CLERMONT, Ind. – Singapore’s Danial Frost led from flag to flag for Exclusive Autosport in round five of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Frost, 17, was in imperious form on the ultra-fast oval. He was comfortably fastest in last week’s prerace test, led the way in qualifying and, after fighting off an early challenge from last year’s dominant USF2000 champion Kyle Kirkwood, controlled the proceedings to score a thoroughly well-deserved victory in the Cooper Tires Freedom 90.
Frost’s only serious challenge came following the race’s only caution, which came after 51 laps when Nikita Lastochkin’s Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-18 ground to a halt with a mechanical failure.
Frost took the restart directly ahead of Sting Ray Robb, from Payette, Idaho, who had found a way past Kirkwood in turn one moments before the yellow, but didn’t take long to reestablish a clear advantage. His final margin of victory after 90 laps was 4.8048 seconds.
“I’m so grateful to get my first win, especially on the oval for the Cooper Tires Freedom 90,” Frost said. “I’m so happy with what the team has accomplished. I worked hard to keep my focus toward the end but as soon as I saw the checkered flag I started to celebrate. A couple of guys really put some pressure on me but I stayed composed and did my own thing, and eventually we were able to break the draft. Once we got into traffic, I worked at catching the guys in front because, for me, it’s better if I have someone to chase. That’s what I did for the whole race. The team gave me such a great car, I’m so happy.”
Championship leader Rasmus Lindh chased both his teammate, Robb and Kirkwood, virtually throughout the race before finally finding a chink in Kirkwood’s armor on the very last lap when he took advantage of an open-door opportunity on the high line into turn one. Robb moved quickly alongside, then carried his momentum through turn two to edge ahead and hold off Kirkwood for third on the line.