Hildebrand in command


EDMONTON, Alberta – First-time front-row starter Richard Philippe waited 49 laps for an opportunity to overtake J.R. Hildebrand that never arose. So the Firestone Indy Lights rookie settled for a runner-up finish in the Grand Prix of Edmonton.

Nothing disappointing about that, really. Hildebrand had the car, didn’t make any mistakes and won by 14.0154 seconds on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit.

Hildebrand, who recorded his fourth pole start of the season, led from the green lap and won for the third time in the No. 26 ARPRO car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing. With a third-place finish by teammate Sebastian Saavedra, who advanced two positions from his starting spot, Hildebrand increased his lead in the championship points standings from 51 to 69 heading to the Kentucky Speedway oval on Aug. 1.

Click it: Grand Prix of Edmonton box score

“We were running our own pace and I think the other guys started to fall off a little bit,” Hildebrand said. “I was just trying to run the same lap time from start to end and the car came to me a little bit as the tires went off, so I didn’t have to take too many risks to accomplish that. We were able to bring home another win.

“It’s a great circuit. It keeps you on your toes from top to bottom and front to back. I’m happy for the guys. We had a frustrating weekend at Toronto, but everyone did a get job this weekend. You start to look a little further down the line, but if we just keep focusing race to race we’ll be there for sure.”

Philippe tied his season high with the second place.

“I’m as happy as I can be with finishing second,” he said. “We’ve come a long way with the Palm Beach International Raceway car. I need to thank the team because they brought their ‘A’ game. I’ve been trying to push them a lot to get to the front and here we are splitting two AGR cars, so we’re doing something right.”

James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 7 Hinchtown.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, finished fourth and Charlie Kimball was fifth in the No. 35 Team PBIR car. Wade Cunningham, driving the No. 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, moved up six positions to finish sixth.

Andrew Prendeville, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, finished seventh and Mario Romancini was eighth in the No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied/Andersen Racing car.

Daniel Herrington, driving the No. 28 LeBleu/Bryan Herta Autosport car, started and finished ninth, while James Davison was 10th in the No. 21 People*s Liberation entry for Vision Racing.

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