The Road To Success/Bell/226ers, Exclusive Autosport sponsored No. 42 of Artem Petrov on track at New Jersey Motorsports Park Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Artem Petrov led an Indy Pro 2000 practice session on a natural terrain road course for the fourth time this season and will look to convert his practice pace into his first pole of the season. The Exclusive Autosport veteran was the quickest driver during the season’s final Indy Pro 2000 practice session, turning a lap of 77.7372 seconds.

Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Reece Gold was a slim hundredth of a second behind Petrov and will look to capture his series-best sixth pole tomorrow morning.

Christian Rasmussen, a Jay Howard Driver Development rookie, and championship leader had the third quickest time and was one of six drivers within a half-second of Petrov.

The second championship contender, Petrov’s Exclusive Autosport teammate Braden Eves ended up ninth on the timesheets.

The lone 30-minute practice in preparation for the championship-deciding VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader got underway at 4 pm. The bright but lowering October sun cast long shadows across the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course, with the temperature falling into the upper 60s.

Outside of one red flag, the session ran cleanly, with the dozen entries completing 191 circuits of the undulating road course.

The only red flag was for Christian Brooks, who is making the step-up from USF2000 to Indy Pro 2000 this weekend. His Hot Wheels/Chaco Flaco/Bell Helmets sponsored No. 44 came to a stop in the gravel trap on the driver’s left at the exit of Turn 9. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get him back on track, and he could continue.

Gold was the quickest of the bunch when the red flag came out, with Petrov, McElrea, Abel, and Rasmussen rounding out the top five.

VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires practice #1

1 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 1:17.7372 —— 15
2 55 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 1:17.7525 0.0153 17
3 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 1:17.9417 0.2045 15
4 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1:18.1307 0.3935 16
5 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 1:18.2068 0.4696 17
6 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:18.2136 0.4764 17
7 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:18.4580 0.7208 16
8 22 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Racing 1:18.4673 0.7301 17
9 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 1:18.5150 0.7778 15
10 44 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport 1:18.8583 1.1211 14
11 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1:19.0725 1.3353 16
12 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1:19.5791 1.8419 16

If haven’t already, you can read our finale preview here –>

Preview – Indy Pro 2000 – VP Racing Fuels Championship Weekend Presented by Cooper Tires


The remainder of the Indy Pro 2000 schedule is as follows:

Saturday, October 2

  • 10:20am – 10:50am – Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying #1
  • 2:05pm – 2:50pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #1

Sunday, October 3

  • 9:30am – 10am – Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying #2
  • 1:10pm – 2pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #2


Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action: