Oliver Askew will start on point for the second Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires of the weekend after a wild and crazy last five minutes of qualifying that had four different drivers swap provisional pole six different times.
The final five minutes of the 20 minute session began with veteran Exclusive Autosport driver Parker Thompson holding the provisional pole. He was quickly surpassed by Team Pelfrey sophomore and 2016 USF2000 rookie of the year Robert Megennis, who was supplanted seconds later by his teammate Kaylen Frederick.
Quickly thereafter, Thompson crossed the timing stripe and went back to the top of the heap. Fredrick, a 14 year-old rookie and race one second place finisher turned in a lap of 1 minute, 23.5587 seconds to jump to jump to provisional pole.
With Askew mired down mid-pack on his older tire runs, Cape Motorsports took a chance and waited until the very end of the session to send the championship leader out on fresh Cooper Tire slicks. This time gamble paid off for the 20 year-old, who was not aware of where he stood. The Jupiter, Fla., native’s second last lap of 1 minute 23.2957 seconds was good enough for his second straight Barber Motorsports Park pole. For good measure, Askew went even faster on his final lap, turing in a blistering lap of 1 minute 23.1597 seconds to just miss out on grabbing the track record. Michael Epps set the Barber Motorsports Park USF2000 track record of 1 minute, 23.009 seconds during Cooper Tires Winterfest in February 2014.
“I tell them not to tell me where I am, because then I start thinking too much about it,” explained Askew. “I just go out and do my thing, and it ended up working out.
“It was a little bit risky going out at the end because of a red flag, but thankfully it worked out.”
Thompson will start inside the front row, and will joined by Pabst Racing rookie Calvin Ming. Megennis, and Dakota Dickerson (Newman Wachs Racing) the top two rookies in the series in 2016, will start together on the third row.
The entire 20 minute session ran green.
The race, which goes green at 4:45pm (Central) is the sixth straight USF2000 race at Barber Motorsports Park that a Cape Motorsports driver will lead the field to the green flag.
Qualifying results for USF2000 race #2
|RANK||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||GAP|
|1||3||Oliver Askew||Cape Motorsports||1:23.160||—|
|2||81||Kaylen Frederick||Team Pelfrey||1:23.507||0.3477|
|3||90||Parker Thompson||Exclusive Autosport||1:23.653||0.4929|
|4||22||Calvin Ming||Pabst Racing||1:23.707||0.5475|
|5||80||Robert Megennis||Team Pelfrey||1:23.743||0.5830|
|6||36||Dakota Dickerson||Newman Wachs Racing||1:23.796||0.6363|
|7||21||Rinus VeeKay||Pabst Racing||1:23.843||0.6828|
|8||11||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||1:23.927||0.7677|
|9||82||Ayla Agren||Team Pelfrey||1:24.080||0.9203|
|10||31||Toby Sowery||Benik Kart||1:24.175||1.0154|
|11||23||Lucas Kohl||Pabst Racing||1:24.275||1.1152|
|12||37||Andre Castro||Newman Wachs Racing||1:24.285||1.1251|
|13||91||Luke Gabin||Exclusive Autosport||1:24.298||1.1379|
|14||2||Ricky Donison||Cape Motorsports||1:24.422||1.2623|
|15||34||Kris Wright||John Cummiskey Racing||1:24.502||1.3425|
|16||12||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||1:24.573||1.4136|
|17||33||Bayley Mickler||John Cummiskey Racing||1:24.658||1.4979|
|18||27||Colin Kaminsky||Kaminsky Racing||1:24.695||1.5351|
|19||32||Darren Keane||Benik Kart||1:24.824||1.6645|
|20||7||Devin Wojcik||ArmsUp Motorsports||1:24.832||1.6721|
|21||97||Bruna Tomaselli||ArmsUp Motorsports||1:24.900||1.7406|
|22||38||Flinn Lazier||Newman Wachs Racing||1:24.991||1.8311|
|23||20||Chandler Horton||RJB Motorsports||1:25.229||2.0693|
|24||92||Dev Gore||Exclusive Autosport||1:26.511||3.3510|