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:
|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|