Home News Simon Sikes secures his first USF Pro 2000 win at Indianapolis

Simon Sikes secures his first USF Pro 2000 win at Indianapolis

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Reigning USF2000 champion Simon Sikes claimed his first USF Pro 2000 win in race three of the weekend on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

The Pabst Racing driver lined up second on the grid courtesy of his best laptime from race two, with Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson on pole and Lochie Hughes (Turn 3 Motorsport) and Hunter Yeany (Pabst) filling row two.

They went four-wide into turn one on the opening lap, and Hughes merged with the lead ahead of Johnson, Sikes and TJ Speed’s Liam Sceats. Johnson tried reclaiming first place at the same corner on lap two but failed, however another opportunity presented itself later in the lap and he moved ahead.

Sikes passed Hughes the lap after, and was a second behind Johnson at the end of lap four. That gap started to decrease on lap five as Sikes set fastest lap after fastest lap, but when Johnson snatched back that achievement on lap eight it brought his lead to back over a second.

He then properly began to pull away, putting 1.8s between himself and Sikes by lap 13. But Sikes then slashed the gap by 0.4s, and he began lap 17 0.78s behind the leader. Sikes continued to close in, and on lap 20 he was firmly in Johnson’s slipstream as he started the lap just 0.29s behind. At turn one he picked the outside line and got alongside him, with the move for the lead completed through turn two.

At the same time Hughes closed back in on them, having been trailing by around two seconds before that, and by filling Johnson’s mirrors through the remaining laps it enabled Sceats to get comfortable up front and win by 0.7085s.

Yeany got back past Sceats for fourth on lap 22 of 25, picking the outside line at turn one, and team-mate Jace Denmark finished sixth after passing Jay Howard Driver Development’s Frankie Mossman on lap 10. Two laps later Mossman was demoted to eighth by Christian Brooks, another Pabst driver.

BN Racing duo Ricardo Escotto and Nicolas Baptiste squabbled over ninth for several laps, with the decisive pass being made in Escotto’s favour on lap 18.

Race result (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing 35m03.3641s
2 Nikita Johnson VRD +0.7085s
3 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport +1.2748s
4 Hunter Yeany Pabst Racing +7.2038s
5 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +7.8854s
6 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +8.1709s
7 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +11.9298s
8 Frankie Mossman JHDD +12.7331s
9 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +16.3552s
10 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +17.4495s
11 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +17.7397s
12 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +20.7946s
13 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +26.3482s
14 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +27.3311s
15 Adam Fitzgerald Turn 3 Motorsport +29.5460s
16 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +29.7659s
17 Arturo Flores BN Racing +1 lap
18 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing! +1 lap
Ret Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Mac Clark DEForce Racing
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m23.3885s

Championship standings
1 Johnson 235   2 Yeany 147   3 Hughes 141   4 Sceats 130   5 Brooks 122   6 Denmark 120   7 Sikes 112   8 Baptiste 96   9 Escotto 92   10 Clark 84