Home News JHDD’s Tanner DeFabis wins the Freedom 75 in controlled style

JHDD’s Tanner DeFabis wins the Freedom 75 in controlled style

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Tanner DeFabis won the Freedom 75, the sole oval race of the USF2000 season, in controlled style on Saturday.

The race was supposed to take place on Friday evening, but heavy rain meant it was postponed to the next afternoon.

DeFabis qualified third behind DEForce Racing’s Nicolas Giaffone and DC Autosport’s Ayrton Houk, with DEForce’s Quinn Armstrong, Velocity Racing Development’s Max Taylor and JHDD’s Evagoras Papasavvas completing the top six in the starting order.

Giaffone led the early laps, as DeFabis marked himself out from his opposition by consistently running on the lower line while running in fourth. On lap four of 75 he started to attack Armstrong, and it took a few laps of side-by-side action before he was able to get ahead. He was then into second on lap eight by passing Houk, and made it onto the tail of the leader four laps after that.

No time was wasted and DeFabis got past Giaffone on the inside, then gradually began to pull away. He was a second clear by lap 19, and got the gap to two seconds 10 laps later. He was leading by 3.9s when a caution period was called on lap 47 as Houk spun exiting turn two and his out of control car was clipped by Taylor, who then went into the barriers.

Racing resumed on lap 56, and DeFabis went unchallenged by Giaffone. His lead was back up to a second by lap 61, and he finished 1.292s ahead.

Armstrong and Papasavvas held fourth and fifth in the middle of the race, until Taylor passed the latter on lap 37 due to a failed move Papasavvas had tried for third. Taylor started to attack Armstrong before he accidentally caught Houk’s car, and after the restart Papasavvas took third from Armstrong as Michael Costello made his way into sixth.

VRD’s Xavier Kokai charged through as the track went green again, going from seventh to fifth place with 11 laps to go. On lap 70, he went into the inside of Armstrong to take fourth. However, the latter reclaimed the place, meaning he had to settle for fifth in the end.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development’s Elliot Cox also made up places late on. He drove past Exclusive Autosport’s Joey Brienza shortly after the restart, then went on to overtake Costello for seventh place 10 laps later and eventually Max Garcia to be sixth at the chequered flag.

Race result (75 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Tanner DeFabis JHDD 32m00.681s
2 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing +1.292s
3 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +2.621s
4 Quinn Armtrong DEForce Racing +2.827s
5 Xavier Kokai VRD +3.436s
6 Elliot Cox SFHRD +5.906s
7 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +5.907s
8 Michael Costello JHDD +6.521s
9 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport +9.310s
10 Hudson Schwartz Pabst Racing +9.471s
11 Sam Corry Pabst Racing +10.113s
12 G3 Argyros JHDD +10.449s
13 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing +10.704s
14 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing +1 lap
15 Carson Etter DC Autosport +2 laps
Ret Ayrton Houk DC Autosport
Ret Max Taylor VRD
Ret Brady Golan DEForce Racing
Fastest lap: DeFabis, 21.492s

Championship standings
Garcia 205   Papasavvas 177   3 Corry 155   4 Taylor 127   5 Cox 122   6 Brienza 113   7 Armstrong 97   8 Giaffone 96   9 Schwartz 95   10 DeFabis 93