Dubai-based driver Ed Jones finished third in Iowa to increase his lead at the top of the Indy Lights standings to 23 points.
Dubai-based Ed Jones failed to hold on to his lead at Iowa Speedway, billed as the fastest short track on the planet, but finished on the podium in the 100-lap all-green Iowa Challenge to increase his lead on top of the Indy Lights standings.
In the battle which was decided in thrilling fashion in the closing minutes of the 100-lap race, Jones Carlin teammate Felix Serralles emerged triumphant. It was the second win and fourth podium of the season for Puerto Rican Serralles, who won the opener on the streets of St Petersburg.
A delighted Serralles said: It feels great to finally be on the podium again and to win a race! I was really confident today ? I had the memory of how confident I was when I won at Milwaukee last year and I felt that way again today.
I knew we could get to the front but the Carlin team gave me a car that could help me pull away. You just really can t give up. One of the biggest parts of ovals is dealing with the lapped traffic and today, that was really difficult.
The Asteco-sponsored Jones said: The turning point of the race for me was getting stuck behind another car. I struggled to get past him and that let Felix by me. That was the momentum changer. From then on, we struggled in traffic. But it was a good result and I ve extended my lead in the championship and if I keep doing that, it s all good.
Rain forced the cancellation of qualifying with the grid set on championship points, giving Jones his seventh pole in the last eight races. Championship rivals Dean Stoneman, Santi Urrutia and Kyle Kaiser lined up second, third and fourth respectively with Serralles in fifth.
Jones held the lead until Lap 57 when Serralles, who had charged into third on the opening lap and maneuvered past Stoneman on Lap 26, made his move. He appeared poised to take the checkered flag with only 20 laps remaining until a hard-charging Zach Veach of Belardi Auto Racing overtook him. Veach had started sixth and clearly had a car that was capable of winning, proven by setting the fastest lap of the race.
The 21-year-old appeared to have his second win of the season in hand until the closing moments as he and Serralles fought their way through lapped traffic. However, Serralles emerged the victor by 0.6681 seconds with Jones, Stoneman and Urrutia rounding out the top five.
With the third place finish, Jones slightly extended his lead in the point standings over Stoneman. Jones is now 236, while his Andretti rivalk is on 213. Urrutia continues to be third at 206 points. Serralles win vaulted him to fourth at 199.
Indy Lights will head to Toronto next week for the USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto ? Rounds 12 and 13 of the championship.
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|Country||United Arab Emirates|
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