Road America Road to Indy 2020

2020 Back on Track – Road to Indy at Road America

by The Earl of Indy, Robert Earl |

Frost, Petrov & Rasmussen visit victory lane at Road America

As the Road to Indy Series got back on track for the 1st time in the 2020 season.

For the first time since 2019, the Road to Indy and IndyCar Series was competing on the same weekend at Road America and based upon the IndyCar results the Road to Indy stars that have graduated from the series were truly shining in the IndyCar series with Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist having great showings and duking it out in race number two at Road America. Focusing on the action that took place with the Indy Pro 2000 both of the series on the Road to Indy qualified in wet conditions. The series was on the track at Road America on Thursday and Friday so that they could be out of the track in time for the Indy cars to come in for the weekend double-header. In the first race with the Indy Pro 2000, Danial Frost only led one lap, that was the very last lap. He had qualified in the pole position but due to a gearing issue he was bumped back and had a penalty that he had to start at the rear of the grid, and he made his way all the way up by winning the race by .0556 seconds over Devlin DeFrancesco.

Colin Kaminsky in his first run in the Indy Pro 2000 was on the podium for that race. The fast lap of the race was Manuel Sulaiman and he turned in that fast lap. That meant that he was on the pole for race number two. Race number two was won by Artem Petrov from St. Petersburg, Russia. He started third in the race and was able to move himself into the winning position. Sting Ray Robb finished second and Danial Frost followed up his victory in the first race with a podium finish. Two drivers that do not want to even have you mention Road America again Hunter McElrae the rookie in the series moving up from USF2000 and Parker Thompson. Both finished in the back half of the field, the back bottom portion of the field. Good solid showings for last year’s USF2000 champion Braden Eves in the first race. Let me check the details here.

The first race he had a fourth just off of the podium and in the second race fifth. So, if we look at the points and here’s something that I wish that would be worked out with Road to Indy especially with there not being any Indy Lights this year, no Indy Lights races. I would love to see a graphic popped up during the main NBC broadcast or NBC Sports Network that gave you the top three or top five and points of the series because as you see, those drivers that are on the Road to Indy actually end up making it into the Series. They’re folks that the race fans need to know a little bit more about it. But the top standings for Indy Pro 2000 Danial Frost with his victory and podium position. He leads with 52 points, Devlin DeFrancesco with 46 points, Sting Ray Robb in third with 42, Artem Petrov with his win in the second race, a lower standing in the first race but he’s fourth at 39.

Colin Kaminski very solid 37 points tied with Braden Eves and that rounds out your top five or top six of it. In the team championship Juncos Racing 52 points. Turn 3 Motorsports, Danial Frost running for Turn 3 Motorsports, absolutely fantastic to see this. One of the hardest working teams putting their cars together and having different drivers in it at spring training when I was down at Homestead. It’s great to see the results for this team of not only what Danial Frost is doing but eighth place and points Antoine Comeau being there. So, Juncos, Turn 3, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport not in the Indy Lights. So, they’re fielding a car in Indy Pro and then Exclusive Autosport.

Turning the page to USF2000 Christian Rasmussen. Christian Rasmussen, he took the lead or took the points lead won both races max points because he was the fastest in both races. In race number one he edged out Josh Green with Cape Motorsport, a great showing for Josh with back to back podiums a second place and a third place in the second race. Eduardo Barrichello in third and then Matt Round-Garrido in fourth. So, a great showing for these four drivers in the first race. Christian led all 12 laps started on the pole, made it all the way through, and was the fast lap setter.

In race number two it was Christian Rasmussen. Michael d’Orlando started fifth came up to second so a great run for d’Orlando. Josh Green, he actually led a lap. One of the laps, we heard this on the audio because there was not a video broadcast available. But on the audio broadcast, thank you, Rob Howden we were able to hear about Rasmussen going a little wide in one of the turns, Josh being able to make the move, lead a lap. He ended up in third with his back-to-back podium finishes. Matt Round-Garrido with another fourth-place finish and then the fifth place Eduardo Barrichello. So, points-wise max points for Christian Rasmussen 33 points in each of those races, so 66 points. Really not a surprise there preseason wise we knew that he was returning and that he would be very solid.

Josh Green the rookie second in points at 47. Michael d’Orlando at 42. Eduardo Barrichello with 39 and Matt Round-Garrido with 38 points. Some difficulties for Nolan Siegel, Wyatt Brichacek, Max Kaeser, Josh Pierson, Jack William Miller, they’ll be looking to bounce back at Mid-Ohio as they come back through. One of the bounce-backs as well was Reece Gold, only collected two points in the first race, 14 in the second. He currently sits 11th right behind his Cape Motorsport teammate Kyle Dupell and the Lucas Oil Graduate and champion Prescott Campbell got off to a solid start, he’s ninth in points. For the team championship Cape motorsports, Jay Howard Driver Development and Pabst followed by Legacy. So, we’ll see these teams go back and forth throughout the championship.

Now as we turn the page, as we look forward if you are a driver that does not like Mid-Ohio then you’re going to have some sleepless nights. There’s going to be a lot of drivers that are going to be on the sim or looking at Mid-Ohio but because for the Indy Pro 2000 on July 29th and 30th they will have rounds number three, four and five at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course then they turn around in the first week of August and have round six and seven. So, five rounds coming up in back-to-back visits to Mid-Ohio for Indy Pro 2000. The same type of structure and set up with this scrambled schedule will be going on for USF2000. I’m going to put in a petition that we call these completely different but for now, you understand. USF2000 they’re going to have rounds three, four and five and then they’re going to come back and do six, seven and eight. So, a lot is on the line at Mid-Ohio of getting your practice, getting your qualifications, and then being able to really have some solid performances as these teams move forward.

So, great to see the cars back on track. I say that great to hear about the cars being back on track I want to give a shout out to TSO Ladder represented by Cooper Tires. You can find them at tsoladder.com. They give some great information about the races. Rob Howden, the Road to Indy insider giving us the play-by-play when I was actually able to tune it in. I don’t believe that we’re going to see any video either than the lives that are posted or maybe some post-race recaps, but we’ll tune into the action. I’m going to be keeping track of it. Still stuck here in the St. Petersburg area as we’re on shut down here in Florida but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these future stars as again I repeat as we saw it this weekend those drivers that were in the top part of both races at Road America had their experience and came up through the ranks of Road to Indy and it was absolutely fantastic to see and these drivers that are really focused on this now compacted season are going to be the future stars and we’ll keep looking for them and tell you about them here on 33 Dreams of Indy.

I appreciate everyone for subscribing, for listening in. It means a lot to me. All of the well-wishes that you’ve given to me I do appreciate it. I can’t wait to be back at the track, maybe the latter part of this season, or ramping it up towards next year but absolutely fantastic to see the cars there. The IndyCar Series takes the track at Iowa back to back short track on the 7/8th mile track at night. Really looking forward to seeing those races and seeing which drivers are going to rise there and then the back-to-back events at Mid-Ohio for the Road to Indy Series. So, until next time make it a great day.

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