After finishing in second place to teammates in the last two Firestone Indy Lights Championship races, Argentinian Esteban Guerrieri dominated the David Hobbs 100 on The Milwaukee Mile today to capture his first victory in the series.
Driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Guerrieri led all 100 laps after starting the race on the pole. He averaged 130.236 mph for the 100-mile race and beat SSM teammate Josef Newgarden by 5.5012 seconds across the finish line.
It was not only a dominating day for Guerrieri, it was an impress performance by the entire Sam Schmidt Motorsports organization as it placed all four team cars in the top six positions in the David Hobbs 100.
Newgarden started the race on the outside of Guerrieri on the front row in his No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong car and ran the entire race in second place. It was Newgarden’s third podium performance in five races so far this season.
SSM driver Bryan Clauson, in just the second Indy Lights race of his career, started third but fell back in the pack in the first five laps. Eventually falling back to sixth, the USAC standout used patience to get his No. 77 Mazda Road To Indy/CURB Records car dialed in and to pick off positions. He finished in fourth.
Brazilian Victor Carbone showed incredible patience early in the race after starting ninth. He methodically chased down a handful of drivers in his No. 3 Nevoni car and finished sixth, his best performance of the season.
Belardi Racing’s Jorge Goncalvez was the lone driver to prevent SSM from sweeping the first three positions as it did in qualifying. Goncalvez finished third, while Team Moore Racing’s Gustavo Yacaman rounded out the top five.
There was only one caution period for five laps, though there were only eight of the 13 cars running at the finish. Newgarden turned the fastest lap of the race when he toured the one-mile oval in 25.7038 seconds at 142.158 mph on the ninth lap.
With his second place finish, Newgarden continues to lead the Firestone Indy Lights Championship points chase. His 191 points lead Guerrieri’s 178 points. Carbone is 10th in points after five races, while Clauson is 15th after his two starts.
The next Firestone Indy Lights Series race is the Sukup 100 on Saturday, June 25, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
Esteban Guerrieri (Finished 1st), Driver of the No.7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:
“It wasn’t a big challenge, only on the start with Josef (Newgarden). The car was really awesome for the whole race. We just had to keep going at the same pace. I’m really pleased for Sam Schmidt Motorsport and Lucas Oil. They make a big effort to bring the car to victory lane. This my first win so I’m really happy. I am surprised and happy that it came on an oval.”
Josef Newgarden (Finished 2nd), Driver of the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:
“It was a great points scoring weekend for the whole team, especially for us. We’ve talked about being consistent every weekend here throughout the rest of the year. It’s great for the team to get a win with Esteban. He did a great job, so I’m really happy for the team. We just got to keep doing this every weekend. Hopefully we can get back up to the top step, but if we’re scoring points and getting podiums, we’re in good shape.”
Bryan Clauson (Finished 4th), Driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:
“We were really tight from the outset. I was working hard inside the car to get it to turn. It was a character building day. Though I started third, I didn’t have a fourth place car. I was really happy to get back up there. I just made adjustments, changed the lines and I found something that made it better.”
Victor Carbone (Finished 6th), Driver of the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:
“It was a good race day for me. We finally got to run the entire weekend on a difficult course. It was a good experience here. It was good to run side-by-side with people, so it was a good weekend. In running the whole race, I got to experience a lot, especially running behind someone in their dirty air. But since the Sam Schmidt crew gave me a good car, I really need to thank them for the good run today.”
Date: June 19, 2011
Event: David Hobbs 100 (Round 5 of 13)
Series: Firestone Indy Lights Series
Location: The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. (1-mile oval)
Winner: Esteban Guerrieri of Sam Schmidt Motorsports
SSM Team: Esteban Guerrieri (Started 1st, Finished 1st / Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Josef Newgarden (Started 2nd, Finished 2nd/ Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Bryan Clauson (Started 3rd, Finished 4th / Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Victor Carbone (Started 9th, Finished 6th / Running, completed 99 of 100 laps)