Herrington Captures 1st Indy Lights Win At Chicago 100

Pole sitter Wade Cunningham led the most laps Saturday in the Chicago 100 Indy Lights race at the Chicago land Speedway, but Daniel Herrington took the lead on lap 42 and held off a charge by James Davison to score his first series’ win and the first for Bryan Herta Autosport.
Herrington, who raced all night in a lead pack numbering up to 10 cars, drafted to the front in the first turn on a lap 41 restart and took the lead for good on the next circuit. “It was quite eventful. We were in a pack of 10-15 cars and everyone had their own ideas about where there’s room to race. I was happy to survive the first 20 laps,” said Herrington who claimed this to be one of the tightest races he’s ever been in. “From lap one I knew we could do it. Our car was really working well up high, so we slowly picked people off. Finally on that last restart I got a big run on my teammate (Davison) and Wade Cunningham and made it three wide around 3 and 4. I had a ton of help from James in the last 20 laps to bring home our first win.”

J. R. Hildebrand finished fifth and clinched his first Light’s championship, running a defensive race in the process. ” My strategy after the final caution was not to crash. I was really hanging on and trying to be opportunistic. It was really tough to get by guys,” said the Indianapolis resident who started thirteenth. “I came into this year with Andretti Green Racing knowing I had every opportunity to make this happen. We worked our way through the field and got to the front. But when they’re four wide there’s no place to go.”

A major crash on lap 32 involved Pippa Mann, Anna Beatriz and Mike Potekhen. Though no one was injured, the resulting caution bunched the field and allowed Herrington to make his final run to the front.

The winner averaged 138.490, edging Davison by 0.0613 of a second. There were two cautions, slowing the field for 14 laps.

Lights Notes:
? Lights Series Champion J. R. Hildebrand reported that there is some interest from his Light’s owner Michael Andretti in putting him in an Indy car sometime in the future. Decisions on what the team will do with Danica Patrick and just how the management shakeup at AGR will affect the 2010 team makeup will have much to do with Hildebrand’s future there and in the ICS.

? This was Brandon Wagner’s first pole in the Indy Lights series and he did it without Kingdom Racing’s co-owner Davey Hamilton, who missed the run. Hamilton, an eleven-time starter in the Indy 500, was on his way from the airport when Wagner gave the team their first series’ pole. Wagner is a former USAC National Midget Series pilot who recently attended Purdue University.
? While Brandon Wegner grabbed the pole for the Chicago 100 Indy Lights race at 189.954 mph, third-place starter Wade Cunningham turned a practice lap at 192.174 mph, a surprising 2.7 mph quicker than he qualified.

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