Zachary Claman DeMelo wins Indy Lights race

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Zachary Claman DeMelo dominated Saturday afternoon to win the first of two Indy Lights races this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Toby Sowery finished second in the season opener, followed by Oliver Askew, David Malukas and Rinus VeeKay.

Claman DeMelo started on the pole position and led all 35 laps.

““That was a great welcome back party,” the Montreal native said. “I’m really happy for Belardi. I know last year didn’t always go their way so I’m happy to get the win for them. We pushed really hard in the beginning, so the car dropped off a bit toward the end.

“Toby was right there, and in his first street race, so he’ll be one to keep an eye on. I was happy to take the checkered flag but my immediate thought was how to make it 2-for-2 (Sunday).”

Claman DeMelo returned to Indy Lights full time this season after running nine races (including the Indianapolis 500) last season in IndyCar. This was the second career win in Indy Lights for the Montreal native.

The Indy Lights Series will return for its second race at 10:05 a.m. ET Sunday.

Click here for results from Saturday’s Indy Lights race.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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