Indy Win in his Mirrors, Dempsey Looks at Ttitle
 June 12, 2013| 
  • Series News
Indianapolis, Ind. – When last we saw Peter Dempsey, he was reveling in his thrilling victory in the Firestone Freedom 100. The flag of Ireland draped over his shoulders in Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was quite a sight following quite a dash to the finish.

A brief recap: Coming off Turn 4 of the 40th and final lap, Carlos Munoz, Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves were three abreast, urging their cars and being cheered by tens of thousands of spectators on their feet during Carb Day activities.

Suddenly, Dempsey’s No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car found a seam close to the outside wall on the 50-foot-wide frontstretch and surged even with Chaves’ No. 7 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car 200 yards from the checkered flag at 185 mph. In the blink of an eye it was over.

The margin of victory was .0026 of a second — the closest on an oval in the 100-plus-year history of the Speedway. That equals 8.47 inches. One hundred miles of racing and the winner is decided by a nose.

“I had been doing so many tv appearances and radio interviews, and the reception I got after such an historic win was brilliant,” he said. “(Upon traveling back to Ireland for a few days) I thought I would see my friends and have a beer or two, but really it was just flat out media interviews and I got to see a lot of people, and the reception I got was great.”

The 27-year-old native of Ashbourne, Ireland, and resident of suburban Chicago will replay the finish in his mind and DVR for years to come. But it’s time to get back to business in the Firestone Indy Lights championship, which resumes with the Milwaukee 100 on the one-mile oval June 15.

The race is the first of three in a row on diverse ovals — the one-mile, flat Milwaukee track, the .875-mile, variably-banked Iowa Speedway and the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” Pocono Raceway — and will be followed by four road/street events before the season finale at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in October.

The victory — his first in Firestone Indy Lights and the first for Belardi Auto Racing — vaulted Dempsey into second place (140 points) in the standings (27 points behind Carlos Munoz, who wound up fourth in the four-wide finish at Indianapolis). Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian teammates Chaves (139), Karam (138) and Jack Hawksworth (132) add to the intrigue of the 100-lap Milwaukee race and down the road.

“The first few races I was thinking too much about the championship and not really driving 100 percent the way I like to drive,” said Dempsey, who finished second and sixth to start the season. “And I kind of changed that around at Long Beach — my attitude toward driving and going and attacking 100 percent everything every lap and not thinking about the championship — and go ahead and race Carlos and the guys as hard as we can from here on out.

“And if the championship comes along with that, then it’s meant to be; but if it’s not, then it won’t be because of a lack of trying anyway.”

Firestone Indy Lights teams will have four hours of testing on the Milwaukee oval June 13 in advance of practice and qualifying June 14.
  • Banner
    • Series News
  • Lights LOR eseries Banner
    • Series News
  • Banner
    • Series News
  • HMD May 2020 Release
    • Team News
  • Round 2 WRLS Lights
    • Series News