Not very often in racing does the same race have two winners, but today’s Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire did just that. Garett Grist won his second race of the year, but the big winner was Santiago Urrutia who clinched the championship with a second place finish and a second last DNF by his closest champion ship contender Neil Alberico
For the fourth time in five races it was Juncos Racing sophomore Garett Grist that led 19 Mazda Renesis powered cars to the green flag, but as the field exited the final corner chaos ensued and the start was waved off.
Timothe Buret jumped out of line from his fifth starting spot causing chaos and contact behind him that involved Weiron Tan, Pato O’Ward, Dalton Kellett, Kyle Connery and Victor Franzoni. The cars of Franzoni and O’Ward suffered significant damage and were unable to continue while Tan, Kellet and Connery were able to continue.
Buret was penalized for jumping the start and had to move to the back of the grid.
After a ten minute clean-up the field finally took the green and Buret once again jumped the start. This time the young French Juncos Racing rookie was given a drive-thru penalty for jumping the start.
Grist led the field to the Andretti Hairpin and his Juncos Racing teammate Will Owen was able to follow him down the inside to pass Urrutia for second. Owen made a mistake and was unable to hold on to the position as he was passed by Urrutia and Alberico.
At this point, the race settled into a rhythm with Grist holding a comfortable 1.8 to 2.8 second lead over Urrutia for the remaining 13 laps. Alberico, who desperately needed to get past Urrutia if he had any hope of catching the 19 year-old Uruguayan was unable to get closer than 1.5 seconds.
With Urrutia in second and Alberico in third the point gap would have been 32 points, meaning that the championship fight would just barely move to Sunday. However Alberico had an issue in The Corkscrew coming to the white flag lap.
After clinching the championship, Urrutia stopped his No. 82 Team Pelfrey machine in Turn 4 to collect a Uruguayan flag from a course marshall.
Complete Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire Race #1 results
RANK — DRIVER — LAPS COMPLETED
1 Garett Grist 18
2 Santiago Urrutia 18
3 Will Owen 18
4 Jose Gutierrez 18
5 Weiron Tan 18
6 Dalton Kellett 18
7 Raoul Owens 18
8 Florian Latorre 18
9 Daniel Burkett 18
10 Michael Johnson 18
11 Timothe Buret 18
12 Alessandro Latif 18
13 Parker Nicklin 18
14 Bobby Eberle(E) 18
15 Jay Horak(E) 18
16 Neil Alberico 16
17 Kyle Connery 16
18 Pato O’Ward —
19 Victor Franzoni —
More in bit after the Indy Lights race