Kody Swanson beat the Indy Pro 2000 regulars to take a stunning victory in the Freedom 90 at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The 32-year-old series debutant started from the front row alongside poleman Manuel Sulaiman but found himself entrenched in the battle for second place while Sulaiman sauntered away out front in the early stages.
Swanson emerged from that fight for second place with Sting Ray Robb, who ended his long wait for a IP2000 victory last time out, and began to reel in race leader Sulaiman.
Legacy Autosport’s sole entry Swanson used his oval experience from racing in the UCAS Silver Crown to ease around the outside of Sulaiman just before half-distance to take the lead.
Swanson then held on to win on his single-seater debut, which was also the first win for USF2000 regular Legacy Autosport.
Hunter McElrea charged from sixth on the grid to pass Sulaiman in the closing stages, after making moves on Robb and Turn 3 Motorsport’s Danial Frost earlier.
Sulaiman clung on for third place to secure his first podium of the season, ahead of FIA Formula 3-convert Devlin DeFrancesco who passed Frost on the last lap for fourth place.
With Robb slipping to sixth place by the chequered flag, this last-lap move means oval debutant DeFrancesco extends his lead at the top of the standings.
Braden Eves, another of the title contenders, took seventh place ahead of Colin Kaminsky, Russian ace Artem Petrov and Canadian Parker Thompson.
Race results (90 laps)
|1||Kody Swanson||Legacy Autosport||32m38.3207s|
|2||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||+5.6772|
|3||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||+11.4169s|
|4||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||+13.1287s|
|5||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsports||+13.9312s|
|6||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||+15.4587s|
|7||Braden Eves||Exclusive Autosport||+17.2297s|
|8||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||+17.4425s|
|9||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||+17.9271s|
|10||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||+19.0338s|
|11||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||+1 lap|
|12||Jack Abel||Abel Motorsports||+1 lap|
|13||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||+1 lap|
|14||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||+4 laps|
|DNS||Charles Finelli||Fatboy Racing|
|Fastest lap: Sulaiman 116.248mph