USF2000 qualifying notes and results by Steve Wittich
Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda championship leader Oliver Askew overcame a one-hour delay to win his very first Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire pole.
“It’s fantastic,” exclaimed the Cape Motorsports rookie and MRTI $200K Scholarship Shootout winner, who’s quickest lap of 1 minute, 23.572 seconds was over three-tenths of a second ahead of Team Pelfrey rookie Kaylen Frederick, and four-tenths of a second ahead of Pabst Racing rookie Rinus Van Kalmthout.
For once the USF2000 drivers were NOT the dew sweepers at Barber Motorsports Park, as their qualifying session for the first of two Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires races followed an 8am Mazda MX-5 Cup Practice.
However, the drivers on the lowest step of the Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire ladder still had face some adversity. session was delayed to repair the ARMCO barrier in the Turn 3 area, and began exactly on hour late.
“It’s very tough, because when I get in the car the first time, I immediately get in the zone, and to sit there for an hour and overthink things is not good, explained Askew after qualifying. “I had to get myself back into the zone. But, once the engines fire all the negative thoughts go away and you push as hard as you can and I try to trick myself into thinking it’s a practice session.”
The teams who did not run fresh Cooper Tire in yesterday’s lone practice session utilized various strategies with their fresh rubber. The three Pabst Racing drivers only did one lap before coming in, while eventual pole sitter Asker did two laps before pitting for fresh rubber, Exclusive Autosport’s veteran drivers did not take to the 2.3-mile, 17-Turn Barber Motorsports Park road course until there were five minutes left in the 20 minute session.
Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey), Dakota Dickerson (Newman Wachs Racing), Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport), Askew, and Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing) were the five quickest drivers half-way through the session and had lap times that were all within one-tenth of second of each other.
Complete qualifying results for the first Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires race:
|CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||GAP|
|3||Oliver Askew||Cape Motorsports||1:23.572||0.000|
|81||Kaylen Frederick||Team Pelfrey||1:23.898||0.3265|
|21||Rinus VeeKay||Pabst Racing||1:23.990||0.4183|
|80||Robert Megennis||Team Pelfrey||1:24.046||0.4749|
|36||Dakota Dickerson||Newman Wachs Racing||1:24.050||0.4789|
|90||Parker Thompson||Exclusive Autosport||1:24.073||0.5020|
|82||Ayla Agren||Team Pelfrey||1:24.181||0.6100|
|22||Calvin Ming||Pabst Racing||1:24.197||0.6250|
|11||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||1:24.232||0.6601|
|37||Andre Castro||Newman Wachs Racing||1:24.308||0.7367|
|91||Luke Gabin||Exclusive Autosport||1:24.530||0.9585|
|31||Toby Sowery||Benik Kart||1:24.531||0.9596|
|33||Bayley Mickler||John Cummiskey Racing||1:24.592||1.0205|
|2||Ricky Donison||Cape Motorsports||1:24.773||1.2013|
|23||Lucas Kohl||Pabst Racing||1:24.787||1.2152|
|12||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||1:24.915||1.3437|
|34||Kris Wright||John Cummiskey Racing||1:24.923||1.3517|
|27||Colin Kaminsky||Kaminsky Racing||1:25.276||1.7048|
|92||Dev Gore||Exclusive Autosport||1:25.317||1.7455|
|7||Devin Wojcik||ArmsUp Motorsports||1:25.356||1.7845|
|97||Bruna Tomaselli||ArmsUp Motorsports||1:25.381||1.8094|
|38||Flinn Lazier||Newman Wachs Racing||1:25.430||1.8588|
|32||Darren Keane||Benik Kart||1:25.550||1.9784|
|20||Chandler Horton||RJB Motorsports||1:25.877||2.3056|