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Lazier puts title within reach in Kentucky derby.

Buddy Lazier took a narrow victory over Championship rival Scott Goodyear at the inaugural Belterra Resort 300 to set up the title finale in Texas next month.

Once again the Indy Racing Northern Light Series provided a great spectacle for the 50,000 plus fans that turned out to watch the inaugural Belterra Resort Indy 300 at the brand new Kentucky Motor Speedway.

Current points leader Buddy Lazier put in a storming drive to clinch victory and put the IRNLS title within his reach after a race filled with drama and excitement. The 200-lap event was capped off when Lazier's winning Dallara-Aurora had a gearbox expire as the jubilant driver crossed the finish line, a testament to the gutsy work put in by its driver.

Lazier becomes the first driver to score two wins this year, this adding to his outstanding last to first Phoenix success, extending his points advantage to 38 over second placed man Goodyear. The final man left in the title race, Eddie Cheever, put in another determined drive to finish fourth in a car that simply wasn't capable of victory.

However the ex-Formula One veteran had to give best to rookie sensation Sarah Fisher who scored the highest ever finish position for a woman in an Indy Racing event. Fisher led a lap for the first time in her short career and was the only other driver to keep pace with the leading duo in the final 30 laps of the race. At the chequered flag the 19 year old driver was a mere seven seconds behind Lazier and had the race gone just one lap longer she would've finished as the runner up. Not bad in just her eighth career start.

There were plenty of other stories during a race that saw 18 recorded lead changes (although there were countless more around the rest of the track, unseen by the scoring monitors) between ten drivers. Barring a major accident on lap three which eliminated title contenders Eliseo Salazar and Al Unser Jr and also eliminating the impressive Jeret Schroeder, the racing was very clean with only four caution periods to disrupt the action.

The early laps saw a close tussle between pole man Goodyear and the unfortunate Salazar and Schroeder which was resolved when the latter pair collided whilst going into Turn One, Unser Jr getting embroiled when Schroeder's spinning car pushed him into the outside wall as he braked in avoidance.

Goodyear led much of the first 30 tours but was challenged strongly by the young Sam Hornish in the under funded PDM Motorsports G Force who took the lead on lap 31. Hornish, who was only driving after intended pilot David Pook withdrew at the last minute, simply sailed through the field from 20th on the grid and as the race approached the half way mark he looked to have the strongest car in the race.

The battle for the lead was breathtaking at times with Hornish, Jaques Lazier, Jeff Ward, Jimmy Kite and the elder of the Lazier brothers all getting involved in some great wheel to wheel dicing. Sadly though, the immense speed at which the race was being run was too much for several of the victory contenders and as the field thinned out, the more experienced Goodyear and Lazier (B) came to the fore.



Related Pictures

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Buddy Lazier - Hemelgarn Racing
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 24, 2014 to win the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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