Indy Lights ties season-high in entries at Mid-Ohio

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We noted yesterday how much of a haven for one-offs the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is for the IZOD IndyCar Series. Turns out, it is for the Firestone Indy Lights Series as well.

Indy Lights’ car count has been the subject of much criticism throughout the year but to its credit, it’s provided a relatively balanced field at the top with several championship challengers. Carlos Munoz leads Sage Karam by just eight points, 317-309, heading into the weekend.

This week at Mid-Ohio, the field grows from nine cars to 11, tying the Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis for the largest grid of the season.

Belardi Auto Racing has added a third car for ex-GP2 driver Giancarlo Serenelli, a Venezuelan. Meanwhile Bryan Herta Autosport has rolled out its chassis for the second time this year, to provide 19-year-old Zimbabwe driver Axcil Jeffries an opportunity in partnership with Starting Grid, Inc. Both drivers will make their Indy Lights debuts. Matthew Di Leo, a Canadian, will make his third start of the season as well for his family-run MDL Racing team.

The series’ return to Mid-Ohio for the first time since 2010 will air Sunday, August 4, at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. While 11 cars is far from great, it’s still a needed improvement.