Home Featured Johnson extends early USFP2000 points lead with NOLA win

Johnson extends early USFP2000 points lead with NOLA win

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Nikita Johnson dominated proceedings to take victory in the second USF Pro 2000 race of the weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park.

The Velocity Racing Development driver came from fifth on the grid to take the lead just after the halfway point of the 18-lap race, and pulled away to finish 3.5 seconds clear of Hunter Yeany.

Yeany started from pole and got a good getaway while Johnson struggled to make progress in the opening lap. The safety car was summoned after Danny Dyszelski stopped at turn seven, with racing not resuming until lap four.

Johnson was immediately on the move on the restart, quickly picking off Mac Clark and Simon Sikes. A mistake for Jace Denmark allowed all three drivers behind him to come through, but there was still Nicolas Baptiste between Johnson and the race leader.

Baptiste defended hard, allowing Yeany to escape up the road slightly, but Johnson managed to find a way past. It did not take long to close the gap to Yeany and the pair were side-by-side at the mid-point of the race. Although Yeany held him off for several laps, his defences were eventually broken on lap 11.

Yeany was then unable to stick with Johnson, who gradually pulled out a gap of 3.5261 seconds.

A late incident for Lochie Hughes, who came into the weekend as points leader, threatened to neutralise the race a lap before the end, but the incident was covered by local yellow flag and racing continued into the final lap.

Sikes and Clark closed onto the back of Yeany but ran out of time before they could make a move, allowing the TJ Speed driver to follow up his race one win with a second place.

Baptiste dropped to fifth ahead of Ricardo Escotto, who came up from ninth on the grid. Denmark slipped further back to finish seventh, ahead of Liam Sceats and Jorge Garciarce. Christian Brooks had been on for a strong finish, but slipped back to 11th late on. He managed to recover to take 10th by the chequered flag.

Race result (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nikita Johnson VRD 30m26.8839s
2 Hunter Yeany TJ Speed +3.5261s
3 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +3.9747s
4 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +4.6405s
5 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +8.2908s
6 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +8.7849s
7 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +9.1880s
8 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +11.8949s
9 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +12.9280s
10 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +13.8039s
11 Frankie Mossman JHDD +14.1882s
12 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +16.7776s
13 Adam Fitzgerald Turn 3 Motorsport +17.5690s
14 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +19.9036s
15 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +20.4438s
16 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +20.5735s
17 Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret David Morales TJ Speed
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m31.4282s

Championship standings
1 Johnson 107   2 Yeany 78   3 Brooks 66   4 Hughes 64   5 Clark 63   6 Mossman 54   7 Sceats 53   8 Denmark 52   9 Baptiste 47   10 Dyszelski 45