Infiniti Pro Series points leader Thiago Medeiros cemented his position at the head of the pack by taking his second consecutive victory of the year in the Futaba Freedom 100 at Indianapolis.

The Brazilian, who opened the season with second at Homestead before winning in Phoenix, passed series returnee Jeff Simmons on lap 13 and was barely headed as he drove to victory.

The Sam Schmidt Motorsport driver started from pole for the second race in a row, but was denied a flat-out run to the win when he took the chequered flag under a caution after the #10 Roquin Motorsports entry of Rolando Quintanilla made contact with the inside wall in turn two on lap 38. However, the slow pace at which he crossed the line did not diminish the joy of winning at the Brickyard.

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"It's unbelievable, I'm so excited," Medeiros bubbled, "I have to say thanks to the team. They did a wonderful job this weekend. They know how hard we tried to find a good set-up for the race. We did it."

The Brazilian had to work for his win, however, as a tactical choice on gearing left him behind Simmons at the first green flag restart, which followed a caution period to clear up the aftermath of a touch between the cars of Jon Herb and Billy Roe on lap three.

"We were running without first gear, as we don't have to use one on the big tracks," he revealed later, "It was a very good start, but he took advantage and overtook me because we did not have enough horsepower to pull out.

"We had a very hard and clean run. We touched wheels in the exit of turn two on the first lap, but Jeff is one guy that I have a lot of confidence to run side-by-side with. We had a very hard fight for first place, but I knew that my car was handling very good. We made some changes before the race, putting a bit more downforce on because we saw the wind conditions were completely different to yesterday. I knew that, if I started to work on the car during the race, I could overtake him again, and that's what we did.

"I just took my time and was studying where I was quicker than him to try to overtake him. He made a mistake and gave me enough room. When I was running behind him, the conditions were really hard. The car was pushing in one and two and loose in three and four, but I started to make some changes in the rear and the weight-jacker.

Medeiros has now won three of the past four Menards Infiniti Pro Series races, but the latest was the one that meant most to team owner Sam Schmidt.

"Those last five laps were pretty emotional but, when I saw the yellow come out, I pretty much knew we had it," the wheelchair-bound boss said, "All I ever wanted to do since I was five years old was come to this place. Rick Mears was my hero, and I would love to be sitting where he is, but this is kind of the second-best thing. You know, after everything me and my family have been through for the last five years, this is pretty special."

Simmons had started third after securing a late deal with last year's race-winning AJ Foyt team, but was Medeiros biggest challenger on race day. The performance also helped him secure a seat at Mo Nunn Racing in time to try and qualify for next weekend's Indianapolis 500.

"First, I want to say thanks to Futaba and AJ Foyt Racing - they did a great job on the car, especially as we came here having not raced since last year," the 2003 series runner-up said, "The tyres are a little different this year, and we didn't have any testing, so it was tough.

"We had just a little bit too much understeer down at both ends of the track, but I was hoping I could hold on because I knew that [Medeiros] was going to get understeer behind me. But we weren't able to go flat for quite a few of those laps, and you've got to be able to go flat around here to win."

Simmons chase led to him making contact with the wall, but he survived to take second place.

"I touched the wall there at the end, just pushing as hard as I could," he confirmed, "It was a light hit, and I don't think we did any damage at all. I was just pushing as hard as I could trying to get back up on him in the draft. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a repeat win for AJ, but I'm thankful that I had this opportunity."

Medeiros' team-mate, Arie Luyendyk Jr, finished third, but reckoned that his car was no match for either of those ahead of him.

"Starting from fifth, I knew it was going to be hard because my car was really bad in traffic during the warm-up yesterday," he revealed, "I was a bit concerned but, by the time the race came around and we went into the first corner, I was already in fourth, and then a few laps later, I was able to get Paul Dana for third, so right then I knew my car was pretty good.

"Thiago and Jeff were battling up there and I was catching up. On the longer runs, I notice Jeff had a really good car through one and two, but he was struggling in three, so I tried to get as close to him as I could through one and two and then line him up through three and four. I was flat through there every lap - my problem was just turn two, because the car seemed to be really susceptible to the wind.

Valvoline USAC Sprint Car Series points leader Jay Drake finished fourth in his inaugural IPS race.

"It's awesome, the end to a great week for us," he grinned, "Just to come around here and drive around this place is a dream come true for me, but then to come out here and run competitive, is something I would have never expected.

"I would have liked it to be longer because, the more I went, the more I was learning about how to race these cars. Honestly, we were just terrible on the starts and restarts because I didn't know how to shift the thing. I've never had to shift before - we've got one gear in the USAC cars and we just run it flat out.... Once we got up to speed, Larry [Curry] was telling me that we were running the same lap times at Thiago so, if we could get up to them, we could run with them."

Phil Giebler, winner of the opener at Homestead, rounded out the top five having made up places at each green flag. However, he was denied a possible fourth place at the end following a freak cockpit error.

"We made some good moves at the beginning of the race, and on the restart, and we moved up slowly," he reported, "I thought I was going to get third and maybe even second, but Thiago was pretty strong today, and he had a strong car. He would have been hard to catch.

"The wind was definitely a factor out there. It was moving around all over the place, and in different corners it was different, so it was really confusing when you were trying to figure out what to do and how to set up the car. Then, I got nipped at the end. Unfortunately, I didn't have radio contact, as I accidentally pulled my radio out when I was pulling off a tear-off. I didn't know it was that close to the end of the race, and I got caught out there on the restart."

Front row starter Paul Dana struggled with the handling of his Hemelgarn Johnson car and slipped back through the pack.

"We just had an enormous push, massive," he sighed, "The guys gave me a great car for all practice and qualifying, so I'm sure they were as surprised as I was. We were out of adjustment across the bar, all the way through the range the weight-jacker, both directions, didn't seem to matter. I just had no front end on the car at all."

Quintanilla and Jesse Mason were uninjured in separate incidents, even though Mason's car made contact with the turn one SAFER Barrier after clipping Quintanilla. The Mexican spun later and contacted the inside wall in turn two, creating the caution that ended the race.

"We had a good car, but we had contact with Mason and it was just really loose after that," Quintanilla explained, "The guys gave me the option to come in and look at it, but I figured we came here to race."

Marty Roth was out of luck a day before he tries to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500.

"The engine let go," the Canadian owner-driver revealed, "The car was just coming alive."