IPS: Chesson earns second consecutive series win at Kentucky

P. J. Chesson notched his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory in as many races after the 25-year-old Far Hills, NJ driver won the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway. Chesson used the high line around the speedways high banks, moving to the...

P. J. Chesson notched his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory in as many races after the 25-year-old Far Hills, NJ driver won the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway. Chesson used the high line around the speedways high banks, moving to the front when Travis Gregg faded from the lead. "There's some dirt up there, so I felt right at home," said Chesson, who competed on the competitive 410 sprint car circuit in central Pennsylvania.

After starting from the pole, Travis Gregg led all but 10 laps while holding off his Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Thiago Medeiros. Medeiros made repeated attempts to pass Gregg using the high side as his teammate kept the bottom line covered. "We were working together, then, my teammate started blocking," said a frustrated Medeiros.

With ten laps remaining, Gregg's tires wore unevenly causing his car to mishandle. Medeiros, who was following his teammate so close they touched nose to tail at one point, found himself boxed in when Gregg's pace slowed. "Three cars passed me on the outside," said Medeiros. After running first and second for most of the race, Gregg and Medeiros finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

"Thiago was racing me pretty tough and I had to keep it tight," said Gregg. "I knew that too much of my right side would slowly eat away. I felt a push and I couldn't keep it as low and the pack behind me was just eating up at me. Leonardo (Maia) got underneath me and then Chesson came around me and I was just trying to hold on and stay safe because it was my first race. The guys in the back were running the draft and not pushing as hard on the bottom and saving their tires. They had better race cars at the end."

Paul Dana spent much of the race just behind Medeiros, waiting for an opportunity to overtake second place. Dana slipped by with Leonardo Maia and Chesson when the Sam Schmidt entries faltered.

When Phil Giebler's car belched smoke down the backstretch with four laps to go, the yellow was shown. Dana thought he might get one last chance for victory on the restart but Chesson could smell victory coming to the green and white flags. "He went so early on the restart that he caught us all napping," said Dana. "If I would have gotten a remotely respectable restart, I think we could have won it."

Behind Dana, Leonardo Maia finished third, matching a career best finish after finishing third at Phoenix in March. Arie Luyendyk Jr. was fourth.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Leonardo Maia , Paul Dana , Phil Giebler , Travis Gregg , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.