Hello again everyone! I realize this blog is a little late but it should get you all revved up for Sonoma this weekend.
I’d like to do a little rewind quick to set the scene for what would be an awesome weekend. My teammate Peter Portante decided to come back to Wisconsin with me after Toronto to hangout until Mid-Ohio. Teammate bonding was at a maximum. It went so far that we bought a tandem bike to ride around at the track (This happened and we rode around the paddock either impressing people with how awesome we are, or scaring them with how weird we are). Anyhow, ArmsUp Motorsports was ready for an awesome weekend in Ohio.
Our race weekend at Mid-Ohio was insanely busy with three races in three days, not to mention a full day of testing on Thursday. The Thursday test day went very smooth. We made strides in both sessions and carried that momentum to Friday where I qualified 4th for race one! The top 4 cars in qualifying were within 0.15 seconds of each other! So you could say the field is pretty tight.
The start of race one was not one of my better performances. I fell like a rock after not being very aggressive in the opening lap to 6th. The field was then stuck in line until it began to sprinkle at the halfway point. This really started to spice things up! All of a sudden 3rd to 12th place were all over each other. In one lap, it was pretty common to go from 4th to 10th then back to 4th. When the checkered flag flew I ended up in 7th place. Not the finish I was looking for, but I have to admit it was just a product of a bad start.
Since I don’t think USF2000 has been able to escape a race weekend without a little rain, Mother Nature decided to cue up some rain for Saturday. By “some rain.” I mean more like a small monsoon. When we took the green flag for race 2, which I was starting 3rd for, I couldn’t see a thing. I had some front lock up around corner 6 which sent me off and back to 12th or 13th. I began making my way forward again when a full course caution came out. I counted the cars in front of me and saw I had made it back up to 7th. When the race went green again, I made another pass and then promptly spun, sending me back to 10th. I made my way back up to 7th when another full course caution came out. When we went green again, it was the last lap. I made two passes before the keyhole, then made another pass into turn 4. Luckily for me, the leaders were busy taking each other out and when I made it back around to the finish line I was in 2nd! After the craziness of that race I was just thinking “Huh, well I’ll take that”. My streak of getting on the podium each weekend since Barber is still alive!
I had a rough starting spot for race three. I was starting in 8th, OUCH! I was determined to redeem myself from the bad starts I had been having. I made it to 6th on the first lap and pressured for 5th. I ran 6th for most of the race setting the 2nd fastest lap. Near the last five minutes of the race, I started having trouble going around left hand corners. Luckily there aren’t too many at Mid-Ohio. However, it got so bad I ended up going off in turn 1 and lost a spot. A full course caution came out a lap later before I could lose more spots and we finished under caution in 7th.
On a brighter note, ArmsUp Motorsports landed on the podium all three races and took over 2nd place in the team championship! I also solidified my position in 4th in the championship and am also the highest ranked rookie! So it was a successful weekend for sure.
Sonoma is going to be extremely awesome. And good news for California, I’m willing to bet it rains while we are there (seems to rain every race weekend). If I could score two wins and help out California’s drought at the same time that would be a perfect weekend!
Thank you all for reading!