|Happy Race Week!
Just a few days after former USF2000 (and fellow 6’4”) driver Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500, the 2022 Cooper Tires USF2000 championship begins this weekend along with the rest of the Road to Indy and INDYCAR on the Streets of St Petersburg.
It somewhat feels like I’ve been living in Florida (which is not a bad thing during Winter). Over the past month or so, the amount of time spent down south preparing for the season has been more than any other season in my career. The team and I have estimated that we have nearly 1000 miles over the off season at Sebring International Raceway alone. Plus, extra track time at Homestead Miami Speedway and a December shake down test at Barber have provided a unique set of challenges and conditions that has efficiently prepared us for the coming season. But, testing is over. Now it counts!
In racing, it’s often said the first goal is to beat your teammate since they are in similar equipment. Any time I can do that this season, I’ll have a great chance at the podium or better! Cape Motorsports has assembled an outstanding lineup. Michael d’Orlando has F4 experience and nearly three seasons of USF2000 experience with wins each of the last two years and finished second in points last season. He is regarded by almost everyone as the favorite. Jagger Jones is the son of versatile driver P.J. Jones and the legendary Parnelli Jones and was a karting superstar before spending time in stock cars and winning in the ARCA West series. He’s been super impressive in testing. Nicky Hays also recently joined the team as the fourth driver. Ironically, I first met Nicky on my very first day in a race car at the Skip Barber school at Willow Springs in California. He has run up front in F4 in the U.S. and in Europe and in F3 and also has sports car experience. All four of us have taken turns leading test sessions and we all get along great and work well together. While we all want to win, we also want to make sure Cape wins the championship again for the first time in three years.
I’ve attached my schedule for the weekend below and how you can follow along with timing and scoring for all sessions and a YouTube broadcast of both races (and maybe practice too). If you are coming to St Pete, the USF2000 drivers will be featured with an autograph session during an INDYCAR fan event in North Straub Park near the track at 5pm on Saturday. The event is from 4-6pm.
We are looking forward to hosting many of our friends including from Race for RP, Browning Chapman Specialty Contractors, SPRUCE Cold Brew Coffee and Lake Cable Consulting and representing the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and all of our partners
Let us know if you make it to the track to cheer on the #2 IU Simon Cancer Center/Browning Chapman/Spruce/Race for RP car!