By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A little moisture couldn’t keep Patricio ‘Pato’ O’Ward from surging to an Indy Lights weekend sweep at Barber Motorsports Park.
If anything, it might have made it easier.
O’Ward soared from the drop of the green flag to claim a dominant victory in the 30-lap Race 2 of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, securing his third victory in four Indy Lights races to open the 2018 season.
The Alabama road course promised to be a challenge, particularly with the wet weather conditions that befell the state on Sunday. But O’Ward secured the victory with relative ease, claiming his Andretti Autosport machine handled well enough to learn and maneuver his way through the mist.
“It was really fun out there,” he said. “The track, I felt like there was a lot of grip. It was fun to hustle the car around and kind of feel it play around on you.
“You could really feel the grip of the tire, especially with these undulations and stuff. When the car compresses, it helps for the car to basically just get on the suspension and work.”
Following O’Ward a distant second was Victor Franzoni. The Juncos Racing prospect crossed the line 5.8 seconds behind the race winner to secure his best finish of the early year.
Colton Herta finished 35.3 seconds back to claim the final position on the podium, with the rest of the race’s eight drivers crossing the line more than a minute after O’Ward.
Aaron Telitz secured his first finish of the year in fourth, with Santiago Urrutia, Dalton Kellett, Ryan Norman and Alfonso Celis completing the field.
Despite the treacherous conditions, the field all managed to complete the 30-lap allotment. The event ran caution-free from start to finish.
Next up for the Indy Lights paddock is the May 10-12 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, followed by the tour’s most popular race – the Freedom 100 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
- Patricio O’Ward
- Victor Franzoni
- Colton Herta
- Aaron Telitz
- Santiago Urrutia
- Dalton Kellett
- Ryan Norman
- Alfonso Celis