Home News Nikita Johnson unbeatable again in USF Pro 2000

Nikita Johnson unbeatable again in USF Pro 2000

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson took another USF Pro 2000 win in race two on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

Although the poleman lost the lead at turn one on the opening lap to TJ Speed’s Liam Sceats, once he got back past him at the same corner with a canny move on lap four he was untouchable and was 6.8264 seconds clear by the end of the 25-lap race.

Sceats could not pull more than half a second away from Johnson in the early laps, and once he was back in second place he initially had to check for Turn 3 Motorsport’s Lochie Hughes in his mirrors. Although Hughes could match his pace, he never tried overtaking Sceats and instead settled for third place.

Pabst Racing’s Hunter Yeany qualified fourth and held the position until lap 18 when team-mate Jace Denmark went side-by-side with him through turn one, got a pass completed at turn three but then went side-by-side with him again exiting turn seven. That ended with Yeany going off and dropping to eighth. He lost that position to Jay Howard Driver Development’s Frankie Mossman on the next lap, then when he tried getting back past him at turn one next time by they made contact. Mossman got a five-second penalty, and Yeany went off the track and fell down to 12th place.

Exclusive Autosport’s Braden Eves battled with Pabst’s Christian Brooks over sixth early on, then briefly fell to eighth when BN Racing’s Nicolas Baptiste made a turn one move on lap five but then locked up and dropped back behind. Eves got back ahead of Brooks two laps later then pulled away from the battles behind.

Baptiste was also able to get past Brooks, and it took until lap 23 for the latter to get back ahead. Yeany’s fall down the order then meant he finished the race back in sixth.

Mossman made an even later move on Baptiste but his penalty demoted him from seventh to 11th, with Danny Dyszelski, Nicholas Monteiro and Ethan Ho completing the top 10.

Pabst’s Simon Sikes finished a lapped 16th but almost beat Johnson to the fastest lap after he pitted for fresh tyres, DEForce Racing’s Jorge Garciarce retired from 13th with an issue on lap 20, Turn 3’s Tyke Durst was a non-finisher after multiple trips to the pits and Logan Adams was a non-starter due to a fuel pump issue.

Race result (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nikita Johnson VRD 36m10.0835s
2 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +6.8264s
3 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport +7.4993s
4 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +14.8924s
5 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +17.0701s
6 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +24.7630s
7 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +27.1400s
8 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +27.2213s
9 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +30.2640s
10 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +30.6115s
11 Frankie Mossman JHDD +31.3981s
12 Hunter Yeany Pabst Racing +36.7969s
13 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +1m03.1176s
14 Arturo Flores BN Racing +1m23.3337s
15 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing! +1 lap
16 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +1 lap
Ret Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing
Ret Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Mac Clark DEForce Racing
Ret Adam Fitzgerald Turn 3 Motorsport
DNS Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m22.7357s

Championship standings
1 Johnson 207   2 Yeany 128   3 Hughes 119   4 Sceats 113   5 Brooks 108   6 Denmark 105   7 Baptiste 85   8 Clark 83   9 Sikes 82   10 Dyszelski 81