the race and score some points, which I did. I think I had a faster car than we finished, but it's difficult on overtake on street circuits. All things considered, I'm fairly happy with today, but I want to move up a few positions tomorrow.

Bobby Wilson will start from the pole for Sunday's Indy Pro Series race after finishing sixth on Saturday. Wilson, who was slated to start 13th, started from the rear of the field when his car would not start on the grid. "I was way behind when the field took the green," lamented Wilson.

Describing his sixth place finish as "bittersweet," Wilson thinks he has the car to beat on Sunday. "I have a really fast car," he said with a grin.

The Indy Pro Series takes the green flag at 11:30 Sunday for the second of two races on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Tom Wood , Alex Lloyd , Stephen Simpson , Bobby Wilson , Jay Howard , Jonathan Klein , Hideki Mutoh