Twelve months ago Juncos Racing and I entered the Grand Prix of Indianapolis fresh off a weekend sweep at Barber Motorsports Park and leading the Pro Mazda Championship points standings. Things didn’t go well and I finished outside the top 5 in both races and lost a lot of points. Coming into this years Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis we thought there was no way we could have the same bad luck as we did in 2014. Well, we were wrong. Again, we had dominated at Barber, winning from pole position in both races which put me into the championship lead by seven points.
The first day of practice went well, the car was handling nicely and I set fastest time of the day. Thursday was the first day of official practice and our weekend started to go downhill a bit then. We ended up 4th in the two practice sessions. I wasn’t totally happy with the balance of the car so we made some changes to get ready for qualifying on Friday morning. The car was better for qualifying and we closed the time difference a bit but unfortunately so did a few other guys. I could only manage 6th position. Turn one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course always creates some drama. It’s a very tight corner at the end of a massive straight so at the start everyone is drafting and trying to brake at the last second to gain positions. I started on the outside and didn’t have a gap to squeeze into the inside lane so by the time we got to turn one I tried to make a move around the outside. The guys on the inside braked late and forced me wide onto the grass. I lost a few spots and then a few corners later I had to take to the grass again to avoid another crash. This left me in 9th, way behind the pack. I was able to pass two cars to finish 7th.
We changed engines overnight so I had to start last for race two. It didn’t last very long as I tried to make a pass into turn one and wasn’t seen by the other car, he turned in and we collided. It broke my left front suspension so that was the end of our day. Luckily, my two main championship rivals didn’t have great races either so I didn’t lose as many points as I could have. It’s very tight between Ed Jones, Jack Harvey and myself. I’m now 11 points behind in 3rd place in the standings.
Our next race is the big one, the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday May 22nd. It will be Live on NBCSN at 12:30pm EST. I can’t wait to finally get to drive around the oval at IMS. We were very fast at the preseason oval test in Homestead so I’m confident we will be fighting for the win again.
Special Thanks to Mazda, Cooper Tires, Doug Mockett & Company, Rising Star Racing, The Stutz, BAD, California Scents, MOBĒ, Brad Penn Oil and of course the Juncos Racing team for all of their hard work.
Thanks for Reading,