Archives for 2022 USF2000 Coverage

Denmark goes flag to flag in USF2000 race – championship race tightens

Jace Denmark, the driver of the Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 signs autographs for the fans in Toronto Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

After one pace lap, Jace Denmark (Pabst Racing) and Jagger Jones (Cape Motorsports) brought the field to the green for the second straight day.

With temperatures in the mid-70s, an overcast day met the first of five Sunday races on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit.

Like Saturday’s race, Denmark got a great jump, with his Pabst Racing teammate Myles Rowe attempting to follow him and get by Jones. The pair went side-by-side down the back straight, with Rowe using the preferred inside line to move into second.

The running order after the first lap was Denmark, Rowe, Jones, Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing), Jacob Douglas (Exclusive Autosport), Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport), Spike Kohlbecker (Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport), Nicholas d’Orlando (Exclusive Autosport), Evagoras Papasavvas (Jay Howard Driver Development), Dylan Christie (DEForce Racing), Frederik Lund (Jay Howard Driver Development), Jorge Garciarce (Jay Howard Driver Development), Christian Weir (Turn 3 Motorsport), Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing) and Nicky Hays (Cape Motorsports).

The front five settled in for the 20-lap event.

The first yellow flag of the 20-lap race flew on Lap 6 for teammate-on-teammate crime between Exclusive Autosport’s Billy Frazer and Jacob Douglas, who were running fifth and sixth.

On the long run down Lakeshore Blvd, the No. 90 of Douglas misjudged a pass, turning the No. 92 of Frazer into the concrete barrier on the driver’s left.

Kohlbecker, in the No. 33, was running just behind the teammates and with nowhere to go, t-boning Frazer and coming to a top in the runoff of Turn 3.

The running order under yellow was Denmark, Rowe, Jones, M. d’Orlando, Nepveau, Douglas, Papasavvas, N. d’Orlando, Christie, Weir, Lund, Garciarce, Hays, Frazer, Kohlbecker, and Garg.

After the restart, Jones looked around the outside of Rowe Turn 3, but the championship leader held off the Cape Motorsports rookie and quickly began to put pressure on Denmark in the lead.

On Lap 12, Jones lost his front wing in Turn 7 after earlier contact. As a result, the third-generation driver quickly lost a spot to teammate M. d’Orlando, staying on the track but continuing to drop down the order.

Denmark held a solid gap over Rowe with five laps remaining, while the two drivers up front had a three-second gap to M. d’Orlando.

Exclusive Autosport’s crummy day continued with three laps remaining when the No. 91 of N. d’Orlando brought out the second yellow flag. He lost the rear end on the concrete patch in Turn 5

The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team worked quickly to clear the wrecked car, and the green flag came out for a one-lap shootout despite the No. 6 of Papasavvas stranded in Turn 3. But instead, that car was dealt with a local yellow flag.

The drivers remained nose-to-tail until Turn 8 when M. d’Orlando dove to the inside of Rowe. The top two in the championship standings made contact with d’Orlando while trying to get by Rowe. However, Nepveu and Christie overtook both to give DEForce Racing a double podium.

M. d’Orlando and Rowe ended the 20-lap race in fourth and fifth.

Weir ended the race in the Turn 8 tire barrier.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Toronto Race #2 unofficial results

1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing
2 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing
3 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing
4 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports
5 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing
6 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports
7 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport
8 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development
9 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport
10 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports
11 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development
12 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport
13 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development
14 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing
15 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport
16 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport

Rowe wins fifth of season, extending his USF2000 championship lead

Myles Rowe, in the Penske Entertainment sponsored No. 22, navigates the streets around Exhibition Place Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

For the fifth time in 2022 and the sixth time in his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Pabst Racing sophomore Myles Rowe visited victory lane.

Rowe was joined on the podium by his Pabst Racing teammate Jace Denmark for the fourth straight race.

Rounding out the podium was Cape Motorsports rookie Jagger Jones.

The call to fire the 16 Elite Engine prepared 2.0 L powerplants came at 12:19 pm. The race, scheduled to start at noon, was delayed due to a need for barrier repairs from an earlier series. The first series after

After one lap behind the pace car, the front row of Denmark and Jones brought the eight rows of two under the green flag on the front straight.

Denmark and his teammate behind him on the inside, Rowe, got the jump on the inside outside row of Jones and Douglas, going nose-to-tail through the first two corners.

Rowe, back with a Force Indy livery for this event, faked inside before peeking outside but thinking better of it.

The first lap was green, with a slight issue between Jay Howard Driver Development drivers Frederik Lund and Jorge Garciarce, who tangled in Turn 3. However, both drivers were able to continue.

The running order after the first lap was Denmark, Rowe, Jones, d’Orlando, Douglas, Christian Weir (Turn 3 Motorsport), Spike Kohlbecker (Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport), Nicky Hays (Cape Motorsports), Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing), Nicholas d’Orlando (Exclusive Autosport), Evagoras Papasavvas (Jay Howard Driver Development), Dylan Christie (DEForce Racing), Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing), Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport), Frederik Lund (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Jorge Garciarce (Jay Howard Driver Development)

On Lap 3, Rowe went to the lead in Turn 3, getting around his younger teammate to lead for the seventh time this season.

It took Rowe two laps to pull a one-second gap, as the Penske Entertainment sponsored machine was the only car under 73 seconds.

Rowe slowly continued to build his lead, getting the crossed flags to signify the halfway point of the 20-lap race by 1.9 seconds.

Jones was 1.5 seconds adrift of Denmark, who had championship contender d’Orlando within a second. The front four had a nice gap to Douglas in fifth.

The rest of the running order from sixth to 16th was Hays, Kohlbecker, Weir, N. d’Orlando, Papasavvas, Garg, Christie, Nepveu, Frazer, Lund, and Garciarce.

On Lap 11, Papasavvas, who was in the top ten, made contact somewhere on the course. The rookie drove the No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development machine back to pit road but was forced to retire.

On unlucky Lap 13, Denmark made a mistake, dropping four seconds behind Rowe and falling into the clutches of the Cape Motorsports duo of Jones and d’Orlando.

Rowe’s lead over Denmark had grown to just over five seconds with five laps remaining. Denmark in the Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 had a nine-tenths of a second gap to Jones. The third generation had a similar gap to his teammate, d’Orlando.

The best battle on the track was for tenth, with a pair of DEForce Racing teammates fighting for tenth. The two were separated by only a tenth of a second when they got the white flag. The Stilo sponsored No. 11 of Christie could hold on over his teammate, who faced heavy pressure from Garg.

At the front of the field, Rowe got the checkered flag 5.8 seconds ahead of his teammate.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Race #1 unofficial results

1 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 20 LAPS
2 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing -5.8524
3 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports -7.0781
4 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports -8.4351
5 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport -13.6064
6 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports -14.1637
7 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport -18.8523
8 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport -20.8885
9 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport -24.3994
10 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing -25.5306
11 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing -26.3456
12 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing -26.5124
13 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport -27.6383
14 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development -33.9468
15 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development – 5 LAPS
16 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development -9 LAPS

Denmark nabs second USF2000 pole in Toronto. Jones and Rowe within a tenth of a second.

Jace Denmark, the driver of the Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 signs autographs for the fans in Toronto Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Yesterday, Jace Denmark ‘won’ the pole for the first Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship race after his teammate received a grid penalty.

Today, he won the pole on pace, but not by much. Jagger Jones (Cape Motorsports) and his Pabst Racing teammate Myles Rowe were both within a tenth of a second of the pole.

The pole is the Arizonan’s third inside front row start this season. In addition, it will be the third time a Pabst Racing driver will start from the pole in Toronto.

A second straight perfect weather day began with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers waking up the denizens of the condos surrounding the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit.

When qualifying began, the ambient temperature was 74F, and the track temperature was 81.4F.

After a last-minute check of the circuit by the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team, the green flag flew from the starter’s stand at Turn 2.

The qualifying session for Sunday’s Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Race #2 was set for 20 minutes, with the 16 drivers quickly getting to work.

Race #1 pole sitter Jace Denmark was the early leader, turning a lap of 73.996 seconds, was a second off Myles Rowe’s best lap in qualifying for that race.

Most drivers had completed seven laps at the halfway point of qualifying, and Race #1 front row starter Jagger Jones held the provisional pole. He was followed in the top five by Rowe, Denmark, Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), and Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing).

Just as we finished typing the top five, Jay Howard Driver Development rookie Evagoras Papasavvas grabbed the provisional pole.

Papasavvas’ time at the provisional pole didn’t last long. Denmark was the first driver to go under 73 seconds, but his Pabst Racing teammate Rowe was the first driver to go under the best lap in qualifying for Race #1.

Over the next four laps, Rowe and Denmark continued to get quicker and quicker, trading the provisional pole and separated by only hundredths of a second each time.

With three minutes remaining, Denmark’s lap was only seven-hundredths ahead of Rowe. The Pabst Racing teammate had almost a half-second over the rest of the field, but the Cape Motorsports drivers kept getting quicker.

With just under a minute remaining, the red flag came out when the No. 91 of Nicholas d’Orlando made contact in Turn 8.

Just before red, Jones made a run at the pole, but the third generation race fell short by a slim four-hundredths of a second and will start on the outside of the first row for both Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship races.

Unfortunately, the checkered flag accompanied the red flag, ending the session as a few drivers were on hot laps.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Toronto Race #2 Qualifying Results

1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1:12.1898
2 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1:12.2314 -0.0416
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1:12.2668 -0.077
4 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 1:12.4224 -0.2326
5 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 1:12.6222 -0.4324
6 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 1:12.7237 -0.5339
7 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 1:12.8670 -0.6772
8 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 1:12.8772 -0.6874
9 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:12.8943 -0.7045
10 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 1:12.9363 -0.7465
11 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 1:12.9634 -0.7736
12 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 1:13.3961 -1.2063
13 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 1:13.5087 -1.3189
14 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport 1:13.5393 -1.3495
15 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 1:13.7551 -1.5653
16 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development 1:15.0413 -2.8515

The green flag for the first USF2000 race will fly at noon.

Pabst Racing quick in USF2000 qualifying – Rowe goes quickest, Denmark will start on the pole

The Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 of Jace Denmark led the lone Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice in Toronto Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Jace Denmark, only 32 points out of the championship lead, will start in the prime spot, his second pole start this year, but it wasn’t exactly conventional.

Championship leader Myles Rowe was the quickest driver in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship qualifying but won’t be starting the pole for Saturday’s race.

The Pabst Racing driver blew through the checkered flag, completing an extra lap of the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit, putting him afoul of Rule 8.5.7, which states:

If a Driver does not obey the checkered flag, regardless of the location its displayed, they may be penalized. If a penalty is warranted, it will be a loss of two (2) grid positions.

Jagger Jones (Cape Motorsports) will start outside the first row, his best qualifying effort since a trio of poles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Exclusive Autosport rookie and Kiwi Jacob Douglas will start fourth, his best starting spot of the season.

Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), who trails Rowe by 12 points in the title chase, will start from the fifth spot.

When Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship qualifying sessions for Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Race #1 began, the ambient temperature was a comfortable 73F, and the track temperature was 113.5F.

As he completed his out lap, the lone driver competing under the Canadian flag, Thomas Nepveu, made contact in the final corner, shedding some of the No. 10 DEForce Racing machine and leaving the debris on the front stretch.

Nepveau wasn’t the only driver with an issue on his out lap. The No. 92 Exclusive Autosport race car of Billy Frazer stopped three-quarters of a way down the long Lakeshore Drive back straight. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team flat towed him back to pit lane, and the green flag came back out with only eight minutes remaining.

Most of the field had only completed two laps with a pair of Turn 3 Motorsport drivers up front. Christian Weir held the provisional pole, ahead of his teammate Spike Kohlbecker, Nicky Hays (Cape Motorsports), Jagger Jones (Cape Motorsports), and championship leader Myles Rowe (Pabst Racing).

Lap times quickly began to fall, with Michael d’Orlando the first driver to grab the provisional pole.

He was quickly supplanted by Weir, who was best by Denmark, the driver who led the lone practice session.

With five minutes remaining, Denmark held the provisional pole over Rowe, Jones, d’Orlando, Weir, and Papasavvas, all within a half-second of the Pabst Racing veteran.

d’Orlando was the next driver to grab the provisional pole, but that only lasted for a lap.

On his 10th lap of qualifying, Rowe was the first and only driver to turn a lap under 73 seconds, besting his teammate Denmark by almost two-tenths of a second.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Race #1

1 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1:12.8169
2 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1:13.0629 -0.246
3 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1:13.1775 -0.3606
4 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 1:13.2220 -0.4051
5 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 1:13.2391 -0.4222
6 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 1:13.2884 -0.4715
7 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 1:13.3910 -0.5741
8 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 1:13.4927 -0.6758
9 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 1:13.5004 -0.6835
10 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:13.5970 -0.7801
11 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 1:13.6476 -0.8307
12 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport 1:13.7928 -0.9759
13 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 1:14.3481 -1.5312
14 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 1:14.8767 -2.0598
15 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development 1:15.2221 -2.4052
16 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport No Time

Championship contender Denmark goes fastest and hits wall in USF2000 in Toronto

The Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 of Jace Denmark led the lone Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice in Toronto Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

The first session on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit in three years, a 30-minute Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice, got underway a couple of minutes late, just after 8 am.

There was thrash to complete the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit, but it was ready for action after a long night of work. Unfortunately, for the youngest drivers on the Road To Indy, the track had just been washed, so it was a little damp for the start of their session.

When the session got the green flag at 8:10 am, the sun shone brightly, the ambient temperature was a comfortable 67F, and the track temperature was 74F.

There were a few changes to the entry list, with two drivers – Jackson Lee (Cape Motorsports) and Viktor Andersson (Velocity Racing Development) – not in attendance. Nicholas d’Orlando was also on the entry list with Velocity Racing Development but will be racing in Toronto with the Canadian team Exclusive Autosport.

While on his second lap, Frederik Lund, who was making his first appearance since St. Pete, tagged the wall with his right rear at the exit of the final turn. The No. 7 Jay Howard Driver Development machine was able to continue, and the crew got him on track to complete ten laps.

Championship contenders Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Jace Denmark (Pabst Racing), and leader Myles Rowe (Pabst Racing) were the quickest drivers in the first half of the session.

After 15 of 30 minutes, Denmark was the quickest of the group and was followed within a half-second by Rowe, Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing), d’Orlando, and Christian Weir (Turn 3 Motorsport).

Weir was the first driver to get under the 75-second lap mark but was quickly joined by Denmark and Rowe.

With five minutes remaining, two drivers had incidents. The first was the No. 11 of Dylan Christie lost his front wing but was able to continue. The second was the quickest driver of the session; Denmark tagged the wall with the left rear, coming to a stop near the entrance to pit lane.

Denmark’s incident brought out the red and checkered flag.

Cooper Tire Grand Prix of Toronto practice results.

1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1:14.2457 1:14.2457 18
2 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 1:14.2810 0.0353 18
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1:14.9107 0.6650 16
4 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 1:14.9229 0.6772 16
5 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 1:14.9355 0.6898 16
6 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1:15.0203 0.7746 19
7 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 1:15.1335 0.8878 19
8 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 1:15.2061 0.9604 18
9 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 1:15.4500 1.2043 17
10 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 1:15.5334 1.2877 18
11 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 1:15.8682 1.6225 18
12 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 1:15.9859 1.7402 16
13 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:16.1755 1.9298 11
14 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 1:16.2743 2.0286 17
15 7 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development 1:17.3999 3.1542 10
16 91 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport –.—

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers are back on track at 12:35 pm for the first of their two qualifying sessions.

Michael d’Orlando Wins Cooper Tires USF2000 Race #3 at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

#4: Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports, Focused Project Management. Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

Michael d’Orlando led the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship field down to the green with the ambient temp at 79F and the track in the low 120’s.  Myles Rowe starting alongside slotted in to line as they went through Turn 1.

Nikita Johnson, starting 4th went off and into the gravel outside Turn 1, but was able to rejoin with a caution being needed.

As they completed Lap 1, d’Orlando was up to a 0.5 second lead over Rowe, then Denmark, Frazer, Christie, Hughes, Douglas, Nepveu, Jones and Garg is 10th.

Nicholas d’Orlando was got off course and then came slowly down the hill on the back side, pulling to an access road temporarily – which created just local yellows. He would pull to a different access road on Lap 3 to try and get out of the way of the field as he limped around the track, finally making it to the pits on Lap 4.

Frazer is up to 4th after starting 7th, with Jones to 8th from 11th. Lee and Dyszelski both picked up 5 spots to move in to 14th and 13th respectively.

A piece of debris on the front straight, just under the flag stand was causing surface flag for a couple laps until it could be retrieved be a track official.

Lap 5 and another car found the Turn 1 gravel – oh, it’s Frazer who was 4th and now is at the end of tail of the field. That changes the Top 5 to d’Orlando, Rowe, Denmark, Christie, and Hughes.

The 33 of Spike Kohlbecker pulled in to the pits on Lap 10 as d’Orlando leads by 1.1 over Rowe.

Lap 11 and Danny Dyszelski also goes off on that lap at Turn 4 – a review of that results in no action. Not sure who he may have been involved with, but I believe he was running 10th at the time.

d’Orlando is slowly gaining time on Rowe as he improves to a 1.5247 lead on Lap 13 of 20, with the Top 10 being d’Orlando, Rowe, Denmark, Hughes, Christie, Nepveu, Jones, Weir, Garg and Hays. Jackson Lee is 11th, with Johnson, Garciarce, Andersson, Papasavvas Frazer, Douglas, Dyszelski, Kohlbecker and Nicholas d’Orlando.

Frazer and Douglas move by Papasavvas and Johnson passes Lee for 11th. He then gets Hays for 10th.

d’Orlando’s lead has stabilized on Lap 16 at 1.555 seconds.

Lap 17 and it’s 1.6322 and on Lap 18 it’s 1.81.

Lap 19 and Myles Rowe goes off the track and back  on at Turn 1 and we’ve got Johnson and Garg side by side with Johnson up to 8th as Rowe drops back to 3rd.

d’Orlando has a 3.1 second lead over Denmark now as they take the white flag.

Michael d’Orlando takes the checkered flag by 3.3 seconds to score his 3rd win of the season and 4th career at Mid-Ohio. This is his 7th career USF2000 victory which ties him for 11th all time.

As the field was coming to the checkered flag, Jorge Garciarce got off the track at Turn 11 (left hand kink) spun through the grass and came back again at the approach to the long righthander Turn 12 and slid right in to Jackson Lee – sending them both spinning in to the tire barrier.

And as often happens in these things, Lee’s car took the brunt of the damage when he back in to the barrier hard – and I think the rear wing was coming off before he even got there.  When they hooked up the car, the right rear corner of Lee’s car was hanging, while Garciarce was eventually pulled out and able to drive his machine back to the pit area.

With this win, d’Orlando I believe closes Rowe’s point lead to 9 as he’ll 287 to Rowe’s 296, with Denmark 3rd with 264 – totally unofficially of course.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Race #3 Results:

Pos Car # Driver Laps Diff ST Team
1 4 Michael d’Orlando 20 LAP 20 1 Cape Motorsports
2 23 Jace Denmark 20 3.3923 3 Pabst Racing
3 22 Myles Rowe 20 5.7952 2 Pabst Racing
4 7 Lochie Hughes 20 9.2965 6 Jay Howard Driver Development
5 11 Dylan Christie 20 12.833 5 DEForce Racing
6 10 Thomas Nepveu 20 13.5478 8 DEForce Racing
7 3 Jagger Jones 20 13.8649 11 Cape Motorsports
8 17 Nikita Johnson 20 16.3401 4 VRD Racing
9 12 Bijoy Garg 20 17.6376 10 DEForce Racing
10 32 Christian Weir 20 18.2416 9 Turn 3 Motorsport
11 5 Nicky Hays 20 18.5656 13 Cape Motorsports
12 30 Viktor Andersson 20 20.5967 16 VRD Racing
13 90 Jacob Douglas 20 26.4309 12 Exclusive Autosport
14 92 Billy Frazer 20 29.8805 7 Exclusive Autosport
15 6 Evagoras Papasavvas 20 31.4134 20 Jay Howard Driver Development
16 8 Danny Dyszelski 20 59.6897 18 Jay Howard Driver Development
17 33 Spike Kohlbecker 20 78.0189 14 Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport
18 2 Jackson Lee 19 17.7722 19 Cape Motorsports
19 9 Jorge Garciarce 19 18.1269 17 Jay Howard Driver Development
20 61 Nicholas d’Orlando 2 Mechanical 15 VRD Racing

Rowe Picks up USF2000 Win Two of the Weekend at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

#22: Myles Rowe, Pabst Racing, Penske Entertainment. Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy- Shown after winning Race #1

The 2nd Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship race got off to a clean start up front though there was some contact in the pack.  That contact damaged Lochie Hughes (who btw, got DQ’d from his 2nd place finish yesterday after failing post race technical inspection) and Christian Weir.  Didn’t get a good look at the mess, but race control reviewed and took no action calling it a racing incident.

We stayed green though with Michael d’Orlando leading Myles Rowe and Jace Denmark.

On Lap 3 Billy Frazer and Dylan Christie got together at the exit of Turn 3 – making tire to tire contact that sent Christie up in to the air, and for a wild ride to the inside of the track. He didn’t flip but did take out all most of the trackside signage as he bounced through the grass.

Frazer also picked up heavy left front damage in the incident.

Back to green on Lap 5 with d’Orlando still in the lead.

Lap 6 though, Myles Rowe gets inside of d’Orlando at Turn 4 and takes the lead, bringing Jace Denmark with him.

By Lap 8 though, Michael d’Orlando had gotten back to second, with Nikita Johnson 3rd, Denmark 4th and Nicky Hays was 5th. Jagger Jones, Jacob Douglas, Nicholas d’Orlando, Spike Kohlbecker and Jackson Lee round out the Top 10.

At the halfway point (Lap 10 of 20), Rowe has pulled out to a 1.4 second lead over d’Orlando.

Note that Christian Weir and Lochie Hughes are both back on track one lap down, though as soon as I typed that, Weir pitted again to take new tires. This seems like a move to potentially improve on his second best qualifying lap – which would move him up the grid for Race #3 later today.  The #6 of Evangoras Papsavvas similarly comes in to make the same move. Heck, Hughes come back in a couple laps later to try some other tires for race #3  – the conditions today being much improved over yesterday’s high heat probably also influencing this decision.

Weir does a lap of 1:22.5042 on his lap 13 to set the quickest lap of the race, we’ll find out later how much that impacts his 3rd race starting spot.

Meanwhile on Lap 13, Rowe’s lead is down to 1.0 over d’Orlando 1.0 and then 0.93 on Lap 14 as 1-2 in the points (243-225) battle it out on the track.

Lap 15 its 0.92 as these two get a gap of 2.3 back to 3rd running Denmark.

Lap 16 and d’Orlando has the gap down to 0.84 – about 6 car lengths at the start/finish line. Not close enough to make a move yet, but he get the gap to 0.76 at the end of Lap 17.

Next time by, d’Orlando cuts the lead to 4 car lengths (0.6604), but car #12 Bijoy Garg has gone off the left side of the track and backed in to tire barrier. Jorge Garciarce was also involved and that incident is under review.

With the AMR INDYCAR Safety team out getting Garg out of his car, Myles Rowe takes the yellow and white flags together so he will win this one. d’Orlando follows, then Denmark, Johnso, Hays and Jones is 6th. Douglas, Nicholas d’Orlando, Kohlbecker and Lee is 10th. The remaining cars on the lead lap are Dyszelski, Nepveu, Andersson, and  Garciarce.

Too bad about that yellow I think d’Orlando was going to catch Rowe, though the success of a move to take the lead was far from predictable.

Some big movers in the race include Hays going from 13th to 5th, Jones 10th to 6th, Douglas 11th to 7th, Nicholas d’Orlando 15th to 8th Kohlbecker 14th to 9th and Jackson Lee came from 17th to 10 with Danny Dyszelski moving from 19th to 1tth.

Having the 5th, 6th and 7th starters involved in incidents probably helped that, but still some good runs in there for those big movers.

This is Myles Rowe’s 4th win of the season, 2nd of the weekend and 5th of us USF2000 career.

UNOFFICIAL Results of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Race #2 at Mid-Ohio:

Pos Car # Driver Laps Diff Start Team
1 22 Myles Rowe 20 LAP 20 2 Pabst Racing
2 4 Michael d’Orlando 20 0.5031 1 Cape Motorsports
3 23 Jace Denmark 20 0.7305 3 Pabst Racing
4 17 Nikita Johnson 20 1.5172 4 VRD Racing
5 5 Nicky Hays 20 2.4869 13 Cape Motorsports
6 3 Jagger Jones 20 3.4276 10 Cape Motorsports
7 90 Jacob Douglas 20 4.6838 11 Exclusive Autosport
8 61 Nicholas d’Orlando 20 5.7755 15 VRD Racing
9 33 Spike Kohlbecker 20 6.3568 14 Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport
10 2 Jackson Lee 20 6.8511 17 Cape Motorsports
11 8 Danny Dyszelski 20 7.3148 19 Jay Howard Driver Development
12 10 Thomas Nepveu 20 7.7692 8 DEForce Racing
13 30 Viktor Andersson 20 7.9643 16 VRD Racing
14 9 Jorge Garciarce 20 8.3411 18 Jay Howard Driver Development
15 6 Evagoras Papasavvas 19 1 LAPS 20 Jay Howard Driver Development
16 32 Christian Weir 18 2 LAPS 12 Turn 3 Motorsport
17 12 Bijoy Garg 17 16.0498 9 DEForce Racing
18 7 Lochie Hughes 16 2 LAPS 6 Jay Howard Driver Development
19 92 Billy Frazer 3 Contact 7 Exclusive Autosport
20 11 Dylan Christie 2 Contact 5 DEForce Racing

Rowe Wins Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Race #1 at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

#22: Myles Rowe, Pabst Racing, Penske Entertainment. Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy. 

Myles Rowe brought th Cooper Tires USF2000 field down to the green flag waving from the traditional front stretch flag stand with the field nicely formed up.

Rowe was able to beat Michael d’Orlando through Turn 1 and kept him to the outside around Turn 2. After taking a couple more shots at the lead, d’Orlando got dropped back to P4.

On Lap 3, down at Turn 4, we have three cars spinning and that brings us out a full course yellow. Just prior, car #9 Evagoras Papsavvas was being black flagged for not having a rear wing thanks to contact on the first couple laps.

The Turn 4 incident involved Spike Kohlbecker, Jorge Garciarce, and Thomas Nepveu, with Nicholas d’Orlando also catching a piece of that and getting front wing damage.

With those cars clearing themselves fairly quickly the race went back to green to start lap 5 with Rowe leading Lochie Hughes and Jace Denmark.

The completion of Lap 5 shows Myles Rowe as the leader by 0.8, then Hughes, Denmark, Nikita Johnson, Jagger Jones, Jacob Douglas, Christian Weir, Dylan Christie, Nicky Hays, Bijoy Garg, Billy Frazer, Viktor Andersson, Jackson Lee, Thomas Nepveu, Nicholas d’Orlando, Michael d’Orlando, Jorge Garciarce, Spike Kohlbecker, and Evagoras Papasavvas.

Frazer is on the move and at Lap 7 is up to 9th and Hays is also by Garg for 10th.

There is a surface flag being displayed at the exit of Turn 2 but before the kink for debris from the #61 in the racing line.

Lap 8 completed and Frazer is up to 8th as Rowe continues to lead…a gap of 2.0 on lap 9 over Hughes, Johnson, Denmark and Jones.

Lap 9 and Frazer gets another spot as he takes 7th and drops Christian Weir to 8th.

Lap 11 and Rowe leads by 2.4 seconds over Hughes who is under pressure from Nikita Johnson. Another tight battle is brewing between Jacob Douglas and Billy Frazer who gets the spot on Lap 12 and is now up to 6th.

Reminder that Rowe came in to this weekend trailing Michael d’Orlando by 6 points but is poised to take the point lead if he can capitalize on d’Orlando’s issues – which cost him a lap earlier and he’s now running 16th.

With 5 laps to go, it looks like Johnson slid off the track and then came to pit lane, moving Jace Denmark to 3rd, with Jones 4th and Frazer is now up to 5th.

Rowe leads Hughes by 6.0 seconds and that gap keeps growing and is up to 6.7 at the end of Lap 16 of 20.

Lap 17, Rowe leads by 7.4 over Hughes who has Denmark must 0.3 back.

Lap 18, Rowe leads by 7.9, and Frazer passes Jones for 4th and then Jones comes back hard but can’t retake the spot heading to Turn 4.

Lap 19 – Rowe by 8.4, Hughes still has Denmark close and he makes a move coming to the line but will finish third by a car length.

Rowe takes the win by 8.7 seconds over Hughes, Denmark, Frazer, Jones and Douglas.

This is Rowe’s third win of 2022 and 4th in his USF2000 career.

Unofficially this gives Rowe the point lead with 243 to Michael d’Orlando’s 224 and Jace Denmark’s 216.  Billy Frazer is 4th with 203.

Here are the unofficial race results:

USF2000 Cooper Tires GP of Mid-Ohio – Race #1

Pos Car # Driver Laps Diff Start Team
1 22 Myles Rowe 20 1 Pabst Racing
2 7 Lochie Hughes 20 8.7031 4 Jay Howard Driver Development
3 23 Jace Denmark 20 8.8492 3 Pabst Racing
4 92 Billy Frazer 20 9.6396 6 Exclusive Autosport
5 3 Jagger Jones 20 10.852 10 Cape Motorsports
6 90 Jacob Douglas 20 13.1643 8 Exclusive Autosport
7 32 Christian Weir 20 13.794 12 Turn 3 Motorsport
8 5 Nicky Hays 20 14.1486 13 Cape Motorsports
9 11 Dylan Christie 20 16.8203 7 DEForce Racing
10 12 Bijoy Garg 20 17.1978 9 DEForce Racing
11 8 Danny Dyszelski 20 18.4908 19 Jay Howard Driver Development
12 30 Viktor Andersson 20 20.0088 15 VRD Racing
13 2 Jackson Lee 20 21.3251 17 Cape Motorsports
14 10 Thomas Nepveu 20 23.6077 11 DEForce Racing
15 4 Michael d’Orlando 19 1 LAPS 2 Cape Motorsports
16 61 Nicholas d’Orlando 19 1 LAPS 16 VRD Racing
17 17 Nikita Johnson 14 Mechanical 5 VRD Racing
18 9 Jorge Garciarce 3 Contact 18 Jay Howard Driver Development
19 33 Spike Kohlbecker 3 Contact 14 Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas 1 Contact 20 Jay Howard Driver Development

Rowe Takes Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Pole at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

#22: Myles Rowe, Pabst Racing, Penske Entertainment. Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship took to the track for qualifying with the ambient temperature at 85, and the track at 107F.  Again this is the only qualifying session for the series this weekend. The fastest lap in this session will be used to set the grid for race one this evening. The second fastest lap sets the grid for races #2 and #3 UNLESS a driver goes faster in the preceding race – then they can use that lap.

Myles Rowe’s Pabst Racing crew told TSO Ladder that the issue in the first practice was that they ran him out of fuel. He got the fuel light on that final lap – but had to pull off at Turn 9 – bringing out the caution in that practice.

As with IndyPro 2000, this qualifying session will be 20 minutes of green in a 30 minute window – whichever comes first.

With about 8 minutes completed, Lochie Hughes was P1, with Myles Rowe then taking that spot with a lap of 1:22.3592.  This is Hughes first weekend in a USF2000 car. He is currently leading the F4 United States Championship and won race #2 of 3 here last weekend at Mid-Ohio.

With 7 minutes to go, and some drivers just starting to head out for their second run on new tires, it’s Rowe, Hughes, Nepveu, Denmark and Frazer.

With 5 minutes to go, Jace Denmark puts in a 1:22.2070 to take P1, but that wouldn’t last as Michael d’Orlando – the point leader – drops a 1:22.1603 to move in to P1.

Jagger Jones jumps to P5, briefly, then he gets bested by Nikita Johnson as half the screen is now green with fastest laps.

Rowe moves back to P2, and is 0.0275 behind d’Orlando with 2 minutes to run.

Rowe then goes P1 with a lap of 1:22.0932.

Time expires with Rowe P1 and most of the field still on the track, so we’ll see if anyone can go quicker on this final lap…and not all the way up front, but Jacob Douglas does move up to 8th.

Per race control cars #5 (Nicky Hays), #9 (Jorge Garciarce), and #6 (Evagoras Papasavvas) will get grid penalties for staying on the track after taking the checkered flag.

With Rowe and Michael d’Orlando timing in 1-2, that puts the points leaders together on the front row, albeit in reverse order as d’Orlando came in to the weekend leading 217 to 211.

Unofficial Qualifying Results – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – Mid-Ohio:

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Best Lap Team
1 22 Myles Rowe 1:22.0932 1:22.0932 13 11 Pabst Racing
2 4 Michael d’Orlando 1:22.1464 0.0532 13 11 Cape Motorsports
3 23 Jace Denmark 1:22.2070 0.1138 13 9 Pabst Racing
4 7 Lochie Hughes 1:22.2123 0.1191 11 9 Jay Howard Driver Development
5 17 Nikita Johnson 1:22.2439 0.1507 11 9 VRD Racing
6 92 Billy Frazer 1:22.2633 0.1701 13 11 Exclusive Autosport
7 11 Dylan Christie 1:22.2937 0.2005 12 10 DEForce Racing
8 90 Jacob Douglas 1:22.3203 0.2271 13 13 Exclusive Autosport
9 12 Bijoy Garg 1:22.3455 0.2523 13 10 DEForce Racing
10 3 Jagger Jones 1:22.3610 0.2678 12 9 Cape Motorsports
11 10 Thomas Nepveu 1:22.4484 0.3552 13 10 DEForce Racing
12 32 Christian Weir 1:22.6548 0.5616 13 10 Turn 3 Motorsport
13 5 Nicky Hays 1:22.7204 0.6272 11 9 Cape Motorsports
14 33 Spike Kohlbecker 1:22.7282 0.635 13 9 Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport
15 30 Viktor Andersson 1:22.7823 0.6891 13 11 VRD Racing
16 61 Nicholas d’Orlando 1:22.8486 0.7554 12 12 VRD Racing
17 2 Jackson Lee 1:23.2571 1.1639 12 9 Cape Motorsports
18 9 Jorge Garciarce 1:23.2704 1.1772 10 9 Jay Howard Driver Development
19 8 Danny Dyszelski 1:23.4233 1.3301 10 8 Jay Howard Driver Development
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas 1:23.7992 1.706 10 4 Jay Howard Driver Development

Nicholas d’Orlando Leads VRD Racing Sweep of Top 3 in USF2000 Practice at Mid-Ohio

By Patrick Stephan

#61 Nicholas d’Orlando, Velocity Racing Development, DB Collaborative/Focused Project Management (Credit: Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy)

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship took to the track at 8:45am for their lone practice session of the day, with most of the field (perhaps all) out on used tires.

Jace Denmark and Myles Rowe from Pabst Racing were quickest at the halfway mark of the 30 minute session which saw Denmark at 1:23.2244 with his 11th lap.

Lochie Hughes moved to 3rd and then first with about 7 minutes remaining in his Jay Howard #7.  That wouldn’t last though as the timesheet started to shuffle over the final few minutes with Nicholas d’Orlando from Hartsdale, New York going 1:22.6827 to take P1 with a little over 5 minutes remaining in his VRD Racing machine.

Viktor Anderson also with VRD would slot in at P2 for the moment, followed by Nikita Johnson – making it VRD Racing in the top three spots.

With just 2:00 minutes to go, the track went red for Myles Rowe who had gone off in to the gravel trap in Turn 9.  With so little time remaining, the session was checkered, clearly catching many  teams/drivers out as they didn’t get a time to post their quick/late lap.

Rowe’s car was towed back to the pits behind an AMR INDYCAR Safety team truck, with no easily apparent damage, but it also wasn’t running – so we’ll head down to the paddock in a bit to take a look.

Jace Denmark – currently 3rd in the standings with 192 points would finish the session in 8th. Denmark, who turns 18 today, trails Michael d’Orlando (217) and Myles Rowe (211) heading in to this weekend’s triple header.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will be back on the track at 11:10 for qualifying. They will contest this weekend’s first race at 5:15pm tonight – following the NTT INDYCAR Series first practice session. The other two races of the triple header will run tomorrow at 10:45 and 5:00pm.

With the late caution preventing quick laps for so many competitors, I’m not sure how much stock I put on this timesheet as we head to qualifying – but here is how things finished up:

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Best Lap Team
1 61 Nicholas d’Orlando 1:22.6827 1:22.6827 14 14 VRD Racing
2 30 Viktor Andersson 1:22.9223 0.2396 17 16 VRD Racing
3 17 Nikita Johnson 1:23.0661 0.3834 16 15 VRD Racing
4 7 Lochie Hughes 1:23.1351 0.4524 16 12 Jay Howard Driver Development
5 10 Thomas Nepveu 1:23.1835 0.5008 16 15 DEForce Racing
6 4 Michael d’Orlando 1:23.1972 0.5145 18 15 Cape Motorsports
7 22 Myles Rowe 1:23.2143 0.5316 14 13 Pabst Racing
8 23 Jace Denmark 1:23.2244 0.5417 14 11 Pabst Racing
9 92 Billy Frazer 1:23.3405 0.6578 11 10 Exclusive Autosport
10 3 Jagger Jones 1:23.4450 0.7623 14 8 Cape Motorsports
11 12 Bijoy Garg 1:23.4603 0.7776 14 13 DEForce Racing
12 32 Christian Weir 1:23.4972 0.8145 14 9 Turn 3 Motorsport
13 11 Dylan Christie 1:23.5142 0.8315 14 11 DEForce Racing
14 33 Spike Kohlbecker 1:23.5172 0.8345 12 9 Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport
15 90 Jacob Douglas 1:23.5624 0.8797 18 17 Exclusive Autosport
16 5 Nicky Hays 1:23.6827 1 17 11 Cape Motorsports
17 9 Jorge Garciarce 1:23.9200 1.2373 16 14 Jay Howard Driver Development
18 2 Jackson Lee 1:23.9929 1.3102 15 10 Cape Motorsports
19 8 Danny Dyszelski 1:24.1141 1.4314 16 15 Jay Howard Driver Development
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas 1:24.8091 2.1264 14 8 Jay Howard Driver Development
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