Home Road to IndyIndy Lights Oliver Askew takes Indy Lights points lead with second COTA win

Oliver Askew takes Indy Lights points lead with second COTA win

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Oliver Askew beat Andretti Autosport team-mate Robert Megennis at the Circuit of the Americas to take his second successive Indy Lights win and the championship lead.

Askew started the weekend?s second race from pole position but was jumped by Megennis into the first turn. From there, he hounded his team-mate in the early stages.

Megennis locked up a tyre on the fifth lap, before conceding the lead a lap later. He initially stayed within 1.5 seconds of Askew, the gap needed to use push-to-pass, before the leader starting replicating his race one pace.

A lifeline came for Megennis in form of a caution period when Zachary Claman DeMelo’s Belardi Auto Racing car came to a halt due to an engine problem and left the top two with four laps to fight for the win.

Askew controlled the restart, and quickly pulled out a gap from Megennis, who was having to defend from BN Racing’s David Malukas.

Malukas started last after failing a post-qualifying inspection and worked his way up through the field. On the restart, he jumped BN team-mate Toby Sowery, who had held the final podium position for much of the race.

Sowery started sixth but made a superb start to vault into third, eventually came home where he started, after dropping positions late in the race for the second time in a row.

Former championship leader Rinus VeeKay salvaged fourth after struggling early on, a repeat of what occurred in the previous race. After running as low as seventh, he made moves on Andretti?s Ryan Norman and then Sowery to limit the damage to a six point deficit to Askew.

After DeMelo’s retirement, Julien Falchero ended up as the lead Belardi driver in fifth, ahead of Sowery and VeeKay’s Juncos Racing team-mate Dalton Kellett, who made contact with Norman and Lucas Kohl in the closing laps.

 

Race results (20 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 40m03.133s
2 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport +2.2256s
3 David Malukas BN Racing +2.8939s
4 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing +5.0249s
5 Julien Falchero Belardi Auto Racing +5.8189s
6 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey +14.4574s
7 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing +21.3775s
8 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing +30.1434s
9 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport +30.6043s
Ret Zachary Claman DeMelo Belardi Auto Racing
Fastest lap: Megennis, 1m56.701s

Championship standings
1?Askew 98? ?2?VeeKay 92? ?3?DeMelo 82? ?4?Sowery 77? ?5 Megennis 74??6?Malukas 71? ?7?Falchero 64? ?8?Norman 60? ?9 Kohl 52? ?10 Kellett 50