Stoneman drives to inspiring first Indy Lights win

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INDIANAPOLIS – Dean Stoneman rose above the field to take his first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires win in the second race of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader.

The Andretti Autosport driver took the lead from Carlin’s Ed Jones on Lap 2 and managed to briefly build a comfortable lead over Santiago Urrutia (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian) for the opening 13 laps until Felix Serralles (Carlin) made his way around Urrutia for second place.

Serralles set his sights on Stoneman and the gap between the two see-sawed over next 15 laps. The Puerto Rican closed within striking distance on Lap 27 heading into Turn 7, but was unable to complete the pass.

It would all come apart a lap later as Serralles missed the apex in Turn 12 and went off course. That opened the door for Urrutia to move into second place. Stoneman, though, was too far out in front and crossed held the line 0.86 of a second ahead of Urrutia.

“I just saw that they were using their boost up quite soon,” said Stoneman. “I was just trying to be smart and save it for the end. It’s difficult because when you are within two tenths of each other, you want to be quick but you don’t want to make the silly mistake of locking up like Serralles did.”

The win is just Stoneman’s latest since he won a battle with testicular cancer that nearly ended his racing dreams.

“I’ve had many wins since the cancer, but every win you have, it means a lot and is very emotional where I’ve come from to where I am now,” he added.

Pato O'Ward, Aaron Telitz, and Will OwenChampionship leader Jones holds a 21-point lead over Urrutia after seven races in the Indy Lights season.

O’Ward completes another Pro Mazda weekend sweep

Pato O’Ward claimed his fifth win in six Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires races in 2016 and completed a weekend sweep at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Much like in Friday’s win, the pole position gave O’Ward a clean track ahead and he stretched out a 1.5-second lead over Team Pelfrey teammate Aaron Telitz by the first lap. That set O’Ward up to run uncontested for the rest of the race and cross the line 4.70 seconds ahead of Telitz.

“I almost out-braked myself in Turn 1 but made it stick and then we got the lead,” said O’Ward. “We started putting in consistent laps on cold tires and when the tires came in, it kept it fast and consistent and we just started to make a gap.”

O’Ward extended his lead to 31 points over Telitz in the Pro Mazda championship.

Thompson wins USF2000 nightcap race

Parker Thompson, Victor Franzoni, and Luke GabinParker Thompson (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) held on for an eight-minute sprint to claim his second Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda win in the second race of the IMS road course weekend.

The Canadian got a jump on Victor Franzoni (Arms Up Motorsports) at the start of the race before full-course caution came out for Eric Filgueiras’ spin. It led to an extended yellow flag due to excessive oil on the track.

Thompson then defended a challenge from Franzoni on the restart and never looked back, crossing the line with 0.71 of a second in the bank.

“With the 100th running of Indy 500 coming up, to get a win here is fantastic,” said Thompson. “Can’t thank the Cape Motorsports boys enough to give me an awesome car to go from pole to the win.”

Thompson leads Cape teammate Anthony Martin by 28 points after six USF2000 races.

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