It is finally the month of May in Indianapolis! We’ve already had our first race of the month at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend. There was a lot of potential for a good result, but unfortunately, the pieces just didn’t fall into place.
In race 1, we had an unfortunate start. The two cars in my line ahead of me ran into each other and slowed up quite a bit. This forced me to jump out of line to miss them. By the rules, since I jumped out of line, I received a jump start penalty even if it was for avoiding contact. I was given a drive-through penalty which, with a caution-free race, took me out of the race completely. The good news is I was able to run quick lap times. I was about a tenth off the leader’s pace so I knew I could be quick for race 2.
During Qualifying for race 2, I had much better pace than what I had for Q1. I was up to 2nd on the first used tire run. When we put the second set of sticker Cooper Tires on, I was sitting between 5th and 7th and near the end of a much better lap when a red flag came out. After it restarted, we didn’t have enough time to build heat in the tires and had already passed the peak of the tire. This put me back in P10 for the race.
Barber is known for being a tough place to pass after the opening lap. I lost a few spots in the chaos of the first lap and then got them back by the end of the 2nd lap and then was stuck in 10th for most of the race. I picked up one more spot to finish 9th because of a penalty on another driver. I believe I was faster than a few cars in front of me but because of the nature of the track, I couldn’t get around them. So, qualifying continues to be a big focus.
Now it’s on to Indianapolis. I’m super excited to get to race in front of my home crowd. We were fast here during the series test last fall (2nd overall by .01 to my teammate Jagger Jones), so I know we have a good shot to run up front. Along with that, Indy is always a special place for every race car driver. But since I have spent every May for the past 12 years at the Speedway, I feel it means a little more to me.
I can’t wait to get back to the Yard of Bricks and hopefully see many of you. We have practice on Thursday, our first race is Friday at 11:45 and then races on Saturday at 8am and 11:15 before the 3:30 INDYCAR race. We also have a full field USF2000 autograph session on Friday at 1:30 in the Fan Village. I’m confident we will be able to pull together a good result this weekend!
Thanks to Cape Motorsports for all of their hard work, and thanks to the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, Race for RP, Browning Chapman, Spruce Haven Farm, Doug Mockett & Company, Caldwell Realty, and Caldwell Subways of Hobart/Valparaiso, Cox Beckman Goss & Company, Prime 47, Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery and High Alpha.
And remember, for weekend updates, follow me on twitter at @jacksonlee52.
Thank you for all of your support and I look forward to what’s to come!