Pabst Racing’s Myles Rowe claimed pole for the first USF2000 race of the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
Rowe had initially looked uncertain to compete this weekend, having retired from the opening race of the season in St. Petersburg in a big crash that proved costly to himself and the team and left him searching for budget for future rounds.
Winning the second race of that weekend helped Rowe’s financial search, and he found the money needed to extend his time in the championship by another two races.
He was one of the frontrunners in free practice at Barber, along with Billy Frazer, Bijoy Garg and Thomas Nepveu, and their fight for the fastest laps continued into qualifying.
It was Legacy Autosport’s Simon Sikes however who was ahead of all four early on in qualifying, setting a 1m22.6724s to lead a top four spread by 0.0658 seconds with 10 minutes to go of the session.
Frazer moved from fourth to first with seven minutes left, going a full four tenths faster than Sikes, then Garg went quickest with 4m50 to go and by two tenths of a second over Garg. Nepveu rose to third at the time time, while Rowe set a lap good enough for fifth.
He was still getting up to speed though, and in the final minute became the first driver to break the 1m22s barrier this weekend. Sikes came through and couldn’t match him, only qualifying fourth, while Cape Motorsports’ Jagger Jones snuck up to third behind Garg.
His team-mate Michael d’Orlando improved to fifth, and with Frazer having found no more pace in the final seven minutes he ended up qualifying down in sixth.
Nepveu was seventh, beating Christian Weir to the position by just 0.0017s.
Having recently reached the age of 14, the minimum age to drive, Jay Howard Driver Development’s Danny Dyszelski made his first appearance and he was only 1.4656s off the pace.
|1||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||1m21.9164s||13|
|2||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||1m22.0412s||+0.1248s||12|
|3||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||1m22.0916s||+0.1752s||11|
|4||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||1m22.1940s||+0.2776s||12|
|5||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1m22.2270s||+0.3106s||13|
|6||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||1m22.2492s||+0.3328s||14|
|7||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||1m22.4765s||+0.5601s||12|
|8||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m22.4782s||+0.5618s||12|
|9||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||1m22.5484s||+0.6320s||12|
|10||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||1m22.5817s||+0.6653s||11|
|11||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1m22.7082s||+0.7918s||12|
|12||Spike Kohlbecker||Turn 3 w/ Ignite Autosport||1m22.8601s||+0.9437s||12|
|13||Viktor Andersson||Velocity Racing Development||1m22.8647s||+0.9483s||11|
|14||Jackson Lee||Cape Motorsports||1m22.8812s||+0.9648s||12|
|15||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||1m22.9761s||+1.0597s||14|
|16||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||1m23.2686s||+1.3522s||14|
|19||Yeoroo Lee||Velocity Racing Development||1m24.1701s||+2.2537s||7|