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Cunningham wins Kentucky Lights race.


Wade Cunningham claimed victory in the 100th Indy Lights race of the modern era by passing Sebastian Saavedra for the lead with twelve laps remaining in the Kentucky 100.

The Kiwi completed the move exiting turn two on lap 55, and was still in front when the safety car appeared to cover a spin for Sam Schmidt team-mate James Hinchcliffe on lap 64. Cunningham, driving the #11 Lucas Oil-backed Schmidt car, won under caution after the lap 66 restart was waived off and the chequer came out next time around.

"It was a difficult race, even when I was in the lead those last 25-28 laps," the former champion noted, having also led from laps 43-52, "Sebastian had a very strong car, and the car behind him dropped into a taller gear. That's how I got him, but I knew he was going to be able to make a run. He was pushing his car in a way that maybe may have damaged his front tyres, because he wasn't as strong over the last ten laps as he was before, and I was able to take advantage of that."

Saavedra, driving the #27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing, finished second for a third consecutive top five result, strengthening his challenge for the title on a day when team-mate, and points leader, JR Hildebrand failed to complete the opening lap.

"I'm very happy," the Colombian commented, "We scored some very important points. The car was great, and the whole AGR/AFS Racing team did an incredible job. We were just doing as planned, trying to be side-by-side with Wade at the start-finish, but that yellow flag just made everything impossible. We're still in the same position in the points for the championship and I'm looking forward to Mid-Ohio."

Ana Beatriz posted her fifth top five finish in the #20 Healthy Choice machine to give Sam Schmidt Motorsports a 1-3 finish after bouncing back from disappointing recent non-oval results.

"We got speed on the straight and I was able to overtake for first position, but I couldn't hold it," the Brazilian said, having led for a couple of laps approaching half-distance, "It seems like the other cars just had more power at the exit of corners, and that's why we lost it. But we had a top ten, passed a lot of people, got a podium and I think it was a great day. I couldn't be happier for my team."

James Davison was fourth for Vision Racing to take the chequer for the 17th consecutive Indy Lights race. The Australian now sits just one off the series record held by Nick Bussell as he continues his personal resurgence in this year's series.

"I'm really happy with our performance," he admitted, "It is a big development for us as a first year team in this series to have a competitive run on a mile-and-a-half oval with the top teams. We have to be satisfied with that. We weren't the fastest car. We were fourth and fifth the majority of the race, but it is a good result and something to build on."




Related Pictures

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Wade Cunningham - Sam Schmidt Motorsports   [pic credit: IRL/Snoddy]
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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