INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Kyle Kaiser ruled the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course today to take his first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires win of the season.
Kaiser led the 35-lap race on the 2.439-mile circuit flag-to-flag in the No, 18 Juncos Racing Mazda/Dallara IL-15. He faced a small challenge early from Santi Urrutia (No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing Arrow), but when Urrutia drove too hard into Turn 1 on Lap 4, Kaiser pulled away and won by 6.4768 seconds. It is the 21-year-old Californian's third career Indy Lights win.
“We got a jump coming on the straightaway and from there I was just hoping nobody would hit me,” said the veteran of 40 Indy Lights starts. “Had a little bit of a battle there at the beginning, but once I pulled a gap outside of the push-to-pass, I was just doing laps and making sure I was consistent.”
Kaiser also met a personal objective by moving into the points lead heading into the Freedom 100, the pinnacle event for Indy Lights.
“That was the goal going into this month: get the point lead before the Freedom 100,” Kaiser said. “I feel like a big burden has been lifted for the rest of the year. I got the win finally. I’m just going to relax and hopefully keep this momentum up.”
Urrutia finished second and Matheus Leist (No. 26 Carlin) claimed his first Indy Lights podium in third place. Rounding out the top five were Friday’s winner Nico Jamin (No. 27 Andretti Autosport DuraMAX powered by RelaDyne) and Juan Piedrahita (No. 2 Team Pelfrey Petrosur).
After six races, Kaiser leads Jamin by 13 points in the standings. Colton Herta (No. 98 Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing Deltro Energy Mazda), who entered the weekend with the points lead, finished out of the top 10 in both races and fell to third in the championship, 19 points out of the lead.
Indy Lights returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for the 14th running of the Freedom 100 on May 26. Last year’s race produced the closest finish in track history with Dean Stoneman defeating Ed Jones by a mere 0.0024 of a second. The race will air live on NBCSN and on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.