Lucas Oil Stadium is the home of the Indianapolis Colt’s. The two-time super bowl champions have claimed many victories inside the colossal building, so it makes complete sense the Mr. Nichols would continue the winning ways for the Colt name.
The Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha ace claimed his second win on the bounce Saturday night, making him the first man to find repeat success in the 2021 250 East division.
Nichols nailed a great start – the first Main Event holeshot of the year for him – which put the Yamaha rider in some fresh air and kept him away from the drama that was about the unfold, ‘‘It made my life much easier getting out front’’ said Nichols, ‘‘The gate I picked was awesome. I got off to a great start and was just able to do my own thing. I knew Christian was behind me, I could hear his Yamaha coming into the turns. That was comforting as I knew he wouldn’t do anything crazy. I was able to break away a bit in the first four or five laps, and once I got that gap I just managed the race from there. It felt good to stay clear of the drama and be out front wire to wire.’’
As mentioned, there was some late moto mayhem behind Colt between Christian Craig and Jett Lawrence. But was Nichols aware of what was going on? ‘‘Yeah, a little bit. I was able to keep tabs on those guys. I kind of knew where everyone was. I was trying to manage the race from the front. I knew Jett was coming, I could see him coming. I could see him closing on Christian a bit at a time, but I could sit back and just watch.’’ Explained Nichols during the post-racer presser.
‘‘I heard the crowd go really crazy as I crossed the finish. I thought they were cheering for me, but unfortunately there was some drama behind me. That was wild, I haven’t had chance to watch it yet, so I’ll go back and look at it.’’
Coming into the event Nichols was tied on points with his teammate Christian Craig. Craig bested Nichols in the Heat race, but it seemed as though Colt had Christians number in terms of raw speed all night long. If needed, Colt felt as though he could have made a pass on Craig if the situation occurred, ‘‘I always feel like I can. As racers you just want to be competitive. I know if I got somewhere near, I’d try to make the pass. That heat race was good for me. I finally changed up a few lines that I was struggling with during practice. Once we went back to the truck and watched some film I was able to clean things up and have a solid heat race.’’
Nichols now has solitary command of the red plate and the championship lead. If his plan was to walk away from the first race in Indy as the main title protagonist, he executed it to perfection.
‘‘I didn’t have a plan, I just let the day come to me. You can’t really have a plan once the gate drops, as you never know what is going to happen. I just wanted to put myself in a good position, which I was able to do tonight. I just maximised the opportunity and was able to sprint away and take over the points lead.’’
Nichols will return on Tuesday night to see if he can keep hold of that coveted red plate.