Gooden Stops La Rocca’s Streak


LEXINGTON, Ohio – Wyatt Gooden won Sunday’s F2000 Championship Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, forcing his way by Robert La Rocca on an early restart.

La Rocca looked untouchable, claiming the pole by a huge margin on top of Saturday’s runaway win, but failed to finish, getting wrapped up in a controversial incident with Tim Paul.

Gooden went on to win his second race of the year for Quantum Racing Services, ahead of the RFR chassis pair of Kyle Connery and Niki Coello both recovering from bad luck during Saturday’s race.

Coming to the restart, Gooden, sitting second, bumped into La Rocca, and looked to force his way by going into turn one.

Gooden took his second win of the year and remains the only driver to win a race besides La Rocca, biting into La Rocca’s championship lead by a bit, but it may be too late with just four races remaining, considering La Rocca’s eight wins in 10 races.

“It feels good to take our second win of the year,” said Gooden, who swept the F1600 races at Mid-Ohio in 2011. “This track has been good to me; it was a clean pass on Robert.”

Meanwhile, the RFR duo of Connery and Coello rounded out the podium.

“After a rough season so far, this was a good comeback drive,” said Connery, who spun out in Saturday’s race and suffered a heavy race crash at Lime Rock in May.

Coello slipped to third on the last lap, but gains back ground on La Rocca in the points, who failed to finish, becoming the story of the day.

“We could have won the title today, there was no reason to crash me out of the race,” said La Rocca, after the race. “Gooden bumped me on the restart which was uncalled for and then I was just pushed off the track.”

Tim Paul, meanwhile, had a separate version of the incident.

“Basically, Wyatt got next to Robert and he blocked, I got underneath and he came back to block me and we collected one another in the keyhole,” explained Paul, driving the No. 06 for SMR/GTP Motorsports.

The race featured a lengthy full course caution for a massive opening lap incident involving the Citation of John LaRue, who finished second in race one on Saturday.

Chris Livengood followed in fourth in a solid outing for John Walko Racing, with Tim Minor, for Ski Motorsports, rounding out the top five in his Citation chassis.

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