LLOYD CLAIMS VALLEY OF THE MOON 100
SONOMA, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006 -- England's Alex Lloyd won the 30-lap Indy Pro Series Valley of the Moon 100 by 6.2400 seconds over Wilson on the slick 12-turn, 2.26-mile circuit. Lloyd passed Bobby Wilson, who won at Watkins Glen International in June, on a Lap 9 restart and kept a comfortable gap the remainder of the race.
Series point leader Jay Howard's lead was diminished by the combination of 10th- and fourth-place finishes at Infineon and Jonathan Klein's fourth- and third-place finishes. Wilson (fifth and second) and reigning series champion Wade Cunningham (first and seventh) also gained ground.
HowSOard (354) takes an eight-point spread over Klein into the season finale, while Wilson (335) is third and Cunningham (327) fourth.
VALLEY OF THE MOON 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Alex Lloyd's second win of the season and the second victory of his Indy Pro Series career. His last victory came at the Liberty Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June.
* This is the second win for AFS Racing in the Indy Pro Series. It previously won with Lloyd at Indianapolis in June.
* Bobby Wilson finished second, his best finish since winning at Watkins Glen in June. Wilson's finish gave Kenn Hardley Racing the unofficial lead in Series entrant points.
* Jonathan Klein finished third, his seventh consecutive top-five finish.
CARNEROS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, winner Valley of the Moon 100): "It was difficult to keep my concentration up the whole way through. To make a move, I had to be aggressive and push the car into the smallest of gaps and hope for the best. It was a close start. I think it was (Mike) Potekhen on the front row that had a problem at the start. I tried to go to the inside, just missing the wall and him. And from there on, we just pushed as hard as we could and got into the lead. It looks comfortable when you're in the lead but its hard to keep your concentration, keep everything together and not make a mistake. Everything went perfect. We had the best car out there, and the team did an unbelievable job all weekend. It's great to have the win, especially coming from fifth. It was a great, fun race all the way through for me."
BOBBY WILSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished second): "It was a really challenging race. The track was quite slick; half the battle was just staying on course. I'm glad I salavaged a second place finish. I wish I could have had something for Alex (Lloyd)."
JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, finished third): "It's been a pretty good weekend. We've been in the top three, top four all weekend. We're quickest in morning warm up today. We were second quickest in morning warm up yesterday. We showed that we have speed, and the team does a great job. They gave me a great car all weekend, and it was very consistent. They gave me a car I could drive all race and push as hard as I could until the last lap. It's unfortunate that we couldn't get a win. We closed the gap on Jay (Howard) so we'll go into Chicago looking to win the race and the Indy Pro Seires Championship."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Cunningham-Stewart Racing, finished fourth): "The start was pretty hectic. I went inside, outside. You just have to go with the road you have most. Being on the outside. I struggled with the last couple of corners. It is so hard to pass here. We had a quick car. I'm so glad we won yesterday."
JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished fifth): "Well, I finished. I didn't get taken out by anyone. That's a good result. We're still in the lead for the championship. Unfortunately, it's not as big as we had hoped for. That will make it more interesting for the fans at the last race in Chicago."