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Askew seals USF2000 title with second to VeeKay at Watkins Glen

by Ida Wood

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

A year on from winning the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, Oliver Askew triumphed on the next stage of the MRTI ladder with a second place in the USF2000 title decider at Watkins Glen.

Askew took pole but lost the lead on the first lap to title rival Rinus VeeKay.

He knew that if VeeKay won the race he would only needed fifth to secure the title, and so he did not lay chase as the Dutchman rocketed into a lead that ballooned to almost 10 seconds.

The Dutchman also smashed the lap record by over five seconds.

Although VeeKay?s Pabst Racing Services team-mate Calvin Ming was often within half a second of Askew, he never seriously threatened, and thus Askew crossed the line for his 11th podium of the season and the coveted championship.

Kaylen Frederick finished fourth for Team Pelfrey, with BN Racing?s David Malukas putting in a wonder drive from 14th on the grid to take fifth, pinching the position off DEForce Racing driver Andres Gutierrez on the last lap.

Kory Enders was close behind in seventh, followed by Darren Keane, Lucas Kohl and Robert Megennis.

Reigning Formula Ford Festival champion and 2016 MRTI Shootout contestant Niall Murray made a one-off appearance, qualifying ninth but retiring before half-distance with mechanical issues.

Race Results (16 laps)
1 Rinus VeeKay Pabst 30m27.569s
2 Oliver Askew Cape +9.6053s
3 Calvin Ming Pabst +10.1323s
4 Kaylen Frederick Pelfrey +14.6671s
5 David Malukas BN Racing +16.1807s
6 Andres Gutierrez DEForce +17.1341s
7 Kory Enders DEForce +17.7666s
8 Darren Keane Newman Wachs +22.3008s
9 Lucas Kohl Pabst +25.9221s
10 Robert Megennis Pelfrey +26.9865s
11 Alex Baron ArmsUP +27.5928s
12 Callan O?Keeffe Team BENIK+28.0363s
13 Phillippe Denes Pelfrey +28.5008s
14 Devin Wojcik ArmsUp +35.0753s
15 Bruna Tomaselli ArmsUp +52.2020s
16 Parker Thompson Exclusive Autosport +1m00.6116s
17 Dev Gore Exclusive Autosport +1m06.2301s
18 Jayson Clunie Exclusive Autosport +1m13.8407s
Ret Niall Murray Newman Wachs
Ret Zach Holden BN Racing
Fastest Lap: VeeKay, 1m46.786s

Championship Standings
1 Askew 351 2 VeeKay 344 3 Thompson 269 4 Frederick 240 5 Ming 207 6 Megennis 173 7 Kohl 160 8 Wojcik 140 9 Enders 138 10 Malukas 108