Home Featured Rowe charges to first USF2000 win with last-lap pass on Porto

Rowe charges to first USF2000 win with last-lap pass on Porto

by Peter Allen

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

Force Indy rookie Myles Rowe came from 10th on the grid to claim his first USF2000 victory, passing championship leader Kiko Porto just a few corners from the finish at New Jersey.

The field started the race on wet tyres but with a dry line already forming, and a few drivers further down the order headed into the pits at the end of the first racing lap to fit slick tyres.

Michael d’Orlando retained the lead from pole position ahead of Nolan Siegel and Porto, but Porto already moved to the lead on the second racing lap while his main championship rival d’Orlando fell to fourth.

Porto appeared to have the race under control ahead of his DEForce Racing team-mate Siegel before Rowe began to close.

Rowe capitalised on a fight between Josh Green and Jace Denmark to third to pass the latter with six laps to go, and found a way by Green on the inside of Turn 1 two laps later.

Rowe then quickly dealt with Siegel, but his efforts to catch Porto were hampered by Peter Vodanovich unlapping himself on slick tyres.

But Vodanovich getting past Porto helped Rowe to close to within 0.7 seconds away going onto the final lap, and he managed to make a move stick just a few corners from the chequered flag.

Second place for Porto still moves him closer to clinching the championship after d’Orlando finished back in 13th place. He will wrap up the title in race three if he can increase his lead from 51 points to over 66.

Sigel completed the podium ahead of Green and Denmark, with Prescott Campbell sixth.

Spike Kohlbecker was a distant seventh ahead of Ely Navarro, with Christian Weir in ninth the best of those to fit slick tyres, even though he went down a lap in the process.

Race results (20 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Myles Rowe Force Indy 29m46.5986s
2 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing +0.3250s
3 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing +5.9788s
4 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport +7.3642s
5 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +8.7844s
6 Prescott Campbell DEForce Racing +9.1799s
7 Spike Kohlbecker Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports +27.5959s
8 Ely Navarro DEForce Racing +29.0945s
9 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport +32.2256s
10 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport +32.3297s
11 Josh Pierson Pabst Racing +32.6367s
12 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport +33.2121s
13 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports +33.4003s
14 Thomas Nepveu Cape Motorsports +33.7334s
15 Dylan Christie Turn 3 Motorsport +33.8135s
16 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports +49.0268s
17 Evan Stamer Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports +58.0827s
18 Nathan Byrd Legacy Autosport +61.5483s
19 Peter Vodanovich Jay Howard Driver Development +76.9742s
20 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing +78.2519s
21 Kent Vaccaro Miller Vinatieri Motorsports +1 lap
22 Bijoy Garg Jay Howard Driver Development +1 lap
23 Michael Myers Michael Myers Racing +2 laps
Fastest lap: Weir, 1m20.4486s

Championship standings
Porto 355   2 d’Orlando 304   3 Sundaramoorthy 273   Brooks 253   Pierson 249    6 Green 204   7 Kohlbecker 200  8 Denmark 189   9 Nepveu 186   10 Campbell 185