IPS: Simmons wins Chicagoland thriller

Jeff Simmons won the Chicagoland 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway after passing Marty Roth on the last lap. Simmons, who earned his fifth career victory after edging ahead Roth into the first turn, crossed the finish...

Jeff Simmons won the Chicagoland 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway after passing Marty Roth on the last lap. Simmons, who earned his fifth career victory after edging ahead Roth into the first turn, crossed the finish line a scant 0.2306 seconds ahead of Roth. The top six cars crossed the finish line in 0.5727 seconds.

Sarah McCune, who earned the pole position in her Infiniti Pro Series debut, was involved in a multi-car accident on lap five, which ended her day early. McCune led the first five laps before being hit by third place starter Jay Drake. The pair made contact twice before spinning in front of the field and collecting series points leader Wade Cunningham, his Brain Stewart Racing teammate Bobby Wilson and Chris Festa. No one was hurt in the incident.

"We were just going down into Turn 3 and he (Drake) hit me and kept driving right through me," said McCune. "I don't know what he was thinking. I have no idea."

Festa said he saw, "Sarah and Jay bumping" in front of him. "I went high to try and avoid the accident. Sarah slid up the track once they hit, and I had no place to go."

Drake limped around the track, making several pit stops for repairs before parking his car on lap 12.

Despite losing nearly half the field, the six cars remaining competed in one of the fiercest Pro Series races of the season with eight drivers making 15 official lead changes.

With six cars running under a blanket for most of the race, Marty Roth was the first driver to take the while flag. He was followed across the line by Simmons, Jon Herb and Nick Bussell. In the last mile and a half Roth slipped to second and Bussell managed to get around Herb to finish third.

"Close but no cigar," said Roth after earning his best career finish. "I'll take second. It's my best finish since I've been in this series." Roth's career best came at this track when he finished fourth in 2002.

Jon Herb finished fourth followed by Travis Gregg and Jaime Camara.

Simmons knew he would have a good chance at victory when McCune, Cunningham and Wilson were eliminated in the early wreck. Despite inheriting the lead after the accident, Simmons fell to the rear of the field on the restart. Ten laps later he was back at the point, a position he swapped eleven more times before taking the checkered flag.

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