DeFrancesco earned his first Indy Pro 2000 win at World Wide Technology Raceway on Saturday. The Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport racer made just his second-ever start on an oval but dominated the whole way.
“I haven’t had a win like this in such a long time, and it’s the best feeling in the world!” DeFrancesco exclaimed. “The team has done an unbelievable job. They’ve really gotten me up to speed on the ovals quite quickly – what to look for, what not to look for.
It was an intense and pressure-filled 55-lap race that had four cars battling out until the very end. Right behind DeFrancesco was Braden Eves on the final lap. DeFrancesco posted his fastest lap on the very last lap to secure the win. The final four racers were separated by only 1.2527s.
“I’m really enjoying the ovals,” DeFrancesco said. “We have had a very strong car all week, from the first test on; and I knew we’d be even stronger in the race. We took a gamble after practice with the downforce level and it really paid off; the car was so easy to drive. It’s great to add to the championship lead but honestly, I’m not thinking about the points. We’re just taking it race by race, and this one was extremely satisfying. It’s a great confidence booster.”
Speed was the name of the game for DeFrancesco. He had to fight off Eves who was finally able to make his own pass on lap 49, fighting past Robb. Eves was able to go clean around the outside and then win what was a drag race to the finish line in less than a tenth of a second.
Not only was this DeFrancesco’s first ever Indy Pro 2000 win but it is his second ever first place finish in a race. You have to go back to 2017 in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship to find his other first-place win. He raced for the Carlin team then but of course now races for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport. In the Indy Pro 2000, he now has seven races under his belt with a win and four podiums.