INDIANAPOLIS – There’s no stopping Oliver Askew. The 20-year-old captured his second win in as many days on Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road course in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship competition.
Teenaged Dutchman Rinus VeeKay finished second for Pabst Racing, while Kaylen Frederick, profited from a last-lap incident to finish third for Team Pelfrey.
Following a full-course caution due to a multi-car incident in turn one, Askew, who on Friday had secured his fourth straight pole position, pulled clear of his rivals by the completion of the first lap of green-flag racing.
VeeKay jumped ahead of front row starter Frederick into second place at the restart and quickly made the place his own, leaving Dakota Dickerson (Newman Wachs Racing), who made a lightning start to vault from seventh to fourth at the original start, to come under pressure from Robert Megennis.
Canadian Parker Thompson slotted into fifth for Exclusive Autosport until a sticking throttle caused him to run briefly off the road and lose several positions on lap 11. Callan O’Keeffe continued his strong showing on his North American debut for Team Benik, moving up into fifth before also running into mechanical difficulties, which eventually forced him to pull off course with less than five minutes remaining in the half-hour race.
The officials had no alternative but to call for a full-course caution, which ended with enough time for a one-lap dash to the checkered flag. Askew took the win by 1.2488 seconds over VeeKay.
“I definitely didn’t want to see that yellow,” said Askew of the late-race caution flag. “I had such a big lead and then to have to regroup and try to figure out how to break away again was tough. I had to make a plan and execute it. Our pace here is fantastic; the Cape team gave me a great car. I tried not to look in my mirrors, especially at the start – I just went to Turn One as deep as I could and tried not to get hit from behind, because that’s the only way that I could get passed. But like I said yesterday, it’s surreal.
“I’m just living in the present and doing my job the best that I can, and that’s working out. It’s still a steep learning curve, as this is my first full season in cars, but I really appreciate the opportunity from Mazda and the car that the Cape boys have given me. It’s a highlight of the day, seeing them waving their hands and going crazy as I cross the line. It’s so cool to see them and all the fans. I really appreciate their support.”
The battle for third ended in tears as Dickerson and Megennis collided in turn two, which left the way clear for Frederick to inherit the final podium position.
Oliver Askew, Rinus VeeKay, Kaylen Frederick, Parker Thompson, Kory Enders, Luke Gabin, Robert Megennis, Ricky Donison, Lucas Kohl, Dakota Dickerson, Darren Keane, Ayla Agren, Devin Wojcik, Moises da la Vara, Chandler Horton, Jayson Clunie, Kris Wright, David Malukas, Calvin Ming, Bruna Tomaselli, Callan O’Keeffe, Colin Kaminsky, Dev Gore.