IPS: Cunningham tastes victory at Sears Point

Wade Cunningham earned his second Indy Pro Series victory of the season after leading flag to flag in the Carneros 100, the first of two Indy Racing League Indy Pro Series races at Infineon Raceway this weekend. The Valley of the Moon 100 will be...

Wade Cunningham earned his second Indy Pro Series victory of the season after leading flag to flag in the Carneros 100, the first of two Indy Racing League Indy Pro Series races at Infineon Raceway this weekend. The Valley of the Moon 100 will be held tomorrow.

Cunningham, who started on the pole, was pressured throughout the race by second place finisher Alex Lloyd, but the young Englishman was unable to make a serious bid for the lead.

Although the New Zealander led every lap, it was "a lot tougher than it sounds," said Cunningham. "Three full course yellows, three opportunities for Alex Lloyd to attack."

Staying close behind Cunningham during the entire race, it wasn't until the waning laps that Lloyd threatened to make a move at the end of the long back straight. "I wasn't very strong on the brakes today," said Cunningham after taking his first road course victory. "I could tell Alex was very, very strong there. The last couple of laps, I was pretty nervous. I could see it was getting close."

Lloyd said he tried to put as much pressure on Cunningham as he could. "I stayed close to him all the way through the race. We did everything we could."

Nick Bussell started fourth, passed Jonathan Klein at the start and finished third. "We're back on the podium," said Bussell after earning his best finish since his second place in the season opener at Homestead. "We've been struggling a little bit, so this feels good."

Jonathan Klein earned 32 points for finishing fourth, closing the gap to series points leader Jay Howard by 12 points. Howard finished tenth after spinning while running fifth and now leads the championship by 13 points (324-311) over Klein.

Bobby Wilson finished fifth followed by Mike Potekhen in sixth. With the top six cars inverted for Sunday's Indy Pro Series race, Potekhen will start on the pole. "We need to find a little speed tonight," said Potekhen after making his third series start. "We're a little off but the car is really balanced well."

Potekhen, who competed on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the oval at Kentucky, said, "It's only my fourth day in these cars on a road course, so I'm still learning. Most of my experience is in the Pro Mazda. It's a lot difference."

Potekhen earned Star Mazda victories at Milwaukee and Portland this year.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Alex Lloyd , Nick Bussell , Wade Cunningham , Bobby Wilson , Jay Howard , Jonathan Klein , Mike Potekhen