Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Patricio O’Ward Holds On For Mid-Ohio Sweep

By Aaron Bearden, Open Wheel Editor

LEXINGTON, Ohio — The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course played out much like the season prior to it in 2018.

Colton Herta was nipping at his heels, but Patricio O’Ward held on to score consecutive trips to victory lane.

O’Ward held off another late surge from Herta to claim Sunday’s Cooper Tires Indy Lights Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Race 2 – his seventh win of the 2018 season (vs. Herta’s four), and fourth triumph in the past five races.

Herta rolled off third, but was able to overtake second-place qualifier Aaron Telitz on Lap 2 to place himself in contention to challenge his Andretti Autosport teammate for the win. A caution for a Telitz spin on Lap 10 closed Herta up to the back of O’Ward’s No. 27, but a strong restart from the Mexican allowed him to draw out to a manageable lead.

From there O’Ward simply hit his marks to the finish. In the end the 19-year-old took the checkered flag 4.368 seconds clear of Herta to secure the victory.

Ryan Norman overcame a disastrous Race 1 on Saturday to notch a podium in Sunday’s 30-lap feature, giving Andretti a sweep of the podium. Belardi Auto Racing’s Santi Urrutia slotted in fourth, with Dalton Kellett rounding out the top five. Victor Franzoni and Telitz completed the Indy Lights field.

With his latest victory in hand, O’Ward heads into the final three races of the 2018 season with a 32-point edge on Herta in the championship standings. The winner of the season crown will be awarded a Mazda scholarship valued at $1 million, providing the driver an opportunity to compete in at least three Verizon IndyCar Series races next season, including the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Next up for the Indy Lights field is a trip to Gateway Motorsports Park for a lone race on August 25. The tour will wrap up their season with a doubleheader at Portland International Raceway from August 31 through September 2.

Cooper Tires Indy Lights Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Race 2 Results

  1. Patricio O’Ward
  2. Colton Herta
  3. Ryan Norman
  4. Santi Urrutia
  5. Dalton Kellett
  6. Victor Franzoni
  7. Aaron Telitz

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.