Matheus Leist Wins Indy Lights Freedom 100
The Brazilian teenager wins his first Indy Lights race, which was also his first race on an oval track.
On Friday, the Indy Lights cars took to the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the young drivers hoping for a future in IndyCar, racing well, and winning, at the legendary oval could help secure them a future drive in the big show.
The last several Indy Lights races at the IMS have been won by just hundredths of a second. Today's finish wasn't as close, but the race was still a good one.
18-year-old Brazilian rookie Matheus Leist won in a dominating performance from pole. This was his first Indy Lights win and the first time in any series that he's raced on an oval track. He held off several drivers that tried to take the lead from him, and did it without breaking a sweat. Hell, when he hopped out of the car at the end of the 40-lap race, he looked as if he had just been sitting around the garage for the last half hour.
While Leist kept out front for the entire race, behind him there was a drag race off Turn Four for second place honors. Dalton Kellett had worked his way up to second place towards the end, but couldn't get close enough to take the lead. Aaron Telitz had also had a go at the win, but got bumped back to third by Kellett.
Coming off the final corner, Telitz took advantage of Kellett's last attempt to get close enough to Leist. Telitz made the pass to take second place right as the pair approached The Yard Of Bricks. Telitz beat Kellet to the line by 0.0641 seconds.
There was some drama on lap one. Coming out of Turn Two, Colton Herta clipped his teammate, Dalton Kellett, which sent Herta spinning up the track and into the wall. Unfortunately, another teammate had taken to the high line to avoid the spinning car. With nowhere to go, Herta car slammed into the car of Ryan Norman. Norman's damaged car slid back down the track and somehow threaded itself between a group of cars without further contact. Thankfully, Norman and Herta were uninjured in the wreck.
For the rest of the weekend, the young guns of Indy Lights can relax and take in the atmosphere of the Indy 500. They'll be back on track June 23 at Road America.