Additional contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award to Juan Maldonado of M2 Autosport for a gain of eight positions from 21st to 13th, the Staubli Award to Eidson and customized Race Energy charger – the official battery of the ladder series – to the winning team of Cape Motorsports.
“The conditions were much better than they would have been last night, so I’m glad we waited to run the race today. On the pace laps, I was thinking we should go to slicks – I was very surprised by how quick the track dried. It was slippery, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I knew most of the turns would have dry lines,” said Eidson. “Florian [Latorre] and I were taking the same line so we were really carrying the same speed. It actually got easier later in the race because I was able to take more of a dry line, which was more natural, using the line we’d used in practice and qualifying. I got a good draft on Florian going into (Turn) One and was able to put some pressure on him but fortunately I didn’t have to make the hard pass. That was probably the most fun I’ve had in a race like that.”
The weather conditions improved dramatically in time for race two, which started at 12:35 p.m., with Latorre again leading away the 22-car field from the pole. Enerson wrested away the advantage midway around the first lap, which again saw the yellow flags waving following a multi-car incident in Turn Three that took out several cars, including the unfortunate Furuseth. Enerson continued to lead at the restart, with Cape Motorsports teammates Latorre and Eidson snapping at his heels, and both Telitz and Herta also in close attendance.
The order remained unchanged until lap 13, when Enerson abruptly slowed on the exit of Turn One. Officials had no option but to call for a full-course caution after his car ground to a halt on Lakeshore Boulevard. Another incident shortly after the restart saw Herta’s fine weekend end against the tires in turn three after Franzoni had made a bold move to the inside. Caution again.
There was enough time left for a two-lap dash to the finish, during which Latorre narrowly maintained his advantage over Eidson. Telitz nabbed third ahead of Franzoni and Clark Toppe, whose JDC MotorSports Van Diemen-Mazda came alive in the closing stages. Toppe claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award for his gain of 10 positions from 15th to fifth.
“After the mistake this morning, I had to win this one. I am very happy for me and for the team,” said Latorre. “The race was difficult because of the restarts. Each time I made a gap, I would lose it on the restart so it was a little bit hard but I had a good car which made it easier.”
Race One: Jake Eidson, Florian Latorre, R.C. Enerson, Peter Portante, Colton Herta, Aaron Telitz, Victor Franzoni, Adam Starrantino, Daniel Burkett, Gustavo Myasava, Clark Toppe, Nathan Blok, Juan Maldonado, Andrew List, Austin Cindric, Garth Rickards, Will Owen, Henrik Furuseth, Jeroen Slaghekke, Nico Jamin, Keyvan Andres Soori.
Race Two: Latorre, Eidson, Telitz, Franzoni, Toppe, Jamin, Blok, Burkett, Slaghekke, List, Maldonado, Dayson, Sorri, Herta, Myasava, Rickards, Enerson, Cindric, Peter Portante, Furuseth, Starrantino, Owen.