Urrutia scores a dramatic Indy Lights pole at Watkins Glen

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Santiago Urrutia has the pole for today’s Mazda Grand Prix of Watkins Glen, the second-to-last race weekend of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season.

Urrutia can thank a final banker lap for the pole position because his fastest lap was actually disallowed after the qualifying session.

The driver of the No. 55 Soul Red Mazda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian banked a 1:32.2997 lap around the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International circuit, which beat the old track record set by Wade Cunningham in 2007 (1:36.7418) by nearly a full 4.5 seconds.

That lap time did not stand as Urrutia was adjudged to have impeded another car’s progress at Turn 6; the Uruguayan told the media in the post-qualifying press conference though he had spun, and that’s why he was slow at that point of the track.

Nonetheless, a flier on his in lap of 1:32.4144 was enough to secure his third straight pole position.

Teammate Andre Negrao was second, and the pair look to continue their run of form on the road courses; combined they have six podiums in their last six combined starts.

Ed Jones and Kyle Kaiser are on Row 2 with the remaining three championship contenders, Zach Veach, Felix Serralles and Dean Stoneman, in fifth, sixth and seventh.

The 25-lap race rolls off today just after 1:30 p.m. ET while it will air at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBCSN.