Dean Stoneman beat Ed Jones by just two thousandths of a second to make it back-to-back Indy Lights victories at Indianapolis by winning the Freedom 100.
Andretti Autosport driver Stoneman and Carlin man Jones had fought almost exclusively for the lead during the 40-lap race, although they were separated by Juan Piedrahita with six laps to go when the Pelfrey driver squeezed inside Jones at Turn 1.
Heamin Choi swiping the wall at the first corner then triggered a caution and set up a single-lap shootout.
At the restart, Piedrahita almost went into the back of Stoneman and swerved into the pit entrance in avoidance. Jones took advantage to sweep into the lead at Turn 1.
Stoneman wasn't finished though, and he went back around the outside of Jones through Turns 3 and 4 and onto the pit straight.
The pair crossed the line side-by-side, with Stoneman edging it by 0.0024 seconds.
That was two ten-thousandths of a second smaller than the previous narrowest winning margin in the race, when Peter Dempsey triumphed in 2013.
It was a long-awaited first win in the race for team owner Michael Andretti, and followed Stoneman's maiden series win in the second of the Indianapolis road course races earlier in the month.
The result promotes the Indy Lights rookie into second in the standings, 29 points behind Jones.
Dalton Kellett took third despite having made contact with his front wing against Jones' rear-left tyre on the pit straight prior to the final caution, with Jones' tyre somehow resisting a failure.
Shelby Blackstock, Scott Hargrove and the other two Carlin entries of Felix Serralles and Neil Alberico were the next finishers, while Piedrahita ended up eighth ahead of a quiet Felix Rosenqvist.
Other cautions were caused by Kyle Kaiser sliding into the wall at Turn 4 on the first green flag lap (the start was delayed for two laps due to debris) and Santiago Urrutia spinning out of fifth with around 10 laps remaining.
RC Enerson was in the lead battle before pitting following a scrape with Zach Veach on lap 12.
FREEDOM 100 RESULT
|1||Dean Stoneman||Andretti Autosport||40||41m08.6299s|
|3||Dalton Kellett||Andretti Autosport||40||1.1024s|
|4||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||40||1.2109s|
|5||Scott Hargrove||Team Pelfrey||40||1.5703s|
|8||Juan Piedrahita||Team Pelfrey||40||2.2687s|
|9||Felix Rosenqvist||Belardi Auto Racing||40||3.2538s|
|10||Zach Veach||Belardi Auto Racing||40||3.2686s|
|11||R.C. Enerson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||39||1 Lap|
|12||Heamin Choi||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||35||Spun off|
|13||Zachary Claman||Juncos Racing||34||6 Laps|
|14||Santiago Urrutia||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||29||Mechanical|
|15||Andre Negrao||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||19||Mechanical|
|16||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||2||Contact|
LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
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