IPS: Simmons dominates to win at Pikes Peak

Jeff Simmons won his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series race this season after dominating the Pikes Peak 100 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. It's his second consecutive short oval victory having won at Milwaukee last month. Simmons took the...

Jeff Simmons won his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series race this season after dominating the Pikes Peak 100 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. It's his second consecutive short oval victory having won at Milwaukee last month. Simmons took the lead from polesitter Travis Gregg on the second lap and never looked back crossing the 4.8765 seconds ahead of second place finisher Nick Bussell.

"It was great, one of the best cars I've ever had. It's been a storybook weekend, except for missing the pole position," said Simmons, who topped all three practice sessions.

Bussell made a steady march through the field after starting ninth. With 24 laps remaining in the 100 lap event Bussell moved around Wade Cunningham to take third. Nine laps later he passed Gregg for the runner up position.

"I didn't even qualify," said Bussell about his ninth starting position. "I just went out and took the green. Bussell admitted to struggling through practice with qualifying becoming "a two lap practice run."

After making changes in the morning warm-up session, including replacing a shock, "it was ten times better." Bussell's second place is a career best. He finished third at St. Petersburg and Milwaukee. "For thinking it would be our worst race of the year and now having my best finish, I'm pretty happy with that."

Tom Wood started seventh but fell to the rear of the field at the green. Wood's car improved as the race wore on passing Chris Festa and Wade Cunningham in the last 20 laps to finish fourth. "I wish the race was a little longer," said Wood. "I'm not that young anymore and it takes me a little longer to get going," he said with a smile.

Wade Cunningham retains the points lead (371-350) over Gregg with his fifth place finish. It was his tenth consecutive top-five finish, a series record. Cunningham, who started third, challenged for the lead on the first lap before settling into third for most of the race. "I got a good run at the start. I thought I could get to second, and then I played it a bit conservative."

Cunningham developed a vibration late in the race forcing the young driver to bring the car home safely. "I thought a tire was de-laminating or something or maybe it had blistered. I was trying to drive as slow as I could, but race it at the same time. It was a hard trade-off. I had to come home fifth but there wasn't much I could do about it."

Chris Festa finished sixth followed by Marty Roth and Jay Drake in eighth.

The race ran caution free, the first time since the Liberty Challenge on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in June.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Marty Roth , Tom Wood , Jeff Simmons , Jay Drake , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Wade Cunningham