Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Kyle Kirkwood Claims Eighth-Straight USF2000 Win

By Aaron Bearden, Open Wheel Editor

LEXINGTON, Ohio — With the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title already secured, Kyle Kirkwood returned to the field on Saturday and continued the systematic beatdown that netted him the title midway through the summer.

Kirkwood led every lap after starting second to claim his eighth-consecutive USF2000 victory in Saturday’s Cooper Tires Mid-Ohio GP Race 2.

Pabst Racing’s Lucas Kohl followed in second, with Exclusive Autosport’s Igor Fraga completing the podium. Rasmus Lindh and Calvin Ming rounded out the top five, with Dakota Dickerson, Colin Caminsky, Julian Van der Watt, Danial Frost and Yuven Sundaramoorthy making out the back half of the top 10.

Kaylen Frederick led the USF2000 field to green for the race after strong pole run early in the day, but the Pabst Racing driver quickly lost the lead after going off-course in Turn 2. The mistake enabled Kirkwood to soar to a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the event.

A full-course yellow flew on Lap 2 for a crashed Oscar DeLuzuriaga, giving Frederick an opportunity to regain lost ground. But he instead dropped out of the race entirely, crashing with Sabre Cook shortly after the ensuing restart and eliminating both drivers from the event.

Frederick’s drive from pole ended after just five laps, with a 23rd-place result.

The USF2000 field went green the rest of the way after Frederick and Cook’s shunt, and Kirkwood drove off to another dominant victory. The Cape Motorsports star took the checkered flag after 20 laps with a 5.7167-second edge on runner-up Kohl.

While Kirkwood cruised over the final run to the finish, a host of other drivers endured issues. DEForce Racing’s James Raven and Jose Sierra were each forced to pit under green. Michael d’Orlando’s No. 51 encountered rear-end issues late in the event.

Darren Keane seemed to be due for a solid result inside of the top 10 when he was sent off-course late in the running, resulting in a 17th-place result.

USF2000 will return for a third and final race of the Mid-Ohio weekend on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. ET.

Cooper Tires Mid-Ohio GP Race 2 Results

  1. Kyle Kirkwood
  2. Lucas Kohl
  3. Igor Fraga
  4. Rasmus Lindh
  5. Calvin Ming
  6. Dakota Dickerson
  7. Colin Kaminsky
  8. Julian Van der Watt
  9. Danial Frost
  10. Yuven Sundaramoorthy
  11. Jacob Abel
  12. Russel McDonough
  13. Bruna Tomaselli
  14. Kory Enders
  15. Kyle Dupell
  16. David Osborne
  17. Darren Keane
  18. James Raven
  19. Jose Sierra
  20. Michael d’Orlando
  21. Keith Donegan
  22. Sabre Cook
  23. Kaylen Frederick
  24. Oscar DeLuzuriaga

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.