Daniel Herrington won his first Firestone Indy Lights race. J.R. Hildebrand won his first Firestone Indy Lights championship.
Herrington, driving the No. 28 LeBleu/Bryan Herta Autosport car, overtook Wade Cunningham and James Davison following a Lap 41 restart and held off Davison by 0.0613 of a second in the Chicagoland 100.
Andrew Prendeville, who started 14th in the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, charged to third place and Cunningham finished fourth in the No 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.
Hildebrand, of Sausalito, Calif., finished fifth to wrap up the series title in the penultimate race. The Firestone Indy Lights closes the books Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"My strategy was not to crash," said Hildebrand, who entered the race needing to finish 14th. It's just a dream come true. I came into this year with Andretti Green Racing knowing I had every opportunity to make this happen. It feels great to bring it home to the boys and bring everything back together after the last few years. Hopefully, we can take this (championship) and move forward for next year."
Hildebrand, who has four victories and 10 top-five finishes in 14 races, is closing out his second full season in the series. His AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammate and closest pursuer for the title, Sebastian Saavedra, finished sixth and Charlie Kimball was seventh in the No. 35 Palm Beach International Raceway car.
Herrington and Bryan Herta Autosport are both completing their first Firestone Indy Lights season. The team's previous best was fifth in the second race at St. Petersburg, Fla., in April.
"Finally," said Herrington, who has a dozen top-10 finishes in the 14 races. "We've had a rough couple of races in the middle of the season. At the beginning of the year, Bryan told us we would win a race. We didn't think it would be this late in the season before we won a race. It sure is nice to get that win. "
Herta, encouraging the 23-year-old Winston-Salem, N.C., resident over the radio, relished this victory about as much as one of his two IndyCar Series victories as a driver.
"It's unbelievable. It feels great. Actually, it feels just like winning as a driver," he said. "I'm so excited about Daniel getting his first win and getting him in Victory Lane. The way it worked, it was exactly how our program is set up between Vision Racing and (Bryan Herta Autosport), a technical partnership working together. Out on the track, those guys worked so well together. James (Davison) helped us out a lot. It's just a great result and a great feeling."
Herrington was running behind Cunningham and Davison when the yellow flag flew for contact between the cars of Mike Potekhen, Ana Beatriz and James Hinchcliffe on Lap 32. Herrington got a good jump on the restart and moved to the outside line - going three-wide with Cunningham and Davison into Turn 4. He led by 0.1407 of a second at the line, and his advantage remained tenuous the remaining laps.
"I'm definitely happy to finish second to my teammate, Daniel," said Davison, who recorded his seventh top five of the season. "With this race, if you can work together with somebody, especially your teammate, you can control your result a little more. Just thinking of the points, it's always better to take what you can get."
Prendeville climbed from fifth on Lap 64 to post his best finish of the season.
"We had a good run and we had a good car," he said. "It was pretty chaotic out there. At the beginning of the race, we held back and waited for everyone else to screw up. That happened and we had a really strong car. I'm happy to be on the podium. "
Panther Racing's Martin Plowman finished eighth and teammate Pippa Mann recovered from an early-race spin in Turn 2 to finish ninth. Rodrigo Barbosa was 10th in the No. 55 ELFF Racing car.