Meyer posted a career-best finish for the second race in a row, bettering the eighth place finish he earned in the feature race at Barber Motorsports Park.
Speedway, Ind. – The upward trend continues for Canadian Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver Zack Meyer, who today fought his way through the field to claim fourth place in the first race of the weekend at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Taking to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the first time, Meyer posted a career-best finish for the second race in a row, bettering the eighth place finish he earned in the feature race at Barber Motorsports Park. It wasn’t easy, though, as Meyer had to battle tricky track conditions and a field full of feisty competitors to secure fourth place.
The 21-year-old from Innisfil, Ont., started the day off by qualifying in eighth position, a disappointing start to the day considering the top-five pace he displayed during Thursday’s practice sessions. However, with a heavy downpour taking place just before the start of the race, luck fell Meyer’s way. With rain being the great equalizer, Meyer was able to demonstrate his speed and car control throughout the 40-minute race. At the start, Meyer hung strong in eighth while feeling out the conditions. With an understanding of the grip available to him and his car’s balance, Meyer went to work.
First, Meyer made quick work of Juan Piedrahita for seventh and began to close the gap to the group of cars in front of him. With the group of Jack Harvey, Zach Veach, Gabby Chaves, and Alex Baron engaged in a close battle, Meyer pounced on the opportunities as they came. With his superior speed, Meyer passed Veach as he fought a damaged car and then set after Baron. After dispatching with Baron, Meyer then stalked Chaves for several laps before finally making the move to claim fourth. From there, it was all tire management as the track quickly dried and the Cooper Tire rain tires had to survive the nearly dry track. However, Meyer persevered, building an insurmountable gap to Baron in fifth and comfortably finishing fourth. Meyer, by advancing four places from his starting position, was the biggest mover of the race.
“The race went pretty well,” Meyer explained after the race. “We went out with basically a dry setup on the car and just added some downforce. The car felt OK, and we were faster than everyone around us, so it worked out. I could have forced the issue with Gabby a little sooner, but I played it safe so that I didn’t take both of us out. I showed everyone what I’m capable of in the car today. Now we need to make sure we have a good setup in the dry so that we can go out there tomorrow and do it all again.”
The sole Canadian racing in Indy Lights still has the 60-minute feature race to tackle this weekend. With the wet first race, the grid for the feature race will be set by the second fastest lap each driver set during qualifying. As such, Meyer will start tomorrow’s race in ninth place. The second race of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is slated to take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The television broadcast of the doubleheader weekend will air on NBC Sports Network on a tape-delayed basis on a to be announced date sometime during the week of May 19.