Apr 7, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Carlos Munoz didn't want a St. Pete repeat.
The second-year Andretti Autosport driver, who earned the Sunoco Pole Award for the season-opening race March 23 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., saw his goal of getting out to a quick start in the championship dashed because of a mechanical issue that relegated the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car to seventh place.
Click it: Legacy Indy Lights 100 box score
Advance to Barber Motorsports Park, where Munoz again was dominant through qualifications -- topping the time chart in each practice session and earning his second consecutive pole start. He then cruised to victory in the 40-lap Legacy Indy Lights 100.
Jack Hawksworth, the St. Petersburg race winner, was 5.0684 seconds behind in second in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car. Teammates Gabby Chaves and Sage Karam followed. Jorge Goncalvez was fifth in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing car.
"It was a long ways for me, no laps not fighting," said Munoz, who qualified third but finished 14th (contact) at Barber last April. "I was going by a lap, just putting some goals. It's easy to lose concentration when you're on your own. I was trying to push all the laps and maintain the same gap compared to Jack.
"The crew guys and my engineer gave me a great car. I am really happy after a disappointing weekend in St. Petersburg. We started a championship run in this race."
Munoz, who won the final race of 2012 at Auto Club Speedway, has led at least one lap in each of the past three races bridging the two seasons. He moved to 11 points of championship leader Hawksworth heading to the race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., in two weeks.
"A lot of points on the books, which is always good," said Hawksworth, the 2012 Star Mazda champion. "It's a testament to the team for doing a good job over the winter. We were able to get the most out of the weekend that we could. Didn't seem to quite have the speed just yet, but we'll have to work hard now for Long Beach. We'll come back at Long Beach and whatever is on the table we'll go get."