Updated: Sunday, 29 June 2014 09:12 | By Agence France-Presse

Rookie Huertas leads Colombian sweep

Carlos Huertas led a Colombian sweep as he orchestrated a stunning upset in the first race of a weekend doubleheader at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston. 


Rookie Huertas leads Colombian sweep

Carlos Huertas of Colombia, drives the Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda during the Verizon IndyCar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race one at NRG Park on June 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas - by Chris Trotman

The 23-year-old rookie Huertas, who drives for Dale Coyne Racing, posted his maiden IndyCar Series win and became the seventh different winner in the first nine races this season. 

"The team did a great job, and you always have a chance to win because the races are so competitive," said Huertas.

Huertas drove the final 39 laps of the 1.68-mile (2.7 Km), 10-turn NRG Park circuit without a pit stop in a race that ended under caution.

Rain prior to the start led to a slight delay. So IndyCar officials turned this scheduled 90-lap race into a timed event of one hour, 50 minutes.

Huertas, who was making just his ninth career start, began this race in 19th. His seven laps in the lead were the first in his IndyCar career.

"The kid has been getting better all year, and he showed a lot today," team owner Dale Coyne said.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya finished second, while compatriot Carlos Munoz placed third.

Munoz, who is also a rookie, crossed the finish line in fourth, one spot behind American Graham Rahal, but officials slapped Rahal with a 30-second penalty for avoidable contact with Brazil's Tony Kanaan, who ended up finishing 13th. Rahal dropped to 11th place.

Sebastien Bourdais, of France, finished a season-best fourth, followed by Canadian James Hinchcliffe, who led a race-high 32 laps before he pitted during the last round of stops.

Championship points leader Will Power, of Australia, started 18th and climbed into the top-10 just before he spun out and then slammed into the tyre barrier on lap 58.

Power finished one lap down in 14th. His lead was trimmed from 39 points to 33 over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, who finished ninth.

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