Some crazy Indy Pro 2000 action headed into Turn 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

By Steve Wittich

First, TSO Ladder wishes a quick recovery to Braden Eves. We hope to hear more about how the reigning USF2000 champ is getting along after his crash yesterday.

Pole sitter Artem Petrov was initially credited with a fourth-place finish but was judged by race control to have jumped the lap four restart and given a 30-second post-race penalty dropping him to 10th place.

It was a tough day for Manuel Sulaiman. The Mandala/Viva Aerobus/Telcel/La Santa sponsored No. 8 had a mechanical issue that forced him to miss qualifying. Then his DEForce Racing team was fitting a new power plant to his PM-18 and could not make the grid.

DEForce Racing’s Kory Enders missed qualifying and practice but did make it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in time for the race. He started in the last place and was able to drive forward to seven spots to finish eighth.

Random stats and stuff

Sting Ray Robb is only the fifth Indy Pro 2000 driver in 14 Indy Pro 2000 starts to win from a position other than the pole.

Robb’s win was the sixth for the team on the IMS Road Course.

Artem Petrov’s pole was the eighth at the circuit for Juncos Racing.

Petrov’s tenth place finish is the worst finish of an Indy Pro 2000 pole sitter in any of the previous races on the IMS Road Course.

It was the 16th podium on the IMS Road Course for Juncos Racing and the first for Pabst Racing and DEForce Racing.

The six caution laps are the most since the second race had seven circuits run under yellow in 2014.

The six caution laps are the most for any Indy Pro 2000 race so far this season.

Race #1 was the seventh Indy Pro 2000 race on the IMS Road Course to have a first lap caution. That includes three of the last four.

Race #1 was the first Indy Pro 2000 race to end under caution.

The only race that points leader Devlin DeFrancesco has lost positions from his starting spot is the first race of the year at Road America, where he started on the pole and finished second.

2020 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires points after IMS Race #1

1 Devlin DeFrancesco   202
2 Sting Ray Robb   190
3 Danial Frost   170
4 Braden Eves   163
5 Artem Petrov   163
6 Hunter McElrea   140
7 Parker Thompson   134
8 Manuel Sulaiman   130
9 Colin Kaminsky   110
10 Antoine Comeau   103
11 Moisés de la Vara   89
12 Nate Aranda   64
13 Kory Enders   62
14 Kody Swanson   60
15 Charles Finelli   54
16 Bob Kaminsky   53
17 Jacob Loomis   49
18 Sabre Cook   47
19 Jacob Abel   31

USF2000 Notes

Eduardo Barrichello and Kiko Porto, the Brazilian two-thirds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship podium from Race #1 are long-time friends.

After the race, Barrichello told TSO Ladder:

We’ve raced together since day one, and he’s been my best friend since day one, so it’s really nice to race with him. But, in some ways, it’s not very cool to race against him. It’s a really weird situation because you have to very aggressive, but being aggressive against someone you like is really weird. I’m really happy for his first podium and we’ll battle again tomorrow.

Random stats and stuff

Eduardo Barrichello’s win in race #1 is the second win on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course for Pabst Racing. They won the first race USF2000 race held on the IMS Road Course with Will Owen behind the wheel.

For only the second time, and the first time in ten races on the IMS Road Course, it was not a Cape Motorsports driver that started on the pole.

The podiums were the third (DEForce Racing), eighth (Pabst Racing), and 18th (Cape Motorsports) for the teams on the IMS Road Course.

Race #1 was only the third caution-free USF2000 race on the IMS Road Course.

The average speed of race #1 was 100.509, the second-fastest USF2000 race held on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course

Barrichello’s 0.2834-second margin of victory is the closest in the 13 USF2000 races held on the IMS road course.

The sixth-place finish by Christian Rasmussen was his worst finish since a 17th place finish at Portland International Raceway last year. It’s also only the second time he’s finished off the podium in his previous 15 USF2000 starts.

Race #1 had 20 cars running at the end of the 15 lapper, and 19 of those were on the lead lap, both highs for the 2020 season.

2020 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship points after IMS Race #1

1 Christian Rasmussen   226
2 Reece Gold   150
3 Eduardo Barrichello   137
4 Michael d’Orlando   127
5 Josh Green – R   120
6 Matthew Round-Garrido   111
7 Christian Brooks – R   103
8 Yuven Sundaramoorthy   84
9 Kyle Dupell   82
10 Cameron Shields   78
11 Nolan Siegel   72
12 Jack William Miller   71
13 Prescott Campbell – R   61
14 Bijoy Garg – R   60
15 Kiko Porto   60
16 Christian Bogle   58
17 Max Kaeser – R   47
18 Wyatt Brichacek – R   41
19 Ayrton Ori – R   31
20 Josh Pierson – R   25
21 Nico Christodoulou – R   14
22 Simon Sikes   6
23 Michael Myers   3