LEXINGTON, Ohio – The wide-open nature of this year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was exemplified perfectly at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action over 25-lap contests at the midweek Grand Prix in honor of First Responders.
Pre-event points leader Danial Frost, racing with Turn 3 Motorsport was within a tenth of a second as the top seven were blanketed by less than a half-second. A brief full-course caution after nine laps, following a spin by Colin Kaminsky of Pabst Racing in Turn Four, saw Frost following hard in the trail of Petrov in the lead, followed by Eves, Parker Thompson and DeFrancesco, who was also on the move after qualifying eighth.
Some rain sprinkles added even more spice to the closing stages as the on-track action intensified. Eight cars were packed together in the battle for second, with positions changing on a regular basis. Frost lost out to Robb whilst in third position with just three laps remaining. A mistake on the final lap saw Frost slip all the way to eighth behind Thompson, DEForce Racing teammate Manuel Sulaiman, McElrea and Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing).
After being involved in early incidents, Jacob Loomis (BNRacing with Team Benik), from Corinth, Texas, Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill., and Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), from Sugar Land, Texas, all took advantage of the opportunity to make pit stops and take a fresh set of Cooper tires. Among those who didn’t have the luxury of fresh tires, Frost, Robb, Petrov and McElrea were blanketed by just 0.0105 of a second. They would line up from fourth to seventh on the grid.
The track was entirely dry again for the final race and, unsurprisingly, the action was intense during the early stages.
Frost muscled his way past Loomis on the opening lap. A couple of laps later, after somehow managing to race side-by-side all the way from Turn Four to Turn Nine, the pair clashed wheels as they headed up Thunder Valley. Kaminsky headed forlornly to the pits, his race done, whilst Frost lost his positioning, although being able to continue, ended up at the back of the pack.
Despite this, Frost did gain a small consolation of a championship point for the fastest lap. This offered quite the relief, given the broken front wing and damage on the rear right that had to be managed. Frost ended at 12th position for the race, dropping down to 3rd place in overall season standings.
The next race for the Indy Pro 2000 season, Round 8, is on August 21st at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN.