Archives for 2022 USF2000 Coverage

Denmark and Rowe lead Mid-Ohio test – a look at the scholarship fight

Jace Denmark in the Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 led Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

The always important Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship round at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Mid-Ohio) – this year a triple-header – began on Thursday with a trio of test sessions.

Pabst Racing duo Jace Denmark and Myles Rowe led a tightly packed combined timesheet. Denmark, twice a USF2000 winner and currently third in points, bested his teammate Myles Rowe by a slim three-hundredths of a second.

Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing) was also within three-tenths of a second, with the first dozen drivers within a half-second of Denmark.

Turn 3 Motorsport, USF2000 winners at Mid-Ohio last year, had a pair of drivers lead sessions. Dylan Christie was the quickest in the morning, and Spike Kohlbecker (Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport) led the last session.

Combined Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USF2000 combined timesheet

1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 2 82.848 56
2 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 2 82.879 -0.031 60
3 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 2 82.885 -0.037 53
4 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 2 83.056 -0.208 52
5 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 3 83.107 -0.259 54
6 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 2 83.114 -0.266 46
7 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 3 83.116 -0.268 32
8 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 2 83.117 -0.269 57
9 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 3 83.197 -0.349 60
10 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 2 83.211 -0.363 50
11 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 3 83.236 -0.388 46
12 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 3 83.266 -0.418 51
13 7 Lochie Hughes Jay Howard Driver Development 2 83.394 -0.546 66
14 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 2 83.498 -0.65 54
15 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 3 83.502 -0.887 45
16 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 3 83.735 -0.906 52
17 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 2 83.754 -0.906 60
18 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 2 83.847 -0.999 45
19 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 2 83.997 -1.149 49
20 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 3 83.998 -1.15 53
21 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 2 84.037 -1.189 55
22 18 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing 2 85.555 -2.707 40

Championship leader Michael d’Orlando, a three-time USF2000 winner at Mid-Ohio, had the eighth quickest lap on the combined timesheet. If the 20-year-old wins one more race on the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course, he’ll tie fellow Cape Motorsports driver J.R. Hildebrand with four wins at the 60-year-old circuit.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Ohio schedule for USF2000 drivers is as follows:

Friday – 8:45am – 9:15am USF2000 Practice / Road To Indy TV App
Friday – 11:10am – 11:40am USF2000 Qualifying / Road To Indy TV App
Friday – 5:15pm – 5:55pm USF2000 Race #1 (20 laps or 40 minutes) / Road To Indy TV App
Saturday – 10:45am – 11:25pm USF2000 Race #2 (20 laps or 40 minutes) / Road To Indy TV App
Saturday – 2:15pm – 2:45pm USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 Autograph Session (Fan Village)
Saturday – 5pm – 5:40pm USF2000 Race #3 (20 laps or 40 minutes) / Road To Indy TV App

The scholarship chase

After doling out 345 of 609 possible points in 10 of 18 scheduled races, only 37 points separate the top five on the championship table.

A quartet of veterans – d’Orlando, Rowe, Denmark, and Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport) are joined by Cape Motorsports rookie and third-generation race Jagger Jones in the top five.

TSO Ladder is not yet counting the DEForce Racing duo of Bijoy Garg and Nepveu out of the hunt. The Texas-based team has a championship pedigree, winning the USF2000 driver and team championships last season.

This season’s championship hunt is quite different than last year. Reigning champion Kiko Porto was consistent, not finishing outside the top ten.

This year, the top five drivers have each scored single-digit points twice, signifying a finish outside of the top ten.

The eventual scholarship winner will be the driver that limits his mistakes and finishes races in the top ten. Top five finishes are optimal, but the top ten are also acceptable.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship points standings after 10 of 18 races

1 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 217
2 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 211 -6
3 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 191 -26
4 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 184 -33
5 Jagger Jones – rookie Cape Motorsports 180 -37
6 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 159 -58
7 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 154 -63
8 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport 127 -90
9 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 123 -94
10 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 119 -98
11 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 105 -112
12 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 101 -116
13 Alex Quinn Velocity Racing Development 93 -124
14 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 86 -131
15 Jacob Douglas – rookie Exclusive Autosport 77 -140
16 Jorge Garciarce – rookie Jay Howard Driver Development 71 -146
17 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 60 -157
18 Viktor Andersson – rookie Velocity Racing Development 54 -163
19 Danny Dyszelski – rookie Jay Howard Driver Development 36 -181
20 Yeeroo Lee Jay Howard Driver Development 29 -188
21 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development 22 -195
22 Nicholas d’Orlando – rookie Velocity Racing Development 20 -197
23 Chase Gardner DEForce Racing 16 -201
24 Nikita Johnson – rookie Velocity Racing Development 15 -202
25 Joey Brienza – rookie Exclusive Autosport 12 -205
26 Frederik Lund Jay Howard Driver Development 11 -206
27 Evagoras Papasavvas – rookie Jay Howard Driver Development 1 -216

Michael d’Orlando, Cape rebound in second USF2000 race at Road America

Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports, driver of the No. 4 Focused Project Management Tatuus, drove to win a wild USF2000 race two. Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Elkhart Lake, Wis. weather put on a show in its second race of the day at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Michael d’Orlando and Cape Motorsports rebounded after a tough race earlier in the day, while Myles Rowe delivered a second straight smart drive to ensure Pabst Racing stayed on the podium at its home track.

The 21 Tatuus cars got rolling on schedule at 3:20 p.m. for what turned into an eventful second race of the day and 10th round of the season.

D’Orlando led away from pole position in his No. 4 Focused Project Management car, while Billy Frazer tried again to go around the outside to get the lead. It didn’t work. The team posted that he was forced off course and after enduring a wild ride, Frazer came back on course exiting Turn 1 but down in 17th place.

Further back, Danny Dyszelski was stuck off course driver’s left at Turn 3. That brought out a full-course caution. During the yellow, Jackson Lee needed to pit, which dropped him down the order.

The race restarted at the end of Lap 4 and start of Lap 5.

D’Orlando was in a tough spot, having to hold off Rowe who tried on the outside and a motivated Bijoy Garg trying on the inside. While Rowe briefly got the lead, d’Orlando got him back on the inside of Turn 5 and completed the pass by Turn 6.

Frazer’s comeback drive stalled out when he contacted Jorge Garciarce at the Carousel, Turn 10, which pitched the No. 9 Jay Howard Driver Development car off course. The field got stacked up through the corner, which led the contact. This brought out a full course yellow.

At Lap 5, under yellow, the order was d’Orlando, Rowe, Garg, Nepveu and Denmark in the top five with Johnson, Jones, Hays, Christie and Kohlbecker in the top 10.

The planned restart was meant to occur at the end of Lap 6 and start of Lap 7, but was called off as Race Control received reports of heavy rain at Turn 10 – the Carousel where Garciarce had been stuck moments earlier. The rain increased and hit the front straight.

Sensing an opportunity to gamble, the Joe Dooling Autosports team called in Trey Burke to switch onto Cooper Tires wet weather tires.

But the potential benefits never came good because moments later, Race Control called a red flag for the weather.

The pace car was asked to take a lap to evaluate course conditions.

Reports came in that the rain was light and lessening from Turns 4 and 5 through 6-7-8, the same through Turn 12, and “consistently lightly wet” in Turns 13-14.

At 3:52 p.m., Race Control determined conditions were safe and dry enough to restart the race with no change in tires required. The green flag would fly the second time by, at the start of Lap 10.

A planned three-lap window was reduced to two due to time constraints with a time-certain 4:20 p.m. scheduled start for the NTT INDYCAR Series final practice session.

Rowe tried again to d’Orlando’s outside at start/finish on the restart but didn’t get the lead.

The white flag flew at the end of Lap 10 and there were no further changes at the top. Nepveu finished third behind d’Orlando up top and Rowe in second. Garg in fourth and Denmark in fifth completed the top five.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By Elite Engines – USF2000 Race #2 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 11 LAP 11
2 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 11 0.3907
3 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 11 2.2057
4 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 11 2.4154
5 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 11 3.4610
6 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 11 3.9618
7 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 11 4.3197
8 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 11 4.9347
9 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 11 5.8121
10 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 11 6.0942
11 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 11 6.5059
12 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 11 7.1847
13 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 11 7.2562
14 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 11 7.8469
15 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 11 10.5077
16 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 11 11.6874
17 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 11 11.7092
18 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 10 In Pit
19 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 10 1 LAPS
20 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 1 Mechanical
21 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development DNS

Denmark, Rowe deliver Pabst a home 1-2 in busy USF2000 first race at Road America

Jace Denmark in the No. 23 Pabst Racing, Radford Racing School/Metal Works Tatuus, emerged victorious after a battle with his teammate in race one today. Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

The lead on-track and in the championship changed again in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in the first race of the weekend at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn Road America.

Michael d’Orlando entered Saturday morning as the points leader and polesitter and by race’s end, he wasn’t P1 in either. Jace Denmark captured a last-lap victory for Pabst Racing, while his teammate Myles Rowe has provisionally moved to the points lead. 

Despite a slight delay in the 21 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship cars arriving in the false grid – and a polite message from Race Control indicating the drivers needed to get a move on to arrive – the 12-lap Round 9 of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Elite Engines went green on time at 11 a.m. CDT and local time.

Billy Frazer made a great start in his No. 92 Corpay Cross-Border Solutions Tatuus for Exclusive Autosport, jumping from third to first on the inside into Turn 1 off the start. A little further behind, Jagger Jones went off course at Turn 3 and fell down the order.

Frazer had to defend from polesitter and points leader Michael d’Orlando in the No. 4 Focused Project Management entry for Cape Motorsports. D’Orlando tried back around the outside at Turn 5 but lost momentum on exit with Frazer able to retain the lead ahead of Myles Rowe, who moved up to second in his No. 22 Penske Entertainment supported car for Pabst Racing, d’Orlando in third, Jace Denmark down to fourth in his No. 23 Radford Racing School/Metal Works Pabst entry and Dylan Christie fifth in the first of the DEForce Racing cars. Christie’s teammate Thomas Nepveu advanced four spots up to 10th from 14th; another Cape car on the move was Jackson Lee, up three spots from P11 to P8.

A full course caution flew on Lap 2 for a spun and stalled Evagoras Papasavvas at the Kink, the Kirkland, Wash. native in his series debut for Jay Howard Development Racing. 

After three laps behind the safety car, the race resumed under green at the conclusion of Lap 4 and start of Lap 5, albeit not for long.

Rowe tried around the outside of Frazer at Turn 1 on the restart but fell back into line behind him with d’Orlando, Denmark, Christie and Nikita Johnson in tow. Denmark though got a great run into T5 and got past both d’Orlando and Rowe. Contact between Burke and Johnson when battling over sixth at T5 resulted in a departed front wing and Johnson’s stalled car, precipitating another full-course caution. 

In the very brief green flag time, Nepveu gained another four spots from 10th up to sixth. So he was up eight total spots in 1.5 total green flag spots. Another big mover was Nicky Hays in another Cape car. He’d been 11th at the end of Lap 2, and was up to ninth at the end of Lap 5.

The next restart came at the end of Lap 6, and start of Lap 7 in the 12-lap race.

Rowe got Frazer for the lead outside of 1 ahead of Frazer with d’Orlando third. D’Orlando tries to the outside of Frazer for second but again ran wide on exit and fell back two further positions. 

The adjusted order on Lap 7 was Rowe up front by more than a second, Frazer second, Denmark third, d’Orlando third and Christie fifth. Nepveu, Garg, Lee, Hays and Weir completed the top 10. Weir passed Hays for ninth a lap later.

Things got dicey as Rowe’s lead got cut down to 0.299 of a second against Frazer on Lap 9 and he had to play defense. Denmark was able to get by Frazer for second on Lap 10. D’Orlando sought to do the same, but it ended in tears for the points leader. He spun around at Turn 8 attempting a move and fell to 17th. That swung the lead from being up 7 points on Rowe to down 8 in a single moment. 

Rowe’s lead wasn’t secured though, because after defending successfully against Frazer, he wasn’t able to do the same against teammate Denmark going into the final run. The Phoenix native got a run on Rowe into Turn 1 and was able to complete the move for the lead. 

With a local yellow in Turn 12 (Canada Corner) for a stalled car, the final passing opportunity of the track went away and Denmark was able to hold off Rowe to secure his second win of the season, and Pabst’s sixth USF2000 win at the home track for the Oconomowoc, Wis.-based team. 

Frazer was third for his fifth podium of the season, albeit none on the top step yet.

In fourth and fifth, Christie (No. 11 Stilo) and Jackson Lee (No. 2 IU Cancer Center/Browning Chapman/Spruce) posted career-best finishes. Lee was only 0.04 of a second behind Christie at the flag. 

There were lots of big movers in the next batch of drivers down to Hays in 12th. All but one of the drivers from P6 to 12 advanced at least five positions from their grid spots. They were Nepveu (14th to sixth), Garg (ninth to seventh), Weir (15th to eighth), Douglas (19th to ninth), Kohlbecker (16th to 10th), Nicholas d’Orlando (18th to 11th) and Hays (17th to 12th). 

This result also jumbled the points standings heading to today’s second race of the weekend.

Unofficially, Rowe now leads with 185 points, while Michael d’Orlando falls to second with 184. Denmark and Frazer are now tied for third on 175, with Jones still only 20 points back in fifth at 165 despite a fraught race today. 

USF2000 Cooper Tires GP of Road America Powered by Elite Engines – Race #1 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 12 LAP 12
2 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 12 0.3126
3 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 12 2.0737
4 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 12 2.4787
5 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 12 2.5194
6 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 12 3.6575
7 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 12 3.9793
8 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 12 4.0881
9 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 12 6.4009
10 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 12 6.5711
11 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 12 7.4356
12 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 12 9.5483
13 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 12 14.7923
14 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 12 19.9807
15 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 12 21.1182
16 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 12 25.5899
17 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 11 12.5990
18 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 9 Off Course
19 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 4 Contact
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 1 Contact
21 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport DNS

D’Orlando doubles up USF2000 poles at Road America

#4: Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports, Focused Project Management. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Qualifying reports for the pair of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship races are below. The series had a pair of 20-minute sessions on Friday to set the grid for Saturday’s two races, Rounds 9 and 10 of the season, and they had the same polesitter in Michael d’Orlando.


Michael d’Orlando is poised to add to his points lead after banking his seventh career pole position in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship competition.

The driver of the No. 4 Focused Project Management Cape Motorsports Tatuus set a best time of 2:10.7439 around the 4.014-mile Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wis., on the eve of Round 9 of the season. This is Cape’s 10th USF2000 pole at the picturesque facility. 

Temps for the second session of the day were 74 ambient and 84 track for the 30-minute window and 20-minute session. 

Jace Denmark, who led a test session on Thursday, was the early pacesetter in his No. 23 Pabst Racing entry at 2:10.8503. Billy Frazer was second ahead of Myles Rowe, d’Orlando and Trey Burke. Frazer also dipped into the 2:10 bracket early on, before a brief off and recovery at Turn 5.

With five minutes remaining in the session, d’Orlando jumped to the top with his eventual pole time ahead of Denmark and Frazer.

Some changes occurred behind them as drivers bolted on fresh sets of Cooper Tires slicks with Jagger Jones moving up to fourth ahead of Rowe in fifth. Dylan Christie was sixth, best of the DEForce entries, with series debutante Nikita Johnson in seventh for Velocity Racing Development, Burke a still impressive eighth in the single-car Joe Dooling Autosports entry, Bijoy Garg ninth and Joey Brienza 10th. The late movement bumped Jackson Lee down to 11th; Lee was poised for a top-six starting position before the last few minutes.

Of note, Thomas Nepveu struggled in this session and was only 14th, slowest of the three DEForce cars. 

USF2000 Cooper Tires GP of Road America – Race #1 Qualifying

P No Name Team FTime Diff Laps
1 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 2:10.7439 2:10.7439 8
2 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 2:10.8503 0.1064 9
3 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 2:10.8820 0.1381 8
4 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 2:11.0223 0.2784 7
5 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 2:11.1617 0.4178 9
6 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 2:11.2484 0.5045 5
7 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 2:11.2758 0.5319 8
8 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 2:11.3012 0.5573 7
9 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 2:11.3080 0.5641 5
10 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 2:11.4045 0.6606 8
11 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 2:11.4562 0.7123 6
12 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 2:11.5060 0.7621 8
13 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 2:11.5145 0.7706 7
14 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 2:11.6852 0.9413 6
15 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 2:11.8293 1.0854 7
16 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 2:11.9869 1.2430 8
17 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 2:12.1040 1.3601 6
18 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 2:12.2764 1.5325 8
19 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 2:12.2930 1.5491 8
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 2:12.5007 1.7568 7
21 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 2:12.7382 1.9943 7


Temps rose from 74/84 this morning for Q1 to 78 ambient and 101 track for Q2 this afternoon, which sets the grid for the second race of the weekend. 

Most of the field ran in formation for out laps and first completed laps, and with the higher temps the times dropped a bit into the 2:12 bracket. Nearing the halfway mark of the session, Billy Frazer was first into the 2:11 number ahead of Bijoy Garg, Christian Weir, Jorge Garciarce and Thomas Nepveu. Race 1 polesitter Michael d’Orlando was sixth. Pabst teammates Myles Rowe and Jace Denmark were down in 19th and 20th. 

Drivers took the opportunity to pit for fresh sets of Cooper Tires sticker tires after completing three laps. 

Frazer maintained the top spot ahead of Jagger Jones, Garg and Nepveu with Nikita Johnson up to fifth.

That was until d’Orlando uncorked a 2:11.1374 lap on his sixth lap to go fastest with Denmark jumping up to second ahead of Frazer. 

Frazer slowed on the front straight just past start/finish with less than two minutes to go. 

There were no further changes and d’Orlando grabbed his eighth pole of his USF2000 career and Cape’s 11th at this circuit in the series. Denmark will start second ahead of Frazer, Johnson and Rowe in the top five. Jones was sixth, with Garg, Brienza, Nepveu and Dyszelski in the top 10.

USF2000 Cooper Tires GP of Road America – Race #2 Qualifying

P No Name Team FTime Diff Laps
1 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 2:11.1192 2:11.1192 8
2 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 2:11.3486 0.2294 7
3 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 2:11.4272 0.3080 7
4 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 2:11.4507 0.3315 8
5 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 2:11.4835 0.3643 8
6 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 2:11.5140 0.3948 6
7 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 2:11.5259 0.4067 8
8 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 2:11.5608 0.4416 8
9 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 2:11.6604 0.5412 8
10 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 2:11.7046 0.5854 8
11 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 2:11.8929 0.7737 7
12 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 2:11.8972 0.7780 7
13 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 2:11.9724 0.8532 7
14 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 2:12.0636 0.9444 7
15 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 2:12.0729 0.9537 7
16 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 2:12.1645 1.0453 6
17 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 2:12.2627 1.1435 7
18 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 2:12.2869 1.1677 8
19 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 2:12.4632 1.3440 8
20 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 2:12.7384 1.6192 8
21 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 2:12.7499 1.6307 8

Past Road America USF2000 Winners

Cape Motorsports has 14 prior Road America USF2000 wins. Pabst Racing is next up with five.

Of other teams competing in 2022, DEForce Racing and Jay Howard Driver Development have also won here. Howard has won here as both a driver and an owner.

2021 Race #2 Thomas Nepveu Cape Motorsports 7
2021 Race #1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1
2020 Race #2 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 1
2020 Race #1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 1
2019 Race #2 Braden Eves Cape Motorsports 2
2019 Race #1 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 3
2018 Race #2 Kyle Kirkwood Cape Motorsports 4
2018 Race #1 Kyle Kirkwood Cape Motorsports 2
2017 Race #2 Rinus VeeKay Pabst Racing 1
2017 Race #1 Rinus VeeKay Pabst Racing 3
2016 Race #2 Anthony Martin Cape Motorsports 1
2016 Race #1 Anthony Martin Cape Motorsports 1
2012 Race #3 Scott Anderson Belardi Auto Racing 1
2012 Race #2 Matthew Brabham Cape Motorsports 1
2012 Race #1 Matthew Brabham Cape Motorsports 3
2011 Race #2 Petri Suvanto Cape Motorsports 3
2011 Race #1 Spencer Pigot Andretti Autosport 1
2010 Race #2 Sage Karam Andretti Autosport 1
2010 Race #1 Sage Karam Andretti Autosport 1
2006 Race #2 J.R. Hildebrand Cape Motorsports 13
2006 Race #1 Dane Cameron Cape Motorsports 3
2005 Race #2 Jay Howard Aiken Racing 8
2005 Race #1 Joey Foster Cape Motorsports 2
2004 Race #2 Bobby Wilson Cape Motorsports 1
2004 Race #1 Adam Pecorari Andersen Racing 1
2003 Race #2 Charlie Kimball PR1 Motorsports 2
2003 Race #1 Charlie Kimball PR1 Motorsports 2
2001 Race #2 Tonis Kasemets Pabst Racing 1
2001 Race #1 Tonis Kasemets Pabst Racing 2
2000 Race #2 Marc-Antoine Camirand Key Motorsports 1
2000 Race #1 Aaron Justus Cape Motorsports 2
1993 Chris Simmons SOTARE Racing 1

Billy Frazer Tops USF2000 Practice at Road America

#92: Billy Frazer, Exclusive Autosport, Corpay Cross-Border Solutions. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will hit the halfway point of its 2022 season with Rounds 9 and 10 this weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America powered by Elite Engines caps off a stretch of eight USF2000 races since April 29, after the season-opener in St. Petersburg was back in February.

Cape Motorsports’ Michael d’Orlando seized momentum of the championship lead with a win on the oval at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park two weeks ago, and with points and a half for that race, he’s now 17 points clear of Myles Rowe coming into this weekend (177-160). 

Rowe will be hoping for momentum for Oconomowoc, Wis.-based Pabst Racing at its home venue; recent wins from the team at this track have come in 2019 with Hunter McElrea and in 2017 with Rinus VeeKay. The VeeKay one was a weekend sweep. 

Jace Denmark (Pabst, test 1, 2:11.1855) and series debutante Nikita Johnson (Velocity Racing Development, test 2, 2:11.0399) led Thursday’s pair of test sessions but neither topped the timesheets in Friday’s lone official practice session before qualifying.

Those honors went to Billy Frazer of Exclusive Autosport, posting a best time of 2:11.2917 in his No. 92 Tatuus. With Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing), Myles Rowe (Pabst) and Michael d’Orlando (Cape) in tow, that meant there were four different teams in the top-four positions. Nepveu won Race 2 here last year for Cape; DEForce won Race 1 last year with series champion Kiko Porto. 

Thursday pacesetters Denmark and Johnson were fifth and 12th, respectively. Behind Denmark, Bijoy Garg, Christian Weir, Jackson Lee, Jagger Jones and Dylan Christie completed the top 10. Lee is due a bit of luck this weekend and beating teammate Jones in opening practice is a good sign of his potential. 

Johnson, 14, isn’t the only driver making his series debut this weekend. D’Orlando’s brother Nicholas makes his debut in another VRD car, while Evagoras Papasavvas is in one of the Jay Howard Driver Development cars. The field is at 23 cars this weekend, but Johnson’s presence in VRD’s No. 17 car means Englishman Alex Quinn isn’t back to win more races after sweeping the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course tripleheader last month. 

USF2000 qualifying takes place from 10:30 to 11 a.m. CDT and local time. 

USF2000 Cooper Tires GP of Road America – Practice

P No Name Team FTime Diff Laps
1 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 2:11.2917 2:11.2917 11
2 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 2:11.5806 0.2889 10
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 2:11.6204 0.3287 13
4 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 2:11.7804 0.4887 11
5 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 2:11.8400 0.5483 10
6 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 2:11.9506 0.6589 11
7 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 2:11.9820 0.6903 11
8 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 2:12.0294 0.7377 8
9 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 2:12.0407 0.7490 9
10 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 2:12.0419 0.7502 11
11 61 Nicholas d’Orlando VRD Racing 2:12.0783 0.7866 11
12 17 Nikita Johnson VRD Racing 2:12.1488 0.8571 8
13 30 Viktor Andersson VRD Racing 2:12.1698 0.8781 10
14 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 2:12.3211 1.0294 11
15 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 2:12.3224 1.0307 13
16 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 2:12.5337 1.2420 11
17 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 2:12.6462 1.3545 12
18 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 2:12.6701 1.3784 12
19 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 2:12.8253 1.5336 8
20 6 Evagoras Papasavvas Jay Howard Driver Development 2:12.9655 1.6738 10
21 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 2:13:0965 1.8048 9

Michael d’Orlando Doubles Up in USF2000 at Indianapolis Raceway Park

#4: Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports, Focused Project Management. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Michael d’Orlando switched winning from a delayed day race to a delayed night race at the rebranded Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park from 2021 to 2022. But other than the time of the Cooper Tires Freedom 75 and the name of the track, the driver of the No. 4 Cape Motorsports Tatuus delivered a mirror image of his performance here 12 months ago.

The series veteran moved into the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship lead in the process too, as the championship pays points and a half at the 0.686-mile oval. Despite about an hour delay from the projected start due to annoying and consistent sprinkles, the 17 competitors got going and got the race in all good.

D’Orlando started from pole, led all 75 laps, and won by 0.2328 of a second over Bijoy Garg in the No. 12 DEForce Racing entry. It mirrors what he did last year here, leading all 75 laps from pole and winning by 0.5268 over another DEForce Racing driver, Prescott Campbell. To continue the symmetry, a Pabst Racing driver finished third both years (Jace Denmark last year, Myles Rowe tonight).

While the stats made it seem simple, the drive was anything but for d’Orlando.

Like last year, he expertly navigated through traffic and deftly defended against Garg’s late charge. Garg got to within a tenth while trying to pass d’Orlando low in the turns. But with passing always a challenge on the low line, d’Orlando was able to sustain the pressure and deliver the victory. 

Garg’s second USF2000 podium still is a great result. Rowe got to within a second late in the race but never properly threatened for the top-two. That said, he banked his fifth USF2000 podium.

Jace Denmark held off Jagger Jones for fourth in a race-long battle between the second Pabst and second Cape entries.

The big mover on the night in a night of limited passing was Billy Frazer, who started ninth and advanced to seventh in the top Exclusive Autosport entry. He was just behind Thomas Nepveu in the second DEForce car, who finished sixth.

Simon Sikes, Spike Kohlbecker and Dylan Christie completed the top 10 finishers in a caution-free race, the third straight at this venue. 

As mentioned, d’Orlando’s win propelled him to the points lead. 

Entering the race, Jones led Frazer by one point and d’Orlando by two (132-131-130). Rowe was fourth with 127 and Denmark fifth with 116.

Provisionally leaving this race, d’Orlando now has 177 on the strength of the win, the most laps led and pole bonus point (so 47 of a possible 48 – pipped only by Garg getting a bonus point for fastest lap), with Rowe second on 160, Jones third on 158 with Frazer fourth on 152 and Denmark fifth on 145.

After a week break, the USF2000 competitors reconvene at Elkhart Lake’s Road America June 9-10.

USF 2000 Cooper Tires Freedom 75 – Race – Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 75 LAP 75
2 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 75 0.2328
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 75 1.0138
4 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 75 6.1757
5 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 75 6.4224
6 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 75 8.0341
7 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 75 11.7888
8 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 75 11.8173
9 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 75 12.7748
10 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 75 13.6525
11 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 75 14.6252
12 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 75 21.5961
13 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports-Curb-Agajanian 74 1 LAPS
14 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 74 1 LAPS
15 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 74 1 LAPS
16 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 74 1 LAPS
17 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 31 In Pit

Alex Quinn, VRD Complete IMS Road Course Weekend Sweep for USF2000

#17: Alex Quinn, Velocity Racing Development, VRD/Arden Motorsport. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

After five relatively hectic Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires races Friday and early Saturday at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship delivered a calm affair for Round 7 of its season and race three of the weekend.

Just as in the first two races, we had the same winner: Alex Quinn, driving the No. 17 Velocity Racing Development (with Arden) Tatuus USF-22. The Englishman completed a debut weekend sweep (race one recap here, race two recap here), and on this occasion beat Michael d’Orlando by 2.2187 of a second. D’Orlando’s Cape Motorsports teammate Jagger Jones, who started on the pole, finished third. 

The field immediately went to green at 11:19 a.m. ET after a single pace lap. Quinn made it past Jones on the outside of Turn 1 and inside of Turn 2 to move into the lead. Frazer was a big mover a little further down the field, up three spots from 10th to seventh. 

There was contact at Turn 1, with Jackson Lee knocked into a spin. He had climbed three spots to 13th before contact from Dylan Christie. Lee resumed but fell down the order. 

On Lap 5, d’Orlando made it past Jones for second but the order stabilized throughout the rest of the 23-car field. 

By Lap 10 with 5 to go, Quinn led d’Orlando by 2.345 seconds, with Jones, Denmark and Nepveu in the top five. Rowe was sixth ahead of Sikes, Frazer, Garg and Kohlbecker.

The race ran to its 15-lap conclusion with some minor changes in the bottom portion of the top-10. 

USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Race #3 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 17 Alex Quinn Velocity Racing Development 15 LAP 15
2 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 15 2.2187
3 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 15 2.6928
4 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 15 8.3080
5 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 15 8.7468
6 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 15 13.0387
7 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 15 17.6304
8 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 15 17.9316
9 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 15 18.9605
10 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 15 19.2950
11 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 15 21.1877
12 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 15 23.0896
13 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 15 23.0929
14 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 15 26.4650
15 6 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development 15 31.4935
16 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 15 32.8686
17 30 Viktor Andersson Velocity Racing Development 15 34.2510
18 7 Yeoroo Lee Jay Howard Driver Development 15 38.3132
19 13 Chase Gardner DEForce Racing 15 42.0046
20 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 15 45.1663
21 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 15 55.7117
22 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 15 59.6480
23 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport DNS

Alex Quinn Doubles Up in USF2000 after Cape Teammates Collide in IMS Race 2

#17: Alex Quinn, Velocity Racing Development, VRD/Arden Motorsport. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

The early theme of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires May 2022 weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course has been contact between teammates.

That story line continued Saturday morning with the sixth round of the 2022 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season, as two Cape Motorsports teammates collided when battling for the win and opened the door for Alex Quinn and Velocity Racing Development to snatch a surprise second straight victory.

Michael d’Orlando led Jagger Jones for most of the 15-lap race, before Jones’ run of momentum ended in tears heading into Turn 1 on Lap 13. He locked up and hit d’Orlando, which opened the door for Quinn to scythe through.

“I had my engineer Dan on the radio counting me down the laps. I saw them getting closer and closer and I thought something was going to happen! Something did happen and I pounced through. It might have been close in the last two laps, though! Now the pressure is on to go three-for-three,” Quinn said on the podium.

The 23-car field got going smoothly just after 8:05 a.m. ET and made it through the opening few corners safely. D’Orlando went around Quinn for second behind polesitter Jones, while a little further back Denmark overcooked his braking and went into the runoff. A full-course caution flew on Lap 2 for Yeoroo Lee stopped on course.

The field went back to green at the end of Lap 4 and start of Lap 5 with Jones leading d’Orlando in a Cape 1-2. D’Orlando went for it with a big run on the outside, and completed the pass by the end of the front straight. Nepveu went off at Turn 1 following contact with Rowe in the middle and Quinn on the inside and resumed, but fell from P5 down the order.

Weir and Sikes had contact when scrapping over eighth, and that sent Weir to pit lane and out of a good position.

Things almost got hairy on Lap 12 with Jones trying on d’Orlando into Turn 1 and Quinn having a front-row seat to the eventual proceedings.

And then they did get hairy on unlucky Lap 13 when the two teammates collided battling for the lead. Jones got a huge run on d’Orlando, and didn’t get the car stopped in time. His nose knocked into d’Orlando’s rear wing and spun him out. Jones was able to get moving, while d’Orlando had to go to the cutoff and fell to seventh.

Alas, Jones’ slight demise opened the door for Exclusive Autosport’s Frazer, and then Pabst Racing’s Rowe who attempted to double them both up. Frazer and Rowe made it through for second and third into Turn 1 past Jones, and then Denmark got around Jones for fourth on the exit of Turn 4. Jones pitted at the end of Lap 14.

While Jones fell out of the top 15, d’Orlando was able to recover to fifth and salvage a result after a difficult Friday.

But up front it was Quinn able to secure his second straight win by 3.4115 of a second over Frazer with Rowe third and Denmark fourth.

Unofficially Frazer now leads the points with 117, while Rowe is now second at 112, with Jones down to third at 108 and d’Orlando staying close in fourth at 105.

The third race of the tripleheader weekend occurs in a couple hours at 11:15 a.m. ET.

USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Race #2 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 17 Alex Quinn Velocity Racing Development 15 LAP 15
2 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 15 3.4115
3 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 15 3.7167
4 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 15 4.2312
5 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 15 6.9970
6 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 15 7.7759
7 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 15 8.5494
8 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 15 9.5757
9 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 15 10.1915
10 13 Chase Gardner DEForce Racing 15 10.6149
11 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 15 10.9749
12 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 15 11.8428
13 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 15 13.4587
14 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 15 16.8559
15 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 15 17.7294
16 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 15 19.1436
17 30 Viktor Andersson Velocity Racing Development 15 22.9876
18 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 15 38.7422
19 6 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development 14 In Pit
20 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 14 In Pit
21 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 13 14.9714
22 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 7 Mechanical
23 7 Yeoroo Lee Jay Howard Driver Development Mechanical

Alex Quinn captures debut win in USF2000 first race of weekend on IMS Road Course

#17: Alex Quinn, Velocity Racing Development, VRD/Arden Motorsport. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno and Patrick Stephan

Series newcomer Alex Quinn scored a victory on debut in Friday’s fifth round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The win is also the first for Velocity Racing Development in the championship.

Driving the No. 17 Tatuus USF-22, Quinn survived the chaos that unfolded around him involving several championship contenders in what could be an intriguing weekend.

The 15-lap race featured multiple caution flags and multiple incidents, with Billy Frazer and polesitter Jagger Jones able to push on while the trio of Jace Denmark, Myles Rowe and Michael d’Orlando all finished 15th or worse.

Quinn captured the flag by the margin of victory by 2.1657 of a second over Frazer, in his No. 92 Exclusive Autosport entry, with Jones finishing same as his car number, third, in the No. 3 Cape Motorsports car.

“To be honest, that was the most fun I’ve had in a race car,” Quinn said on the podium.

“Got on the track and immediately had a great car. The team has done a great job. They (Velocity Racing Development & Arden) got me over here and provided me with the perfect car, so I’m extremely happy for that, and extremely happy for the win.”

How did he get there?

Jagger Jones led the field to green with all 23 cars tightly bunched along the inside wall as they went under the green flag.

Jones moved over to about the third lane and made a clean entry to Turn 1, while further back the field was fanned out 4-5 wide. They would get through Turn 1 cleanly, but contact as they took the green had dislodged Nicky Hays’ front wing and we went full course yellow  so they could pick up his main plane from the front straight.

On the restart to complete Lap 2, Jones would lose the lead over at the entry to Turn 7 as Myles Rowe dove inside and took the top spot.  Alex Quinn would also get by Jones in the next couple corners. As they took the green, Jackson Lee came down pit lane, also with front wing damage from the initial start, and he would lose a lap making repairs.

Two laps later, Quinn would brake late inside of Rowe entering Turn 1 and with both of them sliding a little wide, Jones as able to do the over/under on Rowe and get back to the lead on the outside of Turn 2, completing the pass at the entry to Turn 3.

A lap after this – Lap 6 – Myles Rowe and Michael d’Orlando (the championship leaders) make contact with d’Orlando winding up in the gravel trap outside of Turn 4.  There was also contact at Turn 6 as Simon Sikes got into a car (not sure who at this time).

This got us another full course yellow as d’Orlando would come back to the pits on the wrecker, while Rowe was able to get restarted, but lost a lap.

The restart occurred at the end of Lap 9 and start of Lap 10, with Jones leading Quinn, Frazer, Nepveu and Kohlbecker. Things got hairy with a four-wide restart going into Turn 1, with Quinn emerging back ahead at the end of the chaotic restart, and another full-course caution occurring shortly thereafter when Bijoy Gorg stopped on track on Hulman Blvd. He had been running seventh.

The final restart came at the end of Lap 12, with Quinn getting a great jump. Frazer got a great draft off Jones’ rear wing and went around the outside of him for second into Turn 1.

When Jones tried the rebuttal on the final lap, the two cars collided but kept moving, with Frazer able to keep the position. The two stayed in position but behind Quinn.

“I kinda got hurt by all the cautions and they were able to draft up and then it was who could brake deeper,” Jones explained.

This result provisionally moves Jones to the points lead, now up by 7 on Frazer (102-95) heading to the second and third races of the weekend on Saturday. Rowe falls to third on 90 with d’Orlando fourth on 87. There’s a further 11 points back to Denmark in fifth, one point ahead of Simon Sikes in sixth and two ahead of Christian Weir in seventh.

“I have never thought about the championship while on the track, just trying to get the best result. Today, a win was the best result, but I didn’t do my part,” Jones said.

USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Race #1 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 17 Alex Quinn Velocity Racing Development 15 LAP 15
2 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 15 2.1657
3 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 15 2.4392
4 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 15 3.6323
5 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 15 3.7886
6 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 15 4.3180
7 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 15 5.4113
8 6 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development 15 5.9011
9 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 15 6.5776
10 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 15 6.6259
11 30 Viktor Andersson Velocity Racing Development 15 7.2075
12 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 15 7.3296
13 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 15 7.6312
14 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 15 40.0348
15 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 15 40.4608
16 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 14 1 LAPS
17 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 14 1 LAPS
18 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 14 1 LAPS
19 13 Chase Gardner DEForce Racing 11 4 LAPS
20 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 9 Off Course
21 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 5 Off Course
22 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport DNS
23 7 Yeoroo Lee Jay Howard Driver Development DNS

It’s a Jones pole at Indianapolis – Jagger Jones scores first USF2000 pole to kick off IMS road course tripleheader

#3: Jagger Jones, Cape Motorsports. Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Heading into the weekend, just 16 points separate the top five drivers in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Pabst Racing’s Myles Rowe, following a heavy accident in practice at St. Petersburg that has threatened to jeopardize his season, has fought back with two impressive wins in St. Pete race two and Barber race one that puts him atop the charts, tied with Cape Motorsports’ Michael d’Orlando.

Barber race two winner Jagger Jones, one of d’Orlando’s Cape teammates, sits third at eight points back (86-78) with Pabst’s Jace Denmark, the St. Pete race one winner and Exclusive’s Billy Frazer a further eight back tied for fourth.

There was a surprise in Thursday’s lone practice session. Series newcomer Alex Quinn led the way for Velocity Racing Development. The driver of the No. 17 Tatuus USF-22 lapped the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course at 1:26.6463, with Jones second, d’Orlando third, Frazer fourth and Viktor Andersson fifth. Rowe and Denmark were seventh and ninth, respectively. 

Quinn is one of a handful of USF2000 newcomers this weekend in the now 23-car field. The Englishman’s VRD entry is a partnership with European team Arden. Other newcomers include Exclusive’s Joey Brienza, DEForce Racing’s Chase Gardner and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Frankie Mossman.

Qualifying kicked off Friday’s track activity from IMS. Denmark was the first driver in the 1:25 bracket at 1:25.914 seven minutes into the 20-minute session. Quinn surpassed that at 1:25.773 before a red flag flew nine minutes into the session for Jorge Garciarce stopped off course at Turn 7.

The order at this red flag was Quinn, Denmark, d’Orlando, Jones and Thomas Nepveu in the top five. Rowe stood 11th, albeit only 0.597 off Quinn’s fastest time. Teams took the opportunity to change to fresh sets of Cooper Tires under this red flag.

Times started to fall under the seven-minute mark remaining in the session. First d’Orlando, then Nepveu and Jones surpassed Quinn’s provisional pole lap. 

There were no further changes in the top five, with Jones securing his maiden USF2000 pole a race after winning his first race. 

Jagger’s grandfather, the great Parnelli Jones, won a pair of Indianapolis 500 poles in 1962 and 1963, and he followed the latter pole with his lone ‘500 victory in 1963. 

Quinn will start second for his USF2000 debut ahead of Nepveu, Denmark and d’Orlando in the top five. Rowe starts seventh, a spot behind Bijoy Garg. Simon Sikes, Joey Brienza and Billy Frazer complete the top 10.

Drivers will take the green flag for Round 5 of the season, the first of three USF2000 races this weekend, at 11:45 a.m. ET and local time. 

USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Qualifying Results

P No Name Team FTime Diff
1 3 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1:25.4254 1:25.4254
2 17 Alex Quinn Velocity Racing Development 1:25.4910 0.0656
3 10 Thomas Nepveu DEForce Racing 1:25.5169 0.0915
4 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1:25.5500 0.1246
5 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 1:25.6898 0.2644
6 12 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:25.8164 0.3910
7 22 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1:25.8174 0.3920
8 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 1:25.8652 0.4398
9 91 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 1:25.9057 0.4803
10 92 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 1:25.9945 0.5691
11 13 Chase Gardner DEForce Racing 1:26.0771 0.6517
12 2 Jackson Lee Cape Motorsports 1:26.0838 0.6584
13 33 Spike Kohlbecker Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport 1:26.1216 0.6962
14 32 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport 1:26.1368 0.7114
15 11 Dylan Christie DEForce Racing 1:26.1560 0.7306
16 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 1:26.1715 0.7461
17 30 Viktor Andersson Velocity Racing Development 1:26.2077 0.7823
18 5 Nicky Hays Cape Motorsports 1:26.2253 0.7999
19 90 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 1:26.2816 0.8562
20 8 Danny Dyszelski Jay Howard Driver Development 1:26.3871 0.9617
21 6 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development 1:26.8917 1.4663
22 7 Yeoroo Lee Jay Howard Driver Development 1:27.2405 1.8151
23 9 Jorge Garciarce Jay Howard Driver Development 1:28.4680 3.0426
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