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INDY LIGHTS RACE REPORT: ROAD AMERICA ROUND 9

Recovering after his string of bad luck, Colton Herta (No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda with Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing) set himself up for redemption in Race 2 starting from pole after laying the fastest lap of the session at 1:52.0034 on a cooler Saturday morning at Road America. Leading the field to the green Sunday, Herta looked to rebound after the Freedom 100 in late May.
 
On a crisp, breezy but sunny morning outside of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the four took to the 4.014-mile, 14-turn track, looking to run strong in Round 9. Early in the race, a string of bad luck spread to Herta’s teammate Nico Jamin (No. 27 Synova Mazda), as he radioed in to the crew he couldn’t shift gears after picking up a few spots on the start. Unfortunately for him, his day ended early but looks to focus on the upcoming oval race at Iowa Speedway in July.
 
Herta, who attempted to pass for the lead on Lap 5, radioed shortly after Jamin’s trouble reporting he felt a puncture or left rear tire going down. Continuing, Herta proved he could sustain the race, fighting to finish third and getting his fourth podium of the season.
 
Driver of the No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda, Dalton Kellett looked to get the jump after starting 12th, advancing ahead. As the race wore on, Kellett made contact with a competitor shortly after halfway on Lap 13. Holding on but facing handling issues, Kellett finished the race ninth for his sixth Top 10 of the season.
 
Norman had his work cut out for him starting Race 2 after a tough qualifying session, starting the Sunday morning event 14th. Working hard to make his way through the field, Norman had another great drive to finish his second race at Road America seventh, gaining seven positions over 20 laps.
 
Up next, the teams head west to their second of three oval events on the 2017 schedule. Taking to Iowa Speedway, July 8 and 9, Round 10’s race airs Sunday, July 9, at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
 
 
Colton Herta – No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda
Started 1st // Finished: 3rd
Championship: 3 / 14 (161 pts.)

“It feels good to be back on the podium! We’ve had a bad month and weekend. We didn’t practice Friday and were only able to go out for half of the qualifying session for Race 1, so we didn’t really have a lot of time to perfect the car before Race 1. To earn the pole and a podium for Race 2, I’m happy. We secured some good points and I think it’s a good rebound – the car felt good. I’m ready to head to Iowa for testing and prepare for the race.”

 
Ryan Norman – No. 48 Flip Side Mazda
Started: 14th // Finished: 7th
Championship: 10 / 14 (111 pts.)
 
“Overall, I think from where we started we did a great job in the race. I think I could have had sixth place if I didn’t run out of push-to-passes at the end there. The car was great. The car’s been great all weekend. I think if we can continue to qualify up front like we did yesterday, we’ll be able to stay up front with our race pace. Overall, this weekend is definitively a positive and it’s definitely a confidence booster, so we’ll just go into the next few races and try to push forward for a podium.”

 
Dalton Kellett – No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda
Started: 12th // Finished: 9th
Championship: 11 / 14 (110 pts.)
 
“The start of the race went really well. I moved up four or five spots on the first lap but just couldn’t keep the car under us during the race. Setup and driving-wise, we just never hit the nail on the head throughout the weekend. There’s definitely something between the way I’m driving the car and the way we’re tackling setup that’s just not working. It’s frustrating, but I think we can definitely use this as a good experience moving forward so we know a little bit better where we need to focus when we’re setting up the car."

 
Nico Jamin – No. 27 Synova Mazda
Started: 8th // Finished: 14th
Championship: 4 / 14 (159 pts.)
 
“Everything was fine during the warm up lap. I had a good start, picked up a few spots and then in the exit of [Turn] 5, I couldn't change gears and we needed to pit. We never made it back out. We lost a lot of points today, which is a big bummer but we’ll try to bounce back in Iowa. Obviously I’m extremely disappointed; it's always frustrating when things are out of your control."