Home News Johnson passes Hughes to win USF Pro 2000 race two in St. Pete

Johnson passes Hughes to win USF Pro 2000 race two in St. Pete

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson took victory in USF Pro 2000’s second race on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Lochie Hughes claimed pole for the race by 0.457 seconds with his second-best laptime from qualifying, with Danny Dyszelski and Christian Brooks second and third on the grid. Johnson’s fastest lap from race one put him alongside Brooks on row two, with Liam Sceats, Braden Eves, Jace Denmark and Frankie Mossman filling the next two rows.

Johnson passed Brooks and then Dyszelski on lap one to get into second, but initially could do nothing about challenging Hughes up front.

That changed on lap eight when a caution period bunched up the field. Hunter Yeany had squeezed himself down the inside of Ethan Ho and sent the rear of Ho’s car spinning into the barriers. The rear wing flew off and the car bounced back onto track and into the path of Shawn Rashid who hit it at speed.

Racing resumed on lap 12 and Hughes began to create a small but managable gap up front again. However it all counted for little when the race was neutralised again on lap 18 due to Avery Towns having spun into the barrier at turn eight.

The field was racing again by lap 20, and Johnson did the cutback to get alongside Hughes through turn two and then into the lead.

He was soon pulling away, and met the chequered flag on lap 25 with two seconds in hand.

Brooks had got himself into third but then lost the position to Dyszelski on lap 21 and two laps later was passed by Mossman too to finish fifth and only just ahead of Sceats.

Denmark secured seventh place with an overtake on Eves early in the race, and following the last restart there was plenty of battling between Eves and Mac Clark for eighth place and it was Eves who held on to the position.

Ricardo Escotto could have finished 10th were it not for being hit by his BN Racing team-mate Nicolas Baptiste on the last lap. Baptiste retired, while Escotto made it to the finish in 17th.

Yeany was sent to the back of the back as he was found accountable for the clash with Ho, but from there he was able to make his way back up to 13th place.

Race result (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nikita Johnson VRD 35m48.4223s
2 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport +2.0391s
3 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +5.1795s
4 Frankie Mossman JHDD +8.5990s
5 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +9.1515s
6 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +9.3744s
7 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +10.8301s
8 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +11.2340s
9 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +12.1391s
10 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +13.5855s
11 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +14.0293s
12 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +14.6308s
13 Hunter Yeany TJ Speed +15.1981s
14 Adam Fitzgerald Turn 3 Motorsport +16.8645s
15 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +17.3724s
16 Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport +19.4839s
17 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +1m01.0545s
18 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +1 lap
Ret Avery Towns Exclusive Autosport
Ret Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Shawn Rashid VRD
DNS David Morales TJ Speed
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m09.6979s

Championship standings
1 Hughes 59   2 Johnson 51   Brooks 42   4 Sceats 37   5 Mossman 32   6 Eves 30   7 Clark 27   8 Dyszelski 24   9 Yeany 22   10 Garciarce 21