Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsports’ Jesse Webb ran down The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell and took the overall lead with 15 minutes to go Sunday (Oct. 8). From there, Webb pulled away from the pack to win Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race No. 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with teammate Michai Stephens. It is the duo’s second overall win of the year after breaking down from the overall lead with four minutes to go on Friday.
“Nothing’s going to break this team down. We’re a unit and we’re impenetrable,” Webb told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “Mechanical failures happen; it’s just part of racing. What a way to finish [the season] off.”
Stephens and Webb’s margin of victory was 11.633 seconds over Smooge Racing’s Kevin Conway and Aaron Telitz. The on-track margin of victory was actually 15.953 seconds, but a 4.32-second penalty was assessed to the overall winners due to a short pit stop.
Stephens and Webb also earned their fifth Silver win of the year. Their margin of victory there was 15.107 seconds over Davis and Selldorff. Random Vandals Racing’s Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch, who won Race No. 1 on Friday, were third, then AutoTechnic Racing’s Zac Anderson and John Capestro-Dubets were fifth.
Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Michael Cooper started on pole in his Aston Martin. However, DeAngelis, who won the Pro-Am class on Friday, swept around the outside in turn 1 to take the overall lead.
Further back, chaos broke out. Contact from Anderson resulted in NOLAsport’s Juan Pablo Martinez and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Tom Dyer spinning out in turn 1. STR38 Motorsports’ Harry Gottsacker and Skip Barber Racing School’s Carter Fartuch were also involved.
The fact that precipitation was just beginning to fall when the race was starting may have been a contributing factor. Gottsacker and Fartuch were unable to continue, drawing the race’s only safety car period. Anderson was judged to be at fault (along with Fartuch, who was out of the race) and had to serve a drive-through penalty.
On the restart, Hanley Motorsports’ Parker Thompson attempted to make a move for second on Cooper and went a little too hot into turn 1. Significant contact was made, sending Cooper into the runoff and dropping him down the order. Thompson’s Toyota was damaged in the contact and ended up having to retire from the race. Cooper later retired from the race after an additional incident.
That gave the Silver lead to Davis in third overall. Davis was able to build a decent advantage until the stops. Once Selldorff got in the car, the team began to drop back a little.
With the penalty in mind, Webb drove as fast as he possibly could to get to the front after leaving the pits. He was able to run down Selldorff and take the class lead with 18 minutes to go. Then, he was able to run up and take the overall lead from Newell. From there, it was only a matter of a few laps for Webb to open up enough of a lead to overcome the penalty and take the win.
In Pro-Am, DeAngelis proceeded to open up a lead of nearly five seconds over van Berlo prior to the mid-race pit stops. Those stops actually increased the lead for The Heart of Racing. Newell ended up with a seven-second lead.
However, Newell came back to the field. Traffic was difficult at times. Newell actually had contact with NOLAsport’s David Peterman in turn 7, spinning him out. No penalty was called here.
Once Webb drove by to take the overall lead, Newell had to deal with the Krugspeed Supra of Anthony Geraci. The earlier penalty given to Lander had put the team nearly a lap down.
Newell struggled to get past Geraci, which allowed the rest of the top-five to catch up. Conway had just gotten past Swearingin to move up to second in class and began to pressure Newell.
With a little more than six minutes to go, Conway was able to get alongside Newell in turn 13 and take the lead away. From there, Conway dispatched of the lapped car of Geraci and pulled away to take their first Pro-Am win of the season in second overall.
Conway and Telitz’s margin of victory was 4.785 seconds over van Berlo and Swearingin. DeAngelis and Newell were third, then Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo. NOLAsport’s Jason Hart and Matt Travis were fifth.
The fifth-place finish was just enough for Hart and Travis to win the Pro-Am championship for the second straight year. BimmerWorld Racing’s Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker Jr. were sixth in class at the finish, but they were 17.809 seconds behind.
In the Am class, Carrus Callas Raceteam’s Terry Borcheller started on pole and moved himself up to fourth overall at the expense of Cooper and Thompson. His closest challenger was Krugspeed’s Jaden Lander. However, Lander had contact with Cooper in turn 12, spinning out the Aston Martin. That got him a drive-through penalty.
Prior to the stops, Borcheller was right on the back of Davis for third overall. Once Nick Shanny got in the car, he inherited a rather substantial lead in the class. However, he began to drop back down the order. That put him into the clutches of The Heart of Racing’s Hannah Grisham.
Grisham ran down Shanny in the final couple laps and took the lead away. From there, Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt held on to take the Am class weekend sweep in 10th overall.
Grisham and O’Meara-Hunt’s margin of victory was 5.54 seconds over Borcheller and Shanny. Am champions James Clay and Charlie Postins of BimmerWorld Racing, who sat out Race No. 1 Friday due to mechanical issues, ended up third. AutoTechnic Racing’s Satakal Khalsa and Rob Walker were fourth, while STR38 Motorsports’ Chris Allen and Robert Mau were fifth.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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