Although thee Fat Lady hasn't sung yet, she's definitely warming up her vocal chords...
It seems like such a long time ago I scribbled Thy 2017 Indy Lights Season preview, especially since I don't pay rabid Attenzione to the series, nonetheless I do find it enjoyable, especially since it give me a Peak at who the potential next wave of IndyCar Drivers will possibly be.
As it seemed like All of the Pundits expected 17yr old phenom Colton Herta to run off 'N hide en route to winning the championship, for which hasn't exactly happened, as the Andretti Steinbrenner Racing rookie's had a tendency of fading in races after lightning quick starts, albeit having stood atop the podium twice so far.
Instead, it's been third year Juncos Racing driver Kyle Kiser methodically waltzing his way towards the title, picking up three wins en route to a probable championship.
Whilst the two Lights drivers I've enjoyed most are both rookies: France's Nico Jamin, obviously hoping to emulate fellow Frenchman "Symone Pageantry," nee Simon Pagenaud, the reigning IndyCar champion. As the 21yr old Andretti Autosport rookie's impressed with three wins to date.
Along with Brazil's Matheus Leist, part of Carlin's four car Armada. Who's season will be remembered for winning the Big Kahoona' Freedom 100 at Mother Speedway this May, his Debutante Lights victory!
Having notched two further W's, his addition to Indy Cars next year would be well suited since I think both HULIO' and TK' need to move onto Sports Cars...
Meanwhile, last year's title runner-up Santiago Urrutia, who has had a tough season, finally got his Mo-Jo back on track with victory at Mid Ohio, and now sits tied for second on the points table with Herta, both chasing Kiser.
MID OHIO LIGHTS RACES
(Double Header Weekend: Rounds 13-14 of 16)
July 29-30, 2017
Coming into Mid-Ohio, third year Lights competitor Kyle Kiser held a commanding points lead, 51 markers ahead of second place Brazilian rookie Matheus Leist. As Kiser had 279 points vs. Leist's 228.
third place was held by the lightning quick rookie Colton Herta, with 213, followed by the Kuhnaidiun' lad with the longest name, i.e. Zachary Claman DeMelo with 207 and rookie Aaron Telitz rounding out the Top-5 with 203 points.
Yet the Mid-Ohio Double Header weekend was a disaster for points leader Kiser, who left with a slimmer, but still healthy 42 points lead after a pair of uncharacteristic 12th place finishes.
As Santi' (Urrutia) who now seems more focused on graduating to Indy Cars next year, proclaiming he's got 70% of the budget needed, won Mid Ohio's Saturday race before "Mr. Mid Ohio," aka Nico Jamin, having finished runner-up to Urrutia, won the Sunday race, to continue his amazing podium streak at Mid Ohio, Chock O'block with victories!
Thus, heading into this weekend's penultimate round at Gateway, a brand new Oval track for all competitors. Rookies Jamin and Leist were tied with Kiser for most victories, with three apiece.
While title protagonists Herta has two to Urrutia's lone win, with fellow Balardi rookie team-mate Telitz and Carlin's Zachary Claman DeMelo the only other drivers to stand on the podium's top step this season.
Yet by my very unofficial Ryth-Muh-tickin', Thars' 66-points on offer for the remainder of the season, and as long as Kiser leaves Gateway ahead by 34 or more, he's the champion, and I'd expect him to make the leap to the B-I-G CARZ', nee Indy Cars next year with his current Juncos Racing squad.
As Y'all would have to ARSE-Sume that the title's Kiser's who'd have to start outside Pole and DNF both races to even make it interesting, as the real battle's on for who'll emerge as the runner-up to Kiser.
Whilst I've almost forgotten that supposedly Chad Boat, son of the ex-IRL A.j. Foyt enterprises driver Billy boat will be contesting his second and final Oval race this season at Gateway...
1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th --- 20th
30-25-22-19-17-15-14 --- 1
(Positions 6th to 20th decrease by one point)
Bonus Points: One each for Pole, Fastest lap and Most Laps led.
(Prior to Gateway Oval Race; Round 15 of 16)
1. Kyle Kiser 297
2. R-Colton Herta 255
Santiago Urrutia 255
4. R-Matheus Leist 249
5. Zachary Claman DeMelo 243
6. R-Nico Jamin 242
7. R- Aaron Telitz 233
(R Denotes Rookie)