Mazdaspeed Andretti Autosport driver Matthew Brabham dominated round five of the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires held at the 5/8 mile Lucas Oil Raceway oval, Ind.
Brabham claimed pole position by a commanding 6/10th sec, over the two laps in single file qualifying, however rain stated to fall as soon as the cars left the grid and the red flag was thrown after 11 laps behind the pace car. A 2 hour rain delay meant the race started at 11:00pm, and was shortened to 52 laps from the scheduled 90.
Matthew jumped into the lead at the start and proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, but a single car accident brought the pace car out b etween laps 24 and 30. The third generation driver learnt from the mistake he made in this race last year, and made a great restart to immediately gap the field. When the chequered flag was thrown at the end of lap 52, Brabham won the most prestigious race of his young career with a comfortable 6 second margin. This was his 4th straight win and now has a 31 point lead in the Championship to take into the next race at the famed Milwaukee mile oval track on June 14th.
“It was tough waiting so long before our race,” said Brabham. “It just builds the nerves and it was just painful waiting and watching the rain come down. I wasn’t sure we were even going to get a race in. So it was good we got it in. The car was fantastic and I can’t thank the Andretti crew enough. The car has been great all year. The team has been working really hard and I owe it all to them. The race was a little shortened but there was a restart and Spencer was right there at both the start and restart b ut I just had the car speed and kept plodding along. The rain started to come down on the last lap and I was kind of taking it easy. I just can’t describe the feeling. It’s great. To come so close last year to winning it and now to finally get the win this year is just awesome.”