USF2000 champion Braden Eves took his first Road to Indy eSeries win in the Mid-Ohio season finale on, as Phillippe Denes became the inaugural champion by finishing second.
RP Motorsport’s Denes took pole and the point that goes with it, but Exclusive Autosport’s Eves got the jump at the start and gradually opened up a lead to Denes.
That gap extended to four seconds as the pit stop window approached. Denes stopped three laps before Eves but was unable to close up through that phase of the race.
Eves then built a further gap before dropping back slightly, winning by 2.96s at the end. It turned out the new champion had suffered a difficult run in second, with hardware difficulties and a low frame rate holding him back through the race.
Rounding out the podium was Eduardo Barrichello, who finished all five races in the top three and was title runner-up.
The Pabst Racing driver started sixth but inherited third when Exclusive’s Christian Brooks spun out of third on lap one, which resulted in Turn 3 Motorsport boss Peter Dempsey rolling over ? something he would do again at the same corner later on.
Barrichello then engaged in a lengthy battle with DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto, while Brooks recovered to also be in that scrap and Legacy Autosports Andre Castro got in the mix too.
One by one, the quartet dropped from that scrap ? with Castro being nerfed out after being tapped by Brooks while lapping former Indy Lights racer Ryan Norman. Porto then crashed while following Barrichello, shortly after being passed by him.
Castro’s team-mate Cameron Shields avoided the carnage ahead to finish fourth, ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Danial Frost. BN Racing’s Jacob Loomis climbed 12 places to finish sixth, holding off Turn 3’s Antoine Comeau right to the line.
Castro recovered to finish eighth, ahead of Pabst’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Exclusive’s Prescott Campbell.