By Patrick Stephan of TrackSideOnline.com presented by Honda Racing/HPD.

USF2000 race #2 of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg got started promptly at 8:55am.  This is actually a little later for them, they had been starting at 8:00 – so they all got to sleep in a bit.

Jake Eidson returned to the pole position thanks to a fast lap set in Race 1 of 1:13.8173, keeping his perfect weekend intact.  He got a nice clean start and this time everyone made it through turn one.

By the end of lap one, the order was as they started with Eidson leading Aaron Telitz, Nico Jamin, Jordan Lloyd, and Anthony Martin.

Lloyd was the interloper there as he had finished race #1 in eighth, otherwise this was pretty much our top five from yesterday also. Lloyd was involved in that first lap incident, so he really had a good race, just wasn’t able to capitalize on his own top five starting spot.

Victor Franzoni was the first car out as he pulled off at the end of lap 1 after starting the race in sixth. Note that Augie Lerch didn’t start the race after his heavy contact in Race #1 left that car in the paddock.  Yufeng Luo also had issues and had to pit, losing 3 laps, and then returning to the race.

The race settled in pretty quickly, and we ran clean and green through lap 7.  On the 8th lap, there was contact (which we couldn’t see) reportedly between Parker Thompson and Garth Rickards.   Going in to the lap Rickards was in 6th, but he didn’t make it out of turn two as the contact sent him in to the wall – with his rear wing then being seen bouncing down the track.

The race restarted on lap 15, and we had a good battle for second between Telitz and and Jamin.  They ran side by side through 1, 2, and 3, but Telitz was able to hold the preferred line in to turn four and keep the spot.

Back at start finish to complete lap 15 and the order was Eidson, Telitz, Jamin, Lloyd, Martin, Thompson, Andres Soori, Lastochkin, Gabin, Agren, Hanratty, List, Dayson, Luo, Rickards, Franzoni, Lerch.

Eidson had opened up a 0.6 lead over Telitz by the end of lap 16, and Telitz was still being pressured a bit by Jamin who was a couple car lengths back entering turn one – not quite close enough to attempt a move.

Also a battle for fourth as Anthony Martin as got past Jordan Lloyd in turn 10.

With Eidson slowly stretching his lead, the race came down to a calm finish after 20 laps – they just got that last lap in by about 2 seconds – and Eidson completed his complete sweep and domination of the opening Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

The top 5 at the line was, Eidson, Telitz, Jamin, Martin and Lloyd.

So, this makes young Jake Eidson our championship leader.   Eidson got his racing start less than a mile (as the crow flies) from my house at the Bandimere Speedway go-kart track.  He grew up in Littleton, CO, but now spends most of his time in Destin, Florida as that is where his airline pilot parents are based.

Jake makes a conscious effort to thank his parents in nearly every interview as like many (if not most) of the drivers at this level, he would likely be out of the sport without their financial support.

USF2000 Race #2 Results – St. Pete:

Pos Car Name Laps Diff ST Status Team
1 22 Jake Eidson 20 1 Active Pabst Racing
2 3 Aaron Telitz 20 0.4042 2 Active Cape Motorsports w/WTR
3 2 Nico Jamin 20 1.9544 3 Active Cape Motorsports w/WTR
4 33 Anthony Martin 20 4.7219 5 Active John Cummiskey Racing
5 94 Jordan Lloyd 20 5.4267 4 Active John Cummiskey Racing
6 80 Parker Thompson 20 7.7421 7 Active JDC MotorSports
7 5 Keyvan Andres Soori 20 12.2990 10 Active ArmsUp Motorsports
8 84 Nikita Lastochkin 20 12.6807 12 Active Team Pelfrey
9 82 Luke Gabin 20 13.2470 11 Active Team Pelfrey
10 81 Ayla Agren 20 16.0623 13 Active Team Pelfrey
11 6 Max Hanratty 20 17.1037 14 Active ArmsUp Motorsports
12 61 Andrew List 20 23.3611 17 Active D2D Motorsports
13 16 James Dayson 20 32.8627 16 Active ArmsUp Motorsports
14 23 Yufeng Luo 17 3 LAPS 8 Active Pabst Racing
15 83 Garth Rickards 7 11.6490 9 Contact Team Pelfrey
16 17 Victor Franzoni 1 20.8945 6 Mechanical Afterburner Autosport
17 12 Augie Lerch 1 LAPS 15 DNS JAY Motorsports