By Patrick Stephan

Pole sitter Myles Rowe will bring the field to the green with a lead of 30 (120 to 90) over Kiko Porto.

Alongside Rowe is Francesco Pizzi and the field makes it through Turn 1 but they are stacked 2 and three deep in to Turn 2 and that pushes Lirim Zendelli out in to the grass, dropping him from his 6th starting spot to the tail as he continues.

Rowe goes off at Turn 7 as it appears he just went wide at the exit and got on to the slick grass and had to drive through the field before rejoining.

Lap 2 and we have Lindsay Brewer off track at Turn 7 with suspension damage – this will bring out the full course yellow.

The order right now Pizzi, d’Orlando, Ushijima (from 10th), Porto, Miller, Denmark (from 14th), De Alba (from 12th), Lee, Browne, Granfors (from 18th), Weir, Missig, Garg, Sundaramoorthy, Zendell, Rowe, Escotto, Monteiro, Brewer, Finelli.

Note that Finelli pulled off under the yellow and exited pit lane at the Gasoline Alley entrance. That’s going to give him quite the circuitous route back to the USF paddock. He’ll need to go through Gasoline Alley past the garages, then make a left in front of the INDYCAR Series transporters. That leads to an intersection near the infield midway (Chevy, Firestone displays, etc). He’ll go down the road that leads to the N Lot and can then make a left to the USF paddock.

Restart is waved off as Jackson Lee has to pull off on the back stretch with mechanical issues. He’s retrieved and exits the track at Turn 7. Jackson was having a solid weekend and was in 8th at the time.

Trying to get back to green and the field stacks up at Turn 14. They are single file slowly with Pizzi leading the field, and then we see Salvador De Alba go outside around a bunch of cars. Miller pops outside also but he makes contact with car in front of him and his wing comes off, goes under his car, and he shoots it out the rear of his car.

Restart is under review as you’d expect, some went on the green (when was the green) and others didn’t. That didn’t look good.

Full course yellow is called and at the same time we see cars making contact at the Turn 6 chicane – more wings are flying including Ricardo Escotto who I believe had just changed a wing after possible contact with Brewer in the earlier incident. He had moved right of the chicane when some may have heard the yellow called, while others didn’t and it stacked up at the chicane, but Escotto’s path was blocked and he knocked the wing off again.

The order is De Alba, Granfors, Browne, Weir, Denmark, d’Orlando, Missig, Rowe, Pizzi, Ushijima, Sundaramoorthy, Porto, Zendeli, Garg, Miller, Monteiro, Escotto, Lee, Brewer, Finelli.

The field is reminded by race control that the restart zone starts at PIT IN…they didn’t go anywhere close to that last time.

Restart Lap 10 and De Alba does launch just after Pit In, and the field gets away clean. Monteiro serves an avoidable contact

Lap 11 and in to Turn 1 there are three wide and two rows across. d’Orlando is outside of the front row three wide, he tries to slot in to about 3rd, but Ushijima comes from inside the second group and they make contact the the exit of Turn 1.

That incident will be reviewed, but d’Orlando has damage and will limp it back to the pit lane.

Granfors passes De Alba for the lead on Lap 13, and the order is now Granfors, De Alba, Denmark, Browne, Weir, Rowe, Pizzi, Missig, Ushijima, Zendeli, Miller, Garg, Sundaramoorthy, Porto, d’Orlando, Monteiro, Escotto, Lee, Brewer, Finelli.

Rowe gets pushed off at Turn 2 and in the grass again. He’ll drop back to 8th, so he’ll restart his charge back to the front.

Lap 17, Ushijima dives in on Pizzi from WAY back, locking his right front on the entry to Turn 1. He slides through and Pizzi gets the 7th spot back.

Next lap and Rowe is able to get by Weir (I believe that was the same battle that put him in the grass earlier).

Weir gets a warning from race control for blocking (moving in reaction to). d’Orlando has rejoined after repairs to his right rear suspension from the Ushijima contact.

Jack William Miller back to the pits again, this time its for a flat tire.

Lap 19 and Granfors leads by 1.8 over De Alba, Denmark, Browne, Rowe (5th and has fastest lap – 17), Weir, Pizzi, Ushijima, Missig, Zendeli (10th), Porto, Sundaaramoorthy, Garg, Miller, Monteiro (off Lap 16), d’Orlando, Escotto, Lee, Brewer, Fineli.

Lap 22 and in to Turn 1 Ushijima tries Pizzi again but can’t get around. He tries the inside at turn 7, also doesn’t get it done, but keeps trying.

Down the front straight Pizzi take the inside at the wall and then when Ushijima gets alongside starts to fade to the outside and they maintain those spots through Turns 2-4.

Missig takes advantage of that battle and goes around the outside at Turn 7 to get by Ushijima for 8th.

WHITE FLAG and Granfors leads by 3.1…the same gap when he takes the checkered flag over De Alba, Denmark, Browne and Rowe.

  • Granfors came in to the race 7th in points and finished 20th in yesterday’s race with an 8 lap DNF.
  • This is his USF Pro 2000 victory.
  • Previous series GB3 where his last win was in 2022 at Silverstone
  • Previous best in USF Pro 2000 was 2nd at Sebring #2

Got another replay of that messy restart (Lap 6). While De Alba caught most of the attention with is big outside move, Granfors was also a big mover. With everyone stacked and slowly building speed on the front straight he stuck to the inside line and squeezed between the wall and another car to wind up P2 by the time they hit the first turn.

That restart clearly helped us get podium that started the race 18th, 12th, and 14th respectively.

Joel Granfors talks to Rob Howden on the victory podium at IMS after winning USF Pro 2000 Race #2. (Not the recommended way to get a podium photo – but …well it’s by Patrick Stephan)

UNOFFICIAL Results USF Pro 2000 Discount Tire GP of Indy Race #2:

PosCar #DriverLapsGapLedSTTeam
192Joel Granfors251518Exclusive Autosport
291Salvador De Alba253.1502512Exclusive Autosport
320Jace Denmark253.424314Pabst Racing
42Jonathan Browne250.80035Turn 3 Motorsport
599Myles Rowe253.56761Pabst Racing
632Christian Weir252.43637TJ Speed Motorsports
755Francesco Pizzi252.948352TJ Speed Motorsports
819Jordan Missig250.409111Pabst Racing
96Reece Ushijima251.179210Jay Howard Driver Development
1010Lirim Zendeli251.35016TJ Speed Motorsports
1112Kiko Porto250.27024DEForce Racing
1290Yuven Sundaramoorthy251.909417Exclusive Autosport
137Bijoy Garg253.773616DEForce Racing
141Michael d’Orlando223 LAPS3Turn 3 Motorsport
1540Jack William Miller1839.87198Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
1681Nicholas Monteiro161 LAPS19NeoTech Motorsport
174Ricardo Escotto60.517815Jay Howard Driver Development
1847Jackson Lee40.39Turn 3 Motorsport
1993Lindsay Brewer10.26913Exclusive Autosport
2083Charles Finelli10.716920FatBoy Racing