NEWTON, Iowa – Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew couldn’t have asked for a better day Sunday afternoon.
The 20-year-old rookie from Jupiter, Fla., secured his fifth pole position Sunday morning at Iowa Speedway and followed it up with a flag-to-flag win in the Mazda Iowa 60 Presented by Cooper Tires a few short hours later to stretch his lead in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with five rounds remaining.
Following a three-hour test session on Friday with Pabst Racing’s Calvin Ming at the top of the timetable and a 45-minute practice session Saturday paced by young Kaylen Frederick of Team Pelfrey, single-car qualifying took place with Ming, teammate Rinus VeeKay and Alex Baron of ArmsUp Motorsports locking up the front two rows.
Askew was able to hold off Ming at the green flag to move into the lead and he never looked back, crossing the finish line with an almost four-second advantage over his nearest championship rival VeeKay, a two-time winner this season, who found a way past Ming in the closing stages. Baron and Robert Megennis rounded out the top five.
“I had no experience on an oval at all coming into this year, so I don’t think anyone knew what to expect,” said Askew. “The team told me it was halfway and I thought that should have been the race distance. It’s different when you’re not under pressure, you feel the fatigue more – I went to cheer to the guys when I came across the line, but I couldn’t take my hand off the wheel. It felt like it was soldered on. We struggled a bit yesterday but we made a really good change last night and were quick today. It’s hard to pass here but we knew that if we got the pole and through the first couple of corners, we’d be set. It was awesome to be able to pull away. Then I was just focusing on attacking the corners and not getting lazy. We have to take one weekend at a time and do our best.”
Oliver Askew, Rinus VeeKay, Calvin Ming, Alex Baron, Robert Megennis, Kaylen Frederick, Lucas Kohl, Ayla Agren, Devin Wojcik, Moises de la Vara, Kory Enders, Parker Thompson, Dev Gore.