Battistini Captures Miami 100 At Homestead

Homestead, FL – England’s Dillon Battistini powered into the lead with just four laps remaining in the Miami 100 to win the season-opening Firestone Indy Lights race. The winner drives for Panther Racing and he earned $32,500 for his victory.

Battistini, who started from the front row, watched as Richard Antinucci and fast qualifier Raphael Matos dominated the first 63 laps. After a late-race slowdown, Battistini swept under the leaders and cruised to victory, winning the 67-lap race by 1.6 seconds. The Brit averaged 156.560 miles per hour for the 38-minute race.

“I went into the race with an open mind,” Battistini said. “I wanted to make sure I finished, gained experience and enjoyed myself. My car was set up to come together at the end. The caution period allowed me to cool my tires, and I knew once the car heated up, I would be quick.”

Antinucci brought the Sam Schmidt Motorsports car into second place ahead of Brent Sherman, who was making his series debut.

“It was a great way to start the season but it hurts to lose,” Antinucci stated. “I am designed to race and I am here to win. It hurts to be passed at the end. We had the legs over just about everyone but the winner. We have to take what we had and go forward. Second is good for us.”

Sherman, who started 13th, battled three others in the final laps to gain the show position. “It was nerve-racking at the end. You just have to keep your foot into it and I expected to make contact with the wall, but I didn’t. I would like to have made it farther forward.”

Arie Luyendyk Jr. advanced from 11th to achieve fourth place, recording his 19th career top-5 series finish.

Chris Festa finished in fifth place.

Sixth through tenth were Andrew Prendeville, Ana Beatriz, Matos, Wade Cunningham and J. R. Hildebrand, who started last in the 23-car field.

Brazilian Beatriz’s seventh place finish was the best for a female driver in series history. Miami’s Mishael Abbott finished eighth three years ago.

The 23-car starting field set a Lights record. The previous record had been 21 a year ago at Watkins Glen.

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