Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

O’Ward takes Indy Lights pole at Iowa Speedway

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Pato O’Ward outdueled title rival and Andretti Autosport/Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing stablemate Colton Herta to take the pole for Sunday’s Mazda Iowa 100 for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

O’Ward’s average of 161.669 mph just barely edged Herta’s average of 161.489 mph. O’Ward entered the weekend trailing Herta by 17 points.

Ryan Norman and Dalton Kallett qualified third and fourth for Andretti Autosport, with Santi Urrutia and Aaron Telitz ending up fifth and sixth for Belardi Auto Racing. Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni, the most recent Indy Lights winner, will start seventh.

Results are below. The Mazda Iowa 100 rolls off at 12:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m.).

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Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

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Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”