By Patrick Stephan
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
|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|