Gabby Chaves led every lap on the way to taking his first Firestone Indy Lights win at Mid-Ohio, although the Schmidt Peterson driver was made to work for the victory.
Chaves led fellow front-row starter Peter Dempsey off the line and spent the opening half of the race building a lead that stretched to as much as three seconds before Dempsey regained some ground through lapped traffic. But the real twist came late in the race when debutant Giancarlo Serenelli spun and brought out the safety car, forcing Chaves to defend his lead on a restart with four laps remaining.
Despite pressure from Dempsey, the Colombian held on to cross the line 0.3sec ahead.
Jack Hawksworth survived a tight battle for third with points leader Carlos Munoz, who did well to be fighting for a podium in the first place after a huge early spin dropped him back to last.
While he managed a decent job of damage limitation, it was a different story for Sage Karam, who had come into the weekend sitting second in the points but was unable to make much progress from his starting spot near the back and finished eighth.
Results - 40 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Gabby Chaves Schmidt 52m22.5112s
2. Peter Dempsey Belardi +0.3508s
3. Jack Hawksworth Schmidt +1.6782s
4. Carlos Munoz Andretti +2.3369s
5. Zach Veach Andretti +2.5952s
6. Juan Pablo Garcia Moore +3.5719s
7. Axcil Jefferies Herta +4.2458s
8. Sage Karam Schmidt +4.9242s
9. Jorge Goncalvez Belardi +5.4682s
10. Matthew Di Leo MDL/Dragffy +7.2483s
11. Giancarlo Serenelli Belardi +2 laps