Home News Siegel wins in USF2000 as field split on pitstop strategy on drying track

Siegel wins in USF2000 as field split on pitstop strategy on drying track

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

USF2000’s New Jersey Motorsports Park round concluded with a race that started with grooved tyres on a drying track, and led to split-strategy action won by Nolan Siegel.

The field was led around by the pace car for the first lap, with everyone on grooved tyres on a wet track, but after the first lap of green flag running there were several drivers who pitted for slicks including Pabst Racing’s Jace Denmark and Yuven Sundaramoorthy.

Initially the slick tyre strategy didn’t seem to pay off, but in the second half of the race those who had pitted were up to five seconds per lap faster than the drivers at the front of the field.

Cape Motorsports’ Michael d’Orlando started from pole and led the first nine laps, but on each of those had DEForce Racing’s Siegel attempting to pass him around the outside of the first corner.

When Siegel finally got it done on lap 10 of 20 they actually touched wheels down the pit straight, and then d’Orlando got loose at the exit of turn two and conceded second place to Turn 3 Motorsport’s Josh Green.

Once ahead, Siegel masterly managed the temperature of his tyres to pull away by more than five seconds as Sundaramoorthy charged up the pack.

He’d gone from 18th to 10th by half-distance, and with a couple of double moves made his way into sixth with two laps to go. Next up was championship leader Kiko Porto, who put up some defences on his grooved tyres but couldn’t keep him his title rival at bay.

Sundaramoorthy made up another two spots, including passing d’Orlando, to take the final spot on the podium. He’s now out of the title battle though, even though Porto dropped to eighth on the last lap.

Denmark’s post-pitstop run took him to seventh, behind Turn 3’s Christian Weir, and only two seconds off fourth place.

Race results (20 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 29m38.3043s
2 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport +2.9665s
3 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing +8.6947s
4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports +12.7811s
5 Josh Pierson Pabst Racing +14.8251s
6 Christian Weir Turn 3 Motorsport +14.9211s
7 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +14.9482s
8 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing +16.1454s
9 Prescott Campbell DEForce Racing +20.8165s
10 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport +26.4869s
11 Spike Kohlbecker Cape w/ Ignite Autosports +28.5062s
12 Ely Navarro DEForce Racing +29.2615s
13 Dylan Christie Turn 3 Motorsport +29.4553s
14 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports +29.4866s
15 Thomas Nepveu Cape Motorsports +53.3629s
16 Myles Rowe Force Indy +54.9833s
17 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport +55.7536s
18 Kent Vaccaro Miller Vinatieri Motorsports +1m08.7296s
19 Bijoy Garg Jay Howard Driver Development +1 lap
20 Evan Stamer Cape w/ Ignite Autosports +1 lap
21 Michael Myers Michael Myers Racing +1 lap
22 Peter Vodanovich Jay Howard Driver Development +2 laps
Ret Nathan Byrd Legacy Autosport
Fastest lap: Sundaramoorthy, 1m19.9521s

Championship standings
Porto 367   2 d’Orlando 319   3 Sundaramoorthy 295   4 Pierson 266   5 Brooks 257   6 Green 229   7 Kohlbecker 210   8 Denmark 203   9 Campbell 197   10 Nepveu 193