Esteban Guerrieri started from the pole in his Firestone Indy Lights debut at the St. Petersburg season opener and at Long Beach three weeks later.
A runner-up finish on the Long Beach street circuit just wasn't satisfying for the 26-year-old Argentinian. Neither was second place in the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in which he charged from fifth in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car in his first oval race. So the victory from the pole position in the David Hobbs 100 at the Milwaukee Mile quenched his thirst – for now.
"The car was really awesome for the whole race," Guerrieri said. "We just had to keep going at the same pace. I'm really pleased for Sam Schmidt Motorsport and Lucas Oil. They make a big effort to bring the car to Victory Lane. This my first win so I'm really happy. Now we need to keep going hopefully the same way, and keep working for a good result in the future."
Guerrieri led every lap on the historic oval and led teammate Josef Newgarden across the start-finish line by 5.5012sec in becoming the fourth different winner in five races this season. Guerrieri accomplished the feat without radio communication with his spotter or trackside crew.
"I realized on lap 40 that nobody was talking to me," he laughed. "I was like, 'Hey, this spotter is sleeping. I was looking to the numbers on the pole in the infield with the positions and the laps. So that was my big friend."
Guerrieri also closed the championship points gap on the front-running Newgarden to 13 entering the Sukup 100 at the Iowa Speedway on June 25.
"It was a great points scoring weekend for the whole team, especially for us," said Newgarden, 20, of Nashville, Tenn., who has won twice this season. "We've talked about being consistent every weekend here throughout the rest of the year. It's great for the team to get a win with Esteban. He did a great job so I'm really happy for the team."
There are eight races (four ovals and road/street circuits each) remaining.
"We just got to keep doing this every weekend," Newgarden continued. "Hopefully, we can get back up to the top step, but if we're scoring points and getting podiums we're in good shape."
Jorge Goncalvez advanced from the seventh starting position to finish third in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special – his first podium and the team's first (co-owner Brian Belardi is from Grafton, Wis.).
Bryan Clauson overtook the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car of Gustavo Yacaman on lap 87 to finish fourth. Clauson, competing in his second Firestone Indy Lights race, qualified third in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car on a busy day at the track for the Noblesville, Ind., resident.
He finished ninth in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown race and 16th in the USAC Mopar National Midget series race after starting third. He continues to lead the Midget standings.
Victor Carbone finished sixth, moving up four spots in the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, and David Ostella was seventh in the No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen entry. Stefan Wilson finished eighth in the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car.
Three cars were eliminated in a Turn 4 incident as they came to the green flag.
Pos (SP), laps, reason out
1. (1) Esteban Guerrieri, 100, Running
2. (2) Josef Newgarden, 100, Running
3. (7) Jorge Goncalvez, 100, Running
4. (3) Bryan Clauson, 100, Running
5. (4) Gustavo Yacaman, 100, Running
6. (9) Victor Carbone, 99, Running
7. (6) David Ostella, 99, Running
8. (8) Stefan Wilson, 95, Running
9. (5) Anders Krohn, 0, Mechanical
10. (10) Victor Garcia, 0, Contact
11. (11) Brandon Wagner, 0, Contact
12. (12) Duarte Ferreira, 0, Contact
13. (13) Peter Dempsey, 0, DNS