By Steve Wittich
With his first career pole, Myles Rowe completed his USF2000 bingo card. The Pabst Racing sophomore now has a win, a pole, a podium, a race led, and the fastest race lap.
The 21-year-old spent most of the 20-minute Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in the top five on the timesheet but dug deep on his second last qualifying lap to grab his first inside front row starting position with a lap timed at 81.9164-seconds. The New Yorker was the only driver to break the 82-second barrier.
It’s the second USF2000 pole on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course for Pabst Racing. One of the team’s current Indy Pro 2000 drivers, Yuven Sundaramoorthy, won Race #1 from the pole last year.
It’s the second pole of the 2022 season for the Oconomowoc, Wisc. team, and the 31st all-time.
Seven of the ten USF2000 race winners at Barber Motorsports Park have started from the pole, making Rowe the prohibitive favorite to grab his second straight win.
Starting outside Rowe is DEForce Racing veteran Bijoy Garg, who led most of the second half of the session before being knocked off the pole by Rowe. It’s the third straight race to start the season that Garg has just missed on his first series pole. The Californian began from the third and second positions in the two races in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Cape Motorsports rookie Jagger Jones will start on the inside of the second row. The third-generation racer’s best start in his young Road To Indy career. The 19-year-old started in fifth and fourth at the season-opener.
Rounding out the second row is Simon Sikes. The Legacy Autosport driver led the first half of the session before falling just short of the pole in the second half.
Veterans Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports) and Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport) will start on the third row and were both within four-tenths of a second of pole winner Rowe.
Fifteen of the 19 drivers were within one second of Rowe’s pole lap.
Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Alabama qualifying results
|RANK||CAR. NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||22||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||1:21.9164||—|
|2||12||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||1:22.0412||-0.1248|
|3||3||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||1:22.0916||-0.1752|
|4||19||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||1:22.1940||-0.2776|
|5||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:22.2270||-0.3106|
|6||92||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||1:22.2492||-0.3328|
|7||10||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||1:22.4765||-0.5601|
|8||32||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:22.4782||-0.5618|
|9||5||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||1:22.5484||-0.632|
|10||11||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||1:22.5817||-0.6653|
|11||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1:22.7082||-0.7918|
|12||33||Spike Kohlbecker||Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport||1:22.8601||-0.9437|
|13||30||Viktor Andersson||Velocity Racing Development||1:22.8647||-0.9483|
|14||2||Jackson Lee||Cape Motorsports||1:22.8812||-0.9648|
|15||90||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||1:22.9761||-1.0597|
|16||63||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||1:23.2686||-1.3522|
|17||8||Danny Dyszelski||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:23.3820||-1.4656|
|18||9||Jorge Garciarce||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:23.5665||-1.6501|
|19||7||Yeoroo Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:24.1701||-2.2537|
The 19 USF2000 drivers are back on track at 10:15 am for a second qualifying session. The same drivers will be in the Fan Village for an autograph session at 11:30 am, and the first of two races is scheduled to get the green flag at 3:20 pm.
USF2000 points after two races
|1||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||57|
|2||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||40|
|3||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||38|
|4||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||35|
|5||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||35|
|6||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||29|
|7||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||28|
|8||Spike Kohlbecker||Turn 3 Motorsport||24|
|9||Jackson Lee||Cape Motorsports||23|
|10||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||23|
|11||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||20|
|12||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||19|
|13||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||18|
|14||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||17|
|15||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||15|
|16||Yeeroo Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||15|
|17||Jorge Garciarce||Jay Howard Driver Development||13|
|18||Frederik Lund||Jay Howard Driver Development||11|
|19||Viktor Andersson||Velocity Racing Development||10|