By Steve Wittich

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race winner Rasmus Lindh’s face showed relief AND jubilation after standing on the top step of a Road To Indy podium.

The 17-year-old had three previous poles, and five podium finishes in his first 16 Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

Lindh might have led all 25 laps, but his first win wasn’t that easy as he staved off immense pressure from Danial Frost and Kyle Kirkwood. The win moves Lindh to within four points of championship leader Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports).

Said Lindh after the race: “This is my first victory on the Road to Indy, and I’m very happy to take the win especially somewhere like Indianapolis, where so many big names have won.”

The box score shows Kyle Kirkwood finishing second, but it wasn’t easy. The reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship champion was forced to start at the back of the field after it was judged that he had jumped the start from his outside front row starting spot.

“Rasmus and I were side by side at the start and he was warming his tires so I was ready for him to get on the power, so I went,” explained the 20 year-old.” I thought he went and obviously he didn’t, so I want to review what happened. I went into Turn One fairly conservatively on the restart and was lucky that I picked the inside line and everyone else went outside. I went through my braking points and I was perfectly positioned for Turn Two as everyone else crashed to the outside. It was a very fortunate situation after an unfortunate situation. We came up to speed quickly and were able to make moves, so overall it was a good day.”

Exclusive Autosport rookie Danial Frost scored his second straight podium. The driver from Singapore never lost touch with Lindh but was not able to get close enough to pass him. Frost was able to keep Kirkwood behind him for 15 laps but lost the position with five laps remaining.

“We challenged for first in Turn One but weren’t able to get him [Lindh],” explained the 17-year-old. “Kyle and I fought hard for the second position though I came out the loser of that, but it was a good experience for me and I understand the car a little bit more. Hopefully in the next race we can advance and do better. But I am happy with a podium here. To be able to drive here, it’s an amazing feeling. To come here with a team that won here last year gives me a great deal of confidence.”

Exclusive Autosport rookie Danial Frost spent over half of the Indy Pro 2000 race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course pressuring Rasmus Lindh (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

The win is the fourth on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Juncos Racing.

Kirkwood’s second place finish is his 15th podium in 17 Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires starts.

Maybe the drivers were anxious after the aborted start and extra yellow flag lap. Whatever the reason, Turn 1 on the first green flag lap was mess.

Moisés de la Vara, Phillippe Denes, Kory Enders, Jacob Loomis, and Ian Rodriguez were all involved in the incident.

Moisés de la Vara locks up just before a Turn 1 incident impacts five cars (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Newcomer Rodriguez was the biggest loser; the No. 5 from the RP Motorsport stable was unable to continue. Denes and de la Vara were forced to pit road for repairs.

Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
And, in racing, those actions and reactions are misfortune and fortune.

Taking advantage of the misfortune of the five drivers involved in Turn 1 were Abel Motorsports teammates Parker Thompson (from 12th to 5th) and Jacob Abel (from 10th to 7th). The biggest winner though was Kirkwood, who gained seven spots, ending the first lap in sixth.

Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing) ended the first green flag lap in third, but a lockup in Turn 7 cost him three spots. The veteran from Idaho was able to recover two of those spots getting by Thompson and Lastochkin.

On Lap 7, Lindh turned the quickest lap of race building a 1.3 second lead over Frost. Kirkwood, who had moved from dead last to third after three green flag laps was just under 3 seconds behind the Exclusive Autosport No. 90 of Danial Frost.

Lastochkin, in fourth, was almost five seconds out of the final spot on the podium and was under tremendous pressure form, Thompson and Robb. Only six-tenths of a second covered the three drivers.

On Lap 11, Thompson lost the fifth spot to Robb, who immediately started to put pressure on Lastochkin.

On Lap 12, Lindh’s lead dropped under one second for the first time as Frost started to put a little more pressure on the Juncos Racing rookie. Behind the front two, Robb goes around the outside of Lastochkin in Turn 1.

Lastochkin lost momentum and lost another spot, this time to Thompson in Turn 7.

On Lap 13, Frost and Kirkwood started to put immense pressure on leader Lindh. Both drivers were within 1.5 seconds of the lead.

With nine laps to go, Kirkwood crossed the line only three-tenths behind Frost, setting the quickest lap of the race and a new race record.

The top three were separated by less than 1.5 seconds as they crossed the line with eight laps remaining. On that lap, the top three drivers ran laps in the 79.6 range.

On Lap 19, Kirkwood went to the inside of Frost in Turn 1 to jump up to the second step of the podium.

That battle allowed Lindh to stretch his lead to 2.4 seconds as they crossed the line to begin Lap 20.

With four laps to go, Kirkwood was able to take 0.2 seconds out of Lindh’s lead.

With three laps to go, Lindh’s lead dropped to 2.0 seconds.

Lindh’s lead was down to 1.5 seconds with two laps remaining.

At the white flag, Lindh’s lead had shrunk to 1.2 seconds over Kirkwood. Frost was 1.7 seconds out of second place.

Abel, who had been putting pressure on Lastochkin was able to get a better run off the final corner to finish less than four-hundredths of a second ahead of the veteran Exclusive Autosport driver.

Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Cooper Tires Qualifying #2 (Unofficial) Results








Rasmus Lindh

Juncos Racing




Kyle Kirkwood

RP Motorsport Racing




Danial Frost

Exclusive Autosport




Sting Ray Robb

Juncos Racing




Parker Thompson

Abel Motorsports




Jacob Abel

Abel Motorsports




Nikita Lastochkin

Exclusive Autosport




Kory Enders

DEForce Racing




Antonio Serravalle

Pserra Racing/Jay Howard Driver Development




Charles Finelli

FatBoy Racing

– 1 LAP



Jacob Loomis

JDL Racing

– 3 LAPS



Phillippe Denes

FatBoy Racing

– 4 LAPS



Moises de la Vara

DEForce Racing

– 14 LAPS



Ian Rodriguez

RP Motorsport Racing

– 23 LAPS