Thiago Medeiros won the Chicagoland 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, earning his fifth victory of the season. After four consecutive victories earlier this season at Phoenix, Indianapolis, Kansas and Nashville, the...
Thiago Medeiros won the Chicagoland 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, earning his fifth victory of the season. After four consecutive victories earlier this season at Phoenix, Indianapolis, Kansas and Nashville, the young Brazilian was back in victory lane, adding another 28 points to his lead over Paul Dana in the championship standings.
"We had a really quick car, and I think after we won the pole, we had the fastest car," said Medeiros, who waved the Brazilian flag from the cockpit on his victory lap.
Despite being challenged throughout the race, Medeiros managed to lead every lap in the 67-lap contest. "I was trying to find the best line so no one could get around me. I knew my car was quick enough to do that."
Medeiros' Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Travis Gregg started on the outside of the front row and dropped in behind Medeiros at the start. Gregg protected his teammate from challengers for the first few laps before dropping back and eventually spinning in a single car incident in turn two. Gregg managed to avoid making contact and continued after safety crews arrived at the scene. Gregg finished 13th, one lap down.
Jeff Simmons moved to the front early in the race, spending most of the race tucked under Medeiros' gearbox. Simmons made several attempts to challenge for the lead but was unable to pull alongside the leader. "We had a good race car, we were just lacking that top speed when we pulled out," said Simmons. "We would lose all our speed, and the guys would pull away from us."
Contact between Cory Witherhill and Gary Peterson on lap 45, set up a 16-lap dash to the finish, yet Medeiros was able to stay at the front. "I didn't even try to make a move on that last restart because I knew if I was all alone, guys were going to drive right by me," said Simmons.
Al Unser finished third, followed by Arie Luyendyk Jr. and P.J. Chesson.
With two races remaining, Medeiros needs to score nine points to clinch the Menards Infiniti Pro Series championship. With Infiniti Pro Series fields numbering less than 16 cars at recent races, Medeiros will clinch the championship by starting the next race, held at California Speedway on October 7.
Medeiros closest challenger in the title race, Paul Dana, started third and finished eighth.