Last year, during the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race, Gabby Chaves saw a probable victory turn into defeat by 0.0026 seconds. A year ago, Peter Dempsey, piloting the bright-red No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car, passed three drivers on the high side of the track for the closest finish in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.
This year, the bright-red Belardi No. 5 car was again in victory lane at the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But this time, it was Chaves piloting the car and stealing a last lap, final straightaway, victory. And again, the margin was close, as in 0.0050 seconds. Matthew Brabham led out of turn four but Chaves timed the draft perfectly earning the win. Zach Veach was third after battling throughout the 100-mile race with Chaves and teammate Brabham. Luiz Razia who started from pole position finished fourth with Jack Harvey rounding out the top-five in the 11-car field.
On lap 15, the caution flags waved following a scary incident when Chase Austin lost the rear of his car on the exit of turn one, impacting the interior retaining wall and tires. Austin made four to five big saves on the car through the corner before impact. After evaluation, it was determined that Austin suffered a fractured left wrist. The lone caution took place from Lap 15-22.
Brabham led 28 laps and set the fastest lap of the race on Lap Four (189.214 mph).
“I was just yelling so loud on that victory lap,” said Chaves, who qualified fifth. “I’ve worked so hard to be where I am and to be one step closer to where I want to be is … I’m just speechless. It’s going great. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. The team deserves this (win).”