Three teammates were on the podium at the end of the Indy Lights race Sunday, and the same three will be battling for the series' championship in the final two races of the season.
Jack Hawksworth, Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves finished first through third, respectively. The three are all members of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
The win catapulted Hawksworth into the championship conversation, moving him from fourth to second.
“It’s just a perfect weekend for us from start to finish,” Hawksworth said. “It was an important one as well, because we were facing a 60-point gap and we brought it back.”
In his rookie campaign, Hawksworth, an Englishman, picked up his third win of the Indy Lights season, holding on to his pole-position lead from the start and opening up a 13-second gap by the end of the 35-lap race.
Karam’s second-place finish put him atop the points standings for the second time this season, with two races left in the season.
“I made a lot of mistakes after [taking the lead last], and I learned from that,” Karam said. “We have the lead: That’s great. But it’s not what I’m looking at right now.”
Then-series points leader, Colombian Carlos Munoz, slammed into the right wall on the straightaway between turns four and five on Conway Street on lap six. His car was removed from the track, and his inability to earn points for the day virtually eliminated him from contention for the championship.
The race ran for three laps under yellow caution before a race restart on lap nine.
Hawksworth, 22, is now 11 points behind Karam’s lead in the IZOD IndyCar feeder series. It was his third victory this season, all of which have come on road courses: one on the streets of Toronto and the other in St. Petersburg, Fla.
He also won in Baltimore last year in the Star Mazda Championship series.
The trio will race next on the streets of Houston on Oct. 5, another road course Hawksworth is confident about.
“Momentum is with us at the minute, and I feel good,” Hawksworth said. “I feel like driving well. ... Let’s try and get after it in the next few.”