IPS: Medeiros earns career first at Texas

IPS: Medeiros earns career first at Texas

Thiago Medeiros won the DreamerCandles.com 100 at Texas Motor Speedway, earning his first Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory. Medeiros took the lead from Aaron Fike with four laps to go and held off challenges from Jeff Simmons and Cory...

Thiago Medeiros won the DreamerCandles.com 100 at Texas Motor Speedway, earning his first Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory. Medeiros took the lead from Aaron Fike with four laps to go and held off challenges from Jeff Simmons and Cory Witherhill to win by 0.0694 of a second, the fourth-closest margin in series history.

Victory lane: race winner Thiago Medeiros receives trophy.
Photo by Michael C. Johnson.
"I had a good car, I could run anywhere, high or low. It was just a matter of waiting for the last lap," said Medeiros, who celebrated by pulling a Brazilian flag from the cockpit after crossing the finish line.

"I always like to carry the (Brazilian) flag with me and just wait for the right moment to take that flag out of my pocket."

Jeff Simmons made another stunning drive through the field, finishing second after starting 11th. After struggling through qualifying here and at Chicagoland, Simmons has demonstrated exceptional talent by finishing in the top three both times.

"It was a great race," said Simmons. "I'm really proud of everyone on the Western Union Speed Team, be cause we were really struggling for the first day and they stayed here until 11 o'clock last night changing stuff on the car to get us a good race car. We fought back from 11th to make sure that we finished second in the points too."

Cory Witherhill finished third, 0.1304 of a second behind the leader.

Ed Carpenter and Aaron Fike rounded out the top five. Fike took the lead from pole sitter Arie Luyendyk Jr. on lap 38 and led 26 laps. On lap 64, Fike lost three positions, slipping to fifth at the checkered flag. "I am a little mad right now. It's a little frustrating, that's all."

Arie Luyendyk Jr..
Photo by Michael C. Johnson.
Luyendyk Jr. led the first 37 laps, relinquishing the lead to Fike on a restart. Luyendyk immediately faced a challenge from series champion Mark Taylor. As he moved high on the backstretch high, thinking Taylor had enough room but the two made contact, launching Luyendyk car over the top of Taylor.

The two cars slid along the outside wall, one on top of the other, but neither driver was injured.

"Going down the backstretch, Taylor was looking high, but I thought I still had room," said the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. Obviously, I wasn't clear, so it was my fault. It's a good thing he had already wrapped up the championship so I didn't mess up his year."

"I had a run on Arie and tried to get past on the outside," said Taylor, who clinched the series championship at California Speedway last month. "He just seemed to turn right, and I was where he wanted to be. Luckily, I have already wrapped up the championship."

Taylor dominated the series, winning seven out of 11 races and scoring a total of 482 points. Simmons secured second place in the championship with 407. Carpenter, who won the inaugural Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was third with 377 points.

Medeiros scored 371 points, taking fourth in the championship.

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