By Steve Wittich
The start of the 30-lap Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 was slightly delayed as many NTT INDYCAR SERIES competitors ran out of fuel on the final lap. Officials also wanted to spend some more time cleaning the track of marbles and other debris.
Pato O’Ward, a veteran of two seasons of Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, won the just completed NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.
The call to fire the engines came at 2:32 pm.
The front row made up of rookie pole-sitter Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing) and veteran Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), brought the 15 cars to the green flag.
Siegel got a good jump, with Eves falling behind the pole-sitter, catching a moment of oversteer as he entered the Alabama Roller Coaster. He was able to save it, but that allowed Ahmed to close up in Turn 5. The pair made contact, allowing Foster to continue his hot to the race.
Race control reviewed the incident and decided that no action was necessary.
Foster, who started sixth, grabbed the position from Ahmed during his scuffle with Eves, completing an impressive first six corners up three spots.
The running order after the first lap was Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Reece Gold (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Salvador de Alba (Jay Howard Driver Development), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing) and Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!).
On Lap 3, Green got around Pabst Racing rookie Missig for sixth.
Missig settled in after his hot start, but on Lap 6, he spun in Turn 8, dropping to 14th.
After ten laps, Siegel’s lead over Eves was only 0.6 seconds over Eves, with Foster, Ahmed, Gold, Green, Porto, De Alba, Browne, Miller, and Missig rounding out the top ten.
While Seigel’s lead over Eves was a ‘comfortable’ four or five car lengths, Eves was facing immense pressure from Foster, who took a look around the outside of Turn 5 on Lap 13. However, the Jay Howard Driver Development No. 4 was able to keep the No. 90 Exclusive Autosport machine behind him.
Siegel’s lead over Eves when the field was shown the crossed flags at the race’s halfway point was 1.3 seconds. The rest of the running order was Foster, Ahmed, Gold, Green, Porto, de Alba, Browne, Miller, Sundaramoorthy, Brichacek, Kaminsky, Missig, and Finelli.
On Lap 16, Foster once again took a look around the outside of Eves in Charlotte’s Web again, and once again, the veteran was able to hold off Foster.
With ten laps remaining, Siegel’s lead was 1.6 seconds.
Foster turned the quickest lap of the race on the next lap, keeping the gap to Eves under a half-second. Surprisingly, at the same time as he was defending effectively against Foster, Eves was eating into the gap to Siegel.
With six laps remaining, Eves and Foster were two-tenths of a second quicker than Siegel. Behind the podium runners, Ahmed was going the same speed as Eves and Foster.
On Lap 24 and 25, Foster looked to the inside of Eves before thinking better of it and dropping in behind Eves.
With three laps to go, the lead was under one second for the first time since early in the race. The lead fell to 0.8 seconds with two laps to go and only 0.7 seconds at the white flag.
Foster lowered his quickest lap time on Lap 29, putting pressure on Eves, and finishing only 1.1 seconds out of first place.
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 Results
|1||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||LAP 30|
|2||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||0.7522|
|3||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||1.1829|
|4||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||6.2271|
|5||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||8.4850|
|6||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||10.1798|
|7||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||10.7470|
|8||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||11.1013|
|9||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||19.6183|
|10||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||20.6132|
|11||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||21.2938|
|12||27||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||21.9697|
|13||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||27.5333|
|14||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||37.0510|
|15||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||-1 LAPS|