Barber USF2000: Askew leads all the way
Oliver Askew scored his second win of the USF2000 season with victory in the opening round of the series’ double-header at Barber Motorsports Park.
The Cape Motorsports driver, who had started from pole position, made no discernible errors as he kept himself just out of reach of his nearest pursuers, Kaylen Frederick of Team Pelfrey and Rinus VeeKay who prevented a U.S.-dominated podium.
Askew led from the rolling start, making fellow front-row starter Frederick look like he’d grabbed the wrong gear, but the Team Pelfrey driver managed to hold onto third ahead of VeeKay (Pabst Racing) Pelfrey’s Robert Megennis, Exclusive Autosport’s Parker Thompson and Dakota Dickerson of Newman Wachs Racing.
It took until Lap 6 for Askew to eke out a 0.8sec lead; then Frederick started whittling it down while staying clear of VeeKay. But as his pursuers closed in, Team USA Scholarship winner Askew seemed to find another gear, so that by Lap 10, his lead was over 1sec. At this point, VeeKay was over a second clear of fourth place man Megennis, and therefore able to focus on trying to grab second from Frederick.
However, on Lap 12, these gaps became irrelevant as the full course yellow was thrown. This was caused by a spin-off at the final turn by Askew’s Cape teammate Ricky Donison, who had qualified mid-grid but dropped to the rear of the field following an opening-lap incident.
When the green flag flew with six minutes of the race remaining, Askew was not about to let the race slip away and he had a 0.3sec lead even as he crossed the start/finish line. He held on to pass the checkered flag 0.2sec clear of Frederick, with VeeKay also within one second of the winner.
Megennis, Thompson, Dickerson and another Pabst car, that of Calvin Ming, were fourth through seventh.
Ayla Agren (Pelfrey) made a late pass on Newman Wachs’ Andre Castro to snatch eighth with just three minutes left on the clock, and promptly set her two fastest laps of the race. The second Exclusive car of Luke Gabin completed the Top 10.
Barber USF2000: Askew takes pole for Race 1
Barber USF2000: Askew doubles up in dominant style