Cape Motorsports’ Michael d’Orlando triumphed in a thrilling battle with DEForce Racing’s Prescott Campbell to beat USF2000’s sole oval race of 2021 at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The pair started on the front and d’Orlando put himself into the lead at the start of the 75-lap race. Campbell slotted in behind and at no point was he more than a second off the lead.
Campbell had a couple of strong opportunities to get past. The first came on lap 46 but was just about unable to get through. The second came with a lunge on lap 62 that also didn’t quite come off.
The final major attempt came with 10 laps to go. Campbell drifted wide on the exit of Turn 2 and the pair connected, interlocking down the back straight, but both were able to continue.
Any damage sustained seemed to be less for d’Orlando than for Campbell, as third-placed Jace Denmark-Gessel had the best pace and pressured Campbell as the race came to its conclusion.
Regardless, d’Orlando came through to take his second win in USF2000 and his first of the season in the highest scoring race of the year.
Campbell narrowly held onto second ahead of Pabst Racing’s Denmark, who was almost pipped by DEForce’s Kiko Porto at the flag.
Exclusive Autosport’s Christian Brooks finished fifth ahead of championship leader Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Turn 3 Motorsport’s Josh Green, Pabst’s Josh Pierson and DEForce’s Nolan Siegel.
By far the most entertaining scrap of the race was over 10th, with Turn 3’s Dylan Christie coming out on top ahead of Cape with Ignite Autosport’s Spike Kohlbecker, Force Indy’s Myles Rowe and DEForce’s Ely Navarro.
Exclusive’s Matt Round-Garrido was in the scrap over 10th but retired with a mechanical issue and saw his title hopes extinguish further.
Race results (75 laps)
|1||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||29m22.0379s|
|2||Prescott Campbell||DEForce Racing||+0.5268s|
|3||Jace Denmark-Gessel||Pabst Racing||+0.9503s|
|4||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||+1.0468s|
|5||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||+5.7788s|
|6||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||+5.9328s|
|7||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||+6.1636s|
|8||Josh Pierson||Pabst Racing||+7.5531s|
|9||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||+8.0563s|
|10||Dylan Christie||Turn 3 Motorsport||+10.6016s|
|11||Spike Kohlbecker||Cape w/ Ignite Autosports||+10.6989s|
|12||Myles Rowe||Force Indy||+17.9502s|
|13||Ely Navarro||DEForce Racing||+22.6738s|
|14||Thomas Nepveu||Cape Motorsports||+1 lap|
|15||Evan Stamer||Cape w/ Ignite Autosports||+1 lap|
|16||Kent Vaccaro||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||+1 lap|
|17||Jackson Lee||JHDD||+1 lap|
|18||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||+1 lap|
|19||Michael Myers||Michael Myers Racing||+1 lap|
|20||Bijoy Garg||JHDD||+2 laps|
|21||Nathan Byrd||Legacy Autosport||+2 laps|
|22||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||+2 laps|
|23||Peter Vodanovich||JHDD||+3 laps|
|Ret||Matt Round-Garrido||Exclusive Autosport|
|Fastest lap: Campbell, 22.5188s