IPS: St. Pete: Race one notes

LLOYD WINS SECOND STRAIGHT INDY PRO SERIES RACE ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Saturday, March 31, 2007 -- Alex Lloyd claimed his second consecutive Indy Pro Series victory, winning the first of two Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg races to...

LLOYD WINS SECOND STRAIGHT INDY PRO SERIES RACE

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Saturday, March 31, 2007 -- Alex Lloyd claimed his second consecutive Indy Pro Series victory, winning the first of two Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg races to be contested in St. Petersburg. Lloyd, who started on pole, led all 40 laps in posting a 1.6038-second victory over Hideki Mutoh, who started 24th on the grid. Jonathan Klein, Stephen Simpson and Jay Howard rounded out the top five. Bobby Wilson finished sixth, earning pole position for the April Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Race 2.

Lady Luck: Matt Jaskol, making his debut in the Indy Pro Series this weekend, has a roulette wheel painted on the top of his helmet.

MATT JASKOL (No. 6 Hazardous Sports): "I lived in Las Vegas my whole life, so I wanted something unique. Everybody does cards and dice. A roulette wheel is symbolic of racing. We're all kind of going around, don't know where the ball is going to land. That's how it all started. Everybody liked it, and we stuck with it. I got a new helmet painter, Savage Design based here in Florida, and he did an amazing job, all custom work. I like it. It's something unique to where I live."

INDY PRO SERIES GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG #1 NOTES:

* This is Alex Lloyd's second-consecutive Indy Pro Series victory and the fourth win of his career. His last win came last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has won three of the last four Indy Pro Series races dating to the 2006 season.

* This is Sam Schmidt Motorsports' 15th victory in the Indy Pro Series.

* Lloyd led his fourth consecutive Indy Pro Series race dating to last season.

* Hideki Mutoh finished second after starting 24th for his career-best finish. He finished third in his series debut last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

INDY PRO SERIES GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG #1 POST-RACE NOTES:

ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winner Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg #1): ""I didn't make a good (second) restart. All of them were good except that one. Jay (Howard) was right behind me. Unfortunately, instead of trying to overtake me he decided he was going to try and ram me off the track. Luckily for me, I managed to keep it on. It backfired for him as these things usually do when you try and not play with the rules. We got through. It was a bit of a scare, but since then the car was perfect. Everyone at Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Lucas Oil did a great job. I had a little bit of time in my pocket that I sort of used on the last 10 laps to build a comfort gap. I looked after my tires up until then. The speed we had was good enough to pull a gap. The last couple laps took it easy and made sure I brought it home."

(About starting sixth tomorrow) "The concern is of course when you're put back in sixth position anything can happen. You can be involved in accidents through no fault of your own. So, I want to keep out of trouble. We want to come through. We're still going to try for the win for sure. It's not impossible by any means."

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 55 Panther Racing, finished second): "After the last practice, we had to change an engine and go to the back of the starting lineup. It was a tough race, but I'm happy with the results."

JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling, finished third): "I'm just estactic to give Tom Wood and Mark Moore their first podium. It was a tough race. Other people were defending, dicing and racing hard, and I just wiggled my way around everyone with a few quality passes on the outside. We didn't even know if I was going to be racing this year. Mark at Tom Wood Racing called me and gave me an opportunity to run all of the road courses this year. Its the team's second race ever, so to be on the podium is great.

STEPHEN SIMPSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished fourth): "It's not bad. I moved up a position. I wanted to finish the race, first of all, and score some points, which I did, so all in all, it was good. I think we had a faster car than we finished, but it's difficult to overtake on a street circuits and it's my first street circuit race in the Indy Pro SeriesAll things considering, I'm fairly happy with today, but I want to move a few positions tomorrow.

BOBBY WILSON (No. 1 Ocala Gran Prix, finished sixth): "(About earning the pole for Race #2): "It's a lot better than what I had to do today and have to go through he whole field. There are a few guys who are off the pace and I think lap traffic will play a role. I have a really fast car and I'm confident that I can win."

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE:
8:30 -- 8:40 a.m. Indy Pro Series warmup
11:30 a.m. Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg #2 (40 laps/72 miles), ESPN2 (4:30 p.m., April 6)

***

The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on April 1. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg doubleheader on March 31 and April 1 on the Streets of St. Petersburg. The race will be telecast at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 6 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Tom Wood , Alex Lloyd , Stephen Simpson , Bobby Wilson , Jay Howard , Jonathan Klein , Hideki Mutoh , Matt Jaskol
Teams Panther Racing