By Tony DiZinno
The early theme of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires May 2022 weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course has been contact between teammates.
That story line continued Saturday morning with the sixth round of the 2022 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season, as two Cape Motorsports teammates collided when battling for the win and opened the door for Alex Quinn and Velocity Racing Development to snatch a surprise second straight victory.
Michael d’Orlando led Jagger Jones for most of the 15-lap race, before Jones’ run of momentum ended in tears heading into Turn 1 on Lap 13. He locked up and hit d’Orlando, which opened the door for Quinn to scythe through.
“I had my engineer Dan on the radio counting me down the laps. I saw them getting closer and closer and I thought something was going to happen! Something did happen and I pounced through. It might have been close in the last two laps, though! Now the pressure is on to go three-for-three,” Quinn said on the podium.
The 23-car field got going smoothly just after 8:05 a.m. ET and made it through the opening few corners safely. D’Orlando went around Quinn for second behind polesitter Jones, while a little further back Denmark overcooked his braking and went into the runoff. A full-course caution flew on Lap 2 for Yeoroo Lee stopped on course.
The field went back to green at the end of Lap 4 and start of Lap 5 with Jones leading d’Orlando in a Cape 1-2. D’Orlando went for it with a big run on the outside, and completed the pass by the end of the front straight. Nepveu went off at Turn 1 following contact with Rowe in the middle and Quinn on the inside and resumed, but fell from P5 down the order.
Weir and Sikes had contact when scrapping over eighth, and that sent Weir to pit lane and out of a good position.
Things almost got hairy on Lap 12 with Jones trying on d’Orlando into Turn 1 and Quinn having a front-row seat to the eventual proceedings.
And then they did get hairy on unlucky Lap 13 when the two teammates collided battling for the lead. Jones got a huge run on d’Orlando, and didn’t get the car stopped in time. His nose knocked into d’Orlando’s rear wing and spun him out. Jones was able to get moving, while d’Orlando had to go to the cutoff and fell to seventh.
Alas, Jones’ slight demise opened the door for Exclusive Autosport’s Frazer, and then Pabst Racing’s Rowe who attempted to double them both up. Frazer and Rowe made it through for second and third into Turn 1 past Jones, and then Denmark got around Jones for fourth on the exit of Turn 4. Jones pitted at the end of Lap 14.
While Jones fell out of the top 15, d’Orlando was able to recover to fifth and salvage a result after a difficult Friday.
But up front it was Quinn able to secure his second straight win by 3.4115 of a second over Frazer with Rowe third and Denmark fourth.
Unofficially Frazer now leads the points with 117, while Rowe is now second at 112, with Jones down to third at 108 and d’Orlando staying close in fourth at 105.
The third race of the tripleheader weekend occurs in a couple hours at 11:15 a.m. ET.
USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Race #2 Unofficial Results
|1||17||Alex Quinn||Velocity Racing Development||15||LAP 15|
|2||92||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||15||3.4115|
|3||22||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||15||3.7167|
|4||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||15||4.2312|
|5||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||15||6.9970|
|6||33||Spike Kohlbecker||Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport||15||7.7759|
|7||12||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||15||8.5494|
|8||5||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||15||9.5757|
|9||19||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||15||10.1915|
|10||13||Chase Gardner||DEForce Racing||15||10.6149|
|11||2||Jackson Lee||Cape Motorsports||15||10.9749|
|12||91||Joey Brienza||Exclusive Autosport||15||11.8428|
|13||90||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||15||13.4587|
|14||11||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||15||16.8559|
|15||9||Jorge Garciarce||Jay Howard Driver Development||15||17.7294|
|16||10||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||15||19.1436|
|17||30||Viktor Andersson||Velocity Racing Development||15||22.9876|
|18||3||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||15||38.7422|
|19||6||Frankie Mossman||Jay Howard Driver Development||14||In Pit|
|20||8||Danny Dyszelski||Jay Howard Driver Development||14||In Pit|
|21||63||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||13||14.9714|
|22||32||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||7||Mechanical|
|23||7||Yeoroo Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||—||Mechanical|