Jul 5, 2014
LONG POND, Pa. -- Gabby Chaves is two for two on superspeedways this season.
Chaves, driving the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing entry, pulled away from Sunoco Pole Award winner Zach Veach in the second half of the 40-lap Pocono 100 on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway to win by 7.7028 seconds. His second consecutive victory allowed him to pull ahead of Veach by 11 points in the hotly-contested Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship standings.
Click it: Pocono 100 results
Jack Harvey closed on Veach in the final 10 laps but couldn't get past the Andretti Autosport driver and finished .3100 of a second behind the 19-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio. Veach's teammate, Matthew Brabham, finished fourth but was penalized post-race by Race Control one position for blocking. That moved Juan Pablo Garcia to fourth.
Chaves won the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 23 -- the last Indy Lights race -- by .005 of a second over Brabham.
He overtook Veach for the lead in Turn 1 of Lap 7 and continued to build on his lap time advantage following the lone restart of the race on Lap 12 following a caution for the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car driven by Luiz Razia making contact with the inside SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. Razia and Harvey were battling for third when Razia's car slid on the apron and spun.
"I'm so happy for the team and myself," said Chaves, who turns 21 on July 7. "The race went, to me, perfect. We made a good move for first place and got a good jump on the restart. Our car was just dialed in.
"The team knows we have a great race car and I know I'm at the top of my game. It really boosts your confidence."
NBCSN will televise the race at 4 p.m. (ET) July 6. The race on the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto on July 20 is up next.
"I think (Toronto) will be interesting; anything can happen in the championship," said Chaves, the Indy Lights championship runner-up in 2013 and second-place finisher in the Pro Mazda championship in 2012.