Heartbreak For Brabham at Indy
 May 23, 2014| 
  • Team News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Matthew Brabham came within 0.005 seconds of pulling off an emotional victory in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Having lost his grandfather Sir Jack earlier in the week, the third-generation driver gave it his all in a thrilling finish that is becoming a trend in the Freedom 100.

Beautiful sunny weather greeted the teams for the start of practice on Thursday, and teammates Brabham and Zach Veach initially worked together to maximize their cars handling in traffic by towing each other around. Then switching focus to fine tuning the all-important qualifying setup. The Andretti Autosport drivers locked down the second row with Brabham edging his teammate for third on the grid.

The race expectation was for a dramatic slipstreaming slugfest, and it did not disappoint. Even though there was multiple lead changes, Brabham established himself as the dominate driver as he led 28 of the 40 laps and secured the fastest lap of the race. The pace car was deployed just before halfway for a nasty accident to Chase Austin, who luckily only suffered a fractured wrist.

In the end it came down to the last lap, as Brabham, Veach and Chaves tried everything they knew to get to the line first. Coming into Turn Three it looked like Brabham was going to hold on, but Gabby Chaves got a good run through Turn Four and used the draft to pull alongside and take the win by a the smallest of margins, 0.0050.

“I’m happy for (Gabby) Chaves, but it’s disappointing to lose the race by that much (0.005 seconds),” said Brabham. “I thought I had it coming around the last lap when the two behind (Zach Veach, Gabby Chaves) were battling with each other and with me… I thought I just had it. I saw this red flash come around me on the outside, and he just beat me; I’m happy to get second. The team did a great job, and I think we had one of the best race cars out there; a big thank you to my United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED crew. I’m just disappointed not to have won, as I know grandpa was watching.”

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