Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Hard Charger and Poll Winners…

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted April 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm Indy Lights

Well, the Firestone Indy Lights just completed their first race of the 2009 season. Last Thursday, I put a poll online allowing you, the readers, to pick the winner for the opening Indy Lights race at St. Pete. Two of you, you know who you are, picked the correct winner for the opening round. The votes were pretty well spread out, which speaks to the amount of talent in the series this year.

Junior Strous ran a great race, taking the win by a gap of 0.7205 over Jonathan Summerton. Following up on the new race coverage that I started last week for the Atlantic Championship, I would like to announce Pablo Donoso as the Hard Charger for Race #1. Donoso, despite not being picked for a race win in our poll, ran an excellent race and moved up an impressive 12 positions.

More notes on the reader poll:

  • Thank you to everyone who voted.
  • I found it interesting that J.R. Hildebrand had an early lead in the poll prior to practice and qualifying but someone changed their vote, taking one away from him. Fortunately for him, that one person, didn’t hurt his overall record as he ended the poll as the favorite to win today’s race. He took 15% of the vote. Unfortunately for him, the race was filled with cautions as he had an early lead of nearly 3 seconds. He still finished a very solid 3rd in the race.
  • Wade Cunningham was the second favorite, according to the poll, with 11% of the vote.
  • Our race winner–Junior Strous, as mentioned above, received two votes. He shared that number with several other drivers. Strous became the seventh driver to win their Indy Lights debut—Congratulations on a great run.
  • 15 out of 28 drivers received a vote. (see next bullet)
  • Jan Heylen must have one REALLY big fan because he received a vote even though there was a story right next to the poll stating that he and Team E were not racing this weekend. Congrats on the vote though.
  • Oh and last but not least, somebody snuck in and gave Sebastian Saavedra a vote immediately after he took the pole for tomorrow’s race.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s event, as drivers will take to the track at 10 AM (Eastern) for Race 2. You can view the Indy Lights live timing here.

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