The 2014 Indy Lights title was decided last weekend in Sonoma, California. This was the first championship win for Gabby Chaves after only two years in the series, and it came in an unusual way.
Approaching the end of the race, Chaves was right where he needed to be and he knew it. Finishing the race in second wasn’t a problem for his championship hopes, but finishing any lower would be detrimental as his rival points competitor was leading the race.
When the checkered flag waved, the points standings were tied between Chaves and Harvey with 547 points each. The tiebreak went to first place finishes which were equal between the drivers (with 4 each) thanks to Jack Harvey’s late season bloom, winning four out of the last five races.
Then second place finishes came around and Chaves trumped his rival in that category with a 5-1 lead due to his immense consistency this year. He has finished inside the top five 11 out of the 14 races and in all of the last eight races.
“It was the longest race of my life. Obviously, I knew where I needed to finish. There was no reason for me to push to keep up with Jack. Racing is a game of being the fastest, but also a game of consistency and a game of strategy,” Chaves said after the race.
With the series win this year the Colombian driver will receive a $750,000 scholarship to help advance him to the Verizon IndyCar series in 2015.
– Drew Bennison