Opportunistic throughout the 200-lap PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300, Mario Moraes wasn't about to pass up the chance for a career-high finish.
So the #5 KV Racing Technology car slipped out of Dario Franchitti's draft on the white flag lap at Chicagoland and overtook the championship contender for third place a few hundred yards from the finish line. Another lap and he might have challenged for the victory - Ryan Briscoe beat Scott Dixon to the chequered flag by 0.0077secs, while Moraes was just 0.0699secs back from the winner.
In the past two races, the Brazilian has posted career bests on a road course, with fourth at Infineon Raceway, and now an oval, and has started in the top ten at three of the four 1.5-mile ovals, including eighth at Chicagoland.
"I would like to say thank you to KV Racing - they did an amazing job," said Moraes, who was running sixth as late as lap 197 on Saturday night, "The guys had perfect pit-stops. The entire KV Racing Technology team has been working really hard for this all season and I'm really pleased with a third-place finish."
The 20-year old, competing in his 18th IndyCar Series oval race and 30th overall, jumped two positions to 16th in the standings with two races remaining, having missed the event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early August to be with his family in Brazil following the death of his father.
"This last month has been really tough for me, and the hardest part of all of this is being focused," he said, "because everything comes passing through your mind. I want to dedicate this to my dad and say thank you [to] KV Racing."