Pabst Racing’s Myles Rowe has moved back into the USF2000 points lead as he dominated the first Mid-Ohio race while title rival Michael d’Orlando finished a lap down.
D’Orlando challenged poleman Rowe through the first three laps, trying the outside of The Keyhole and the inside of turn four on lap one, then the inside of turn four again on lap two.
This time he was able to run side-by-side through to The Esses but somehow Rowe stayed ahead and then Jay Howard Driver Development’s debuting Lochie Hughes was able to sneak inside d’Orlando for the second place at turn nine.
The battling up front was paused on lap three as Spike Kohlbecker had an incident towards the back of the pack and the safety car was called out for one lap. During the safety car lap, d’Orlando pitted to inspect damage on his car and it sent him to the back of the field.
Rowe went unchallenged once racing resumed, building up a lead of 8.8492 seconds to take his third win of the season.
Hughes held on to second all the way to the finish, despite some intense pressure from Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson and later Pabst’s Jace Denmark, but the series debutant lost his podium finish as his car failed post-race technical inspections.
That meant Denmark finished second, just ahead of Exclusive Autosport’s Billy Frazer who had run in fifth early on, fell to 11th and then charged his way back up the order.
Cape Motorsports’ Jagger Jones followed him across the line in what would be fourth, and Jacob Douglas just held off Christian Weir for fifth.
Nicky Hays won his battle with Dylan Christie for what was initially ninth place but became seventh after Hughes’ disqualification and Johnson’s off that dropped him out of the race once he took to the pits.
Early on there was further drama for JHDD, as Evagoras Papasavvas lost his front wing on lap one and Jorge Garciarce lost his rear wing on lap two.
D’Orlando finished a lap back in 14th, and is now 18 points behind Rowe in the title race.
Race results (20 laps)
|1||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||28m41.1648s|
|2||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||+8.8492s|
|3||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||+9.6396s|
|4||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||+10.8520s|
|5||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||+13.1643s|
|6||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||+13.7940s|
|7||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||+14.1486s|
|8||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||+16.8203s|
|9||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||+17.1978s|
|11||Viktor Andersson||Velocity Racing Development||+20.0088s|
|12||Jackson Lee||Cape Motorsports||+21.3251s|
|13||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||+23.6077s|
|14||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||+1 lap|
|15||Nicholas d’Orlando||Velocity Racing Development||+1 lap|
|Ret||Nikita Johnson||Velocity Racing Development|
|Ret||Spike Kohlbecker||Ignite Autosport w/ Turn 3|
|Fastest lap: Rowe, 1m22.9302s